Henry DeCaster threw a three-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts to lead St. Thomas to a 5-1 win over host Macalester in game one of Tuesday's MIAC baseball twinbill in St. Paul.
Ryan Zimmerman was also effective on the mound in game two to lead an 8-2 victory for a Tommie sweep.
St. Thomas (16-12 overall, 11-3 MIAC) has won 10 of its last 11 conference games and sits atop the standings with six games left. Bethel (12-4), St. John's (9-3) and St. Mary's (9-3) are all one game back, and face the Tommies in the coming five days.
Eleven different Toms had at least one hit in the doubleheader. Jake Smith reached base five times on the day with three hits, three runs and two walks. His two-run home run sparked the game-one victory. Ryan Lust, Adam Krajewski, Evan Kolker, Logan Kohorst and Avery Lehman each had a multi-hit game. Lust had a hit or run in nine consecutive games.
Five of the Toms' eight runs in game two scored via two wild pitches, a sac fly, a steal off of a rundown, and a bases-loaded walk.
Tommie fielders had no errors on the day, and their pitchers struck out 21 batters and allowed just three runs over 14 innings. UST's earned-run average started the day ranked fifth in Division III at 2.64. It now sits at 2.59 (1.75 in MIAC play). St. Thomas has allowed two or less runs in 18 of its 28 games.
Both DeCaster, who pitched all seven innings, and Zimmerman, who started and fanned eight in six innings, retired the last 10 Mac batters they faced. DeCaster was aided by diving catches in right field by Evan Kolker and in left field by Sam Cobbs.
DeCaster improved to 10-7 on his two-year Tommie career. In his previous 10 starts before Tuesday -- dating back to last May 2017 -- the junior lefty posted just a 1-7 record despite a 3.06 ERA and 75 strikeouts over 61.2 innings.
Zimmerman improved to 16-7 on his career.
The Tommies are home Thursday to face Bethel and home Saturday to face Gustavus -- both hosting two seven-inning games at Koch Diamond. They play two more Sunday at St. John's to close the 20-game MIAC schedule.