Saint Mary’s Zach Drake scored one run and two RBIs in his team’s first game with Crown College. Photo by Yaal Calderon.

Cardinals battle Crown College to split


(4/7/2021)

The Saint Mary’s University (SMU) baseball team scored 20 runs in its non-conference doubleheader against Crown College last week — including at least one run in 11 of the 13 innings.

Saint Mary’s scored in every inning in the opener, rolling to a 10-4 victory.

And in the nightcap, the Cardinals put together a second straight 10-run performance, only to have Crown — propelled by a seven-run second inning — hold off a wild SMU comeback attempt to earn the split with a 12-10 victory.

The Cardinals were nothing if not consistent in the opener, scoring in all six innings in which they batted — including single runs in the first, third, fourth, and fifth innings, while plating two runs in the second, and breaking the game open with a four-run sixth.

Saint Mary’s opened the scoring in the first — without the benefit of a hit. Tyler O’Brien was hit with the game’s first pitch, moved to second on a passed ball, stole third, and scored on Taylor Anderson’s ground-out to third.

The Cardinals pushed the lead to 3-0 on Zach Drake’s two-run single to center in the bottom of the second, but Crown would answer by scoring all four of its runs in the top of the third to take a 4-3 advantage.

Cameron Weber delivered an RBI single in the SMU half of the fourth to tie the game at 4-4, and Saint Mary’s would add solo runs in the fourth and fifth – Justin Weinberg driving in one with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly and SMU added another on a Crown error in the fifth — before erupting for four unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth to seal the win.

Drake and Joey Costello each had two hits to pace the Cardinals’ 10-hit offensive attack, while Luke Gilbertson picked up the pitching win, tossing three innings of scoreless, hitless relief.

The two teams traded first-inning runs to open game two, with Saint Mary’s tally coming on a Weinberg RBI groundout.

And then came the second — an inning coach Nick Winecke would like to forget. The Storm tagged Cardinal starter Andrew Fischer for seven runs on seven hits to grab a commanding 8-1 advantage.

The two teams once again traded solo runs in the third and Crown tacked on two more in the top of the fourth to push its lead to 11-2.

Down, but far from out, the Cardinals went to work, scoring three times in the bottom of the fourth — highlighted by a two-run double by Drake — before adding two more in the sixth to whittle the Storm lead to four, 11-7.

Crown added its 12th run of the game in the top of the seventh, but the Cardinals weren’t about to go down without a fight, scoring three times in the bottom of the seventh — only to have one runner thrown out at home and another stranded at second.

Drake added a perfect 3-for-3 effort in the nightcap to his two-hit performance in game one. The senior also scored four times and drove in three runs. Andy Tepp and Trevon VanEgtern each chipped in two hits, with Weinberg, Costello and VanEgtern all scoring twice.

 

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