Baseball Keeps Tourney Hopes Alive with Split
MANKATO, Minn. - The MLC baseball team needed at least one win in Monday's double header at Bethany Lutheran to keep its hopes of making the UMAC Tournament alive, and finished with a split as it lost game one 8-0 and won game two 5-1.
The Knights' bats were silenced in game one, as BLC ace Cory Ferm pitched a no-hitter to lead the Vikings to the 8-0 win.
MLC was able to muster only three base runners (two walks and one error), while BLC finished with 17 hits.
MLC starter Travis Kretsch held the Vikings to one run through three, but saw the Vikings score five times in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Kretsch dropped to 0-3 on the season with the loss.
Game two was a different story, as MLC starter Jake Ziel took the ball on short rest and carried the Knights to the 5-1 win.
Ziel went the distance, allowing just one run on six hits and two walks while striking out eight, improving his record to 4-2 on the season in the process.
The Knights picked up the pace offensively after the struggles from game one, scoring once in each of the first four innings to take a 4-1 lead. Andrew Nemmers picked up two separate RBI early in the game, while James Hemmelman and Tyler Dorn also drove in runs.
Ziel found himself in trouble in the top half of the sixth as the Vikings loaded the bases with zero outs, but he pitched out of the jam thanks to a strikeout and a double play when Nemmers threw out the lead runner at the plate attempting to tag on a fly ball to left field.
Things were smooth from then on for the Knights' ace, as he retired the final nine batters he faced to finish off the win.
MLC outhit BLC 12-6 in the game, and had four players (Aaron Stokke, Joe Janke, William Jensen and Dorn) finish with two hits apiece.
With the split, MLC moved its record to 12-10 on the season, and 8-6 in UMAC play. BLC is now 13-13 overall and 8-4 in conference games.
The Knights finished the regular season tied with Northland for fourth place in the conference standings. The Knights will now need to wait to see the results of tomorrow's double header between Bethany Lutheran and Northwestern to see where its tournament hopes stand. Two BLC wins would mean the Knights would win the tie-breaker and make the tournament. Two NWC wins would mean Northland would win the tie-breaker and make the tournament. A split would mean a one-game playoff would be necessary on Thursday night between MLC and Northland to decide the fourth and final spot.
Stay tuned to the MLC athletics site for all the information moving forward on the upcoming schedule.