Ryan Lust's two-run double in extra innings broke a 2-2 tie and gave St. Thomas Baseball its first lead of the game as the Toms went on to post a 6-2 win over Carleton in game two and a sweep of the conference doubleheader in Northfield.
Senior Ryan Zimmerman got the last four outs in relief, three by strikeout, as the Tommies moved into a first-place tie in the conference. Freshman Graham Laubscher had another smooth start as he allowed just one hit and one earned run in 4 2-3 innings. Over the last 10 days, Zimmerman is 3-0 with an 0.67 ERA with 23 strikeouts and two walks in 14.1 innings
The Toms lowered their staff ERA to 2.64, including a 1.72 clip in 12 MIAC contests. They have limited 16 of 26 opponents to two or less runs this season.
Junior Grant Gunderson threw a three-hit shutout in game one in a 4-0 Tommie victory. UST led just 1-0 through six innings but Lust's two-run single capped a three-run rally in the top of the seventh.
St. Thomas (14-12 overall, 9-3 MIAC) is now tied at 9-3 atop the standings with St. John's and St. Mary's, with 10-4 Bethel and 9-5 Macalester also within one game. The Toms are scheduled to close the conference schedule with four twinbills in six days starting Tuesday at Macalester.
In game two, the Toms won despite stranding 10 runners and having four others tagged out on the bases. That included seven runners left in scoring position from the third through sixth innings as the game stayed tied at 2-2. Then in the top of the seventh, UST sent five to the plate, all reached, but none scored. All three outs came on the bases: the first trying to turn a leadoff single into a double; another by pickoff and rundown at first base; and the last one after a two-out single with a runner tagged out attemptng to score at home.
Carleton had a prime chance to walkoff with a win in the bottom of the eighth as it put two aboard to start the inning on a bunt single and a hit by pitch. St. Thomas got an out at third after a bunt and throw out; got a ground out; then escaped with a runner on third as Zimmerman came on and got an inning-ending ground out.
UST scored four runs in the top of the ninth with a rally started by a hit batter, a walk and Lust's double. Earlier, Rock Cates had a one-out RBI single in the fifth and Zach Gottfredsen had a two-out RBI single in the sixth.
Taylor McLeod won in singles and doubles, but St. Thomas dropped a 6-3 MIAC tennis road match Sunday at No. 36-ranked Carleton. The Toms (14-3 overall, 8-2 MIAC) finished in third place in the conference race.
UST will be the third seed and play No. 6 seed St. Catherine this Tuesday (3:30 p.m.) in the first round of the MIAC playoffs.
Taylor and Paige McLeod won 8-6 at first doubles, and Taylor won her match at third singles. Freshman Catherine Lindsay won 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 in a third-set tiebreak at No. 5 singles.
St. Thomas sits in first place among seven schools by one shot after shooting 297 Sunday in the first of two rounds at the St. John's tournament. The final 18 holes will be played on Monday, and just seven shots separate the first four teams.
UW-Eau Claire is one shot back at 298, and the host Johnnies are two strokes back at 299. Gustavus is fourth at 304.
Riley Gannon shot one-over 72 and is tied for first individually in a field of 63. Emmet Herb shot 74; Owen Nowicki shot 75; and Pete Sienko shot 76. Matt Mellin of the Toms' No. 2 team shot 74.
St. Thomas shot 324 on Sunday, a 12-shot improvement from its opening round, and took third place out of nine teams at the 36-hole Carleton Invite.
Emily Thul shot 76 on Sunday and tied for third place in a field of 50 players. Morgan McCorkle shot 78, Kate Drimel shot 81. Kate Balison (89) and Erin Kehoe (91) rounded out the UST lineup.