FORT MYERS, Fla. - Six pitchers combined to allow only three earned runs during the Saint Michael's College baseball team's doubleheader sweep of the University of Wisconsin-Stout, 3-2 in seven innings and 4-2, on Monday during the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic at the Player Development Complex. The Purple Knights are 2-6 this season, while the Blue Devils slipped to 2-5.
First-year Iset Maldonado (Brooklyn, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) finished 2-for-2 with two runs, a walk, two doubles and a stolen base in the opener, while classmate Holden Jackman (Eliot, Maine/Marshwood) singled in his only at bat while adding a walk and a sac bunt. He also caught two runners stealing from his position behind the plate. First-year Zach Rodgers (Parrish, Fla./Manatee) earned his first college win while allowing two earned runs on five hits in five innings, striking out four and walking three. Junior Trevor Allen (Dennis, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) worked the final two innings for the save, tossing a pair of shutout innings while allowing one hit and striking out three. Allen, who also doubled, became the fourth pitcher in program history to have at least one career shutout and save to his name.
Sophomore Ben Vanhove was 2-for-3 for Wisconsin-Stout, and classmate Jack Hemsath had a hit, a run and an RBI. Senior Wyatt Ernstmeyer suffered the loss after allowing three runs on six hits in six innings, striking out four and walking one.
The Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as first-year Danny Deis tripled before scoring on Hemsath's single, and junior Jon Krueger came through with a two-out RBI single. After Wisconsin-Stout put six of its first nine batters on base, Rodgers and Allen allowed only three of the final 19 to reach. Jackman caught a runner stealing third in the second inning to squelch a two-on, none-out threat, and Maldonado doubled, stole third and scored on sophomore Connor Hopkins' (Windham, N.H./Windham) sac fly in the third.
First-years drove in both runs during a two-run fifth inning, as Anthony Azpeitia (Tampa, Fla./King) singled home junior pinch runner Harry Southworth (Taunton, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) to tie the game before Danté Moran's (Saint Petersburg, Fla./Dixie Hollins) groundout plated Maldonado with the winning run. Jackman cut down a runner stealing second in the home half before the Blue Devils left a runner at second base, and Allen came on in the sixth inning to retire six of the seven batters he faced. None advanced beyond first base.
First-year Cameron Kroeger (Clearwater, Fla./Countryside) hit a tie-breaking three-run home run in the sixth inning of game two while also being hit by a pitch, and Allen was 2-for-4 with a run and a double. With 22 career doubles, he moved into a tie for eighth in program history. Junior Joe Robertson (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) doubled, scored and walked. Classmate Drew Farris (Andover, Mass./Saint John's Prep) earned the win after allowing one run and scattering eight hits in six innings, as he struck out four and walked none.
Three relievers followed, with first-year Shane Epps (Queens, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) working a seventh inning during which he yielded one unearned run, and senior Colin Brennan (Braintree, Mass./Boston College HS) made his season debut with a shutout eighth. Junior Christian Devine (Exeter, N.H./Exeter) earned his first collegiate save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Deis was 3-for-4 with an RBI for Wisconsin-Stout, while Hemsath and sophomore Reid Akerman both had two hits. Junior Luke Eide took the loss after yielding all four runs - three earned - in five-plus innings. He fanned five and walked two.
The Blue Devils left the bases loaded in the fourth inning but broke through in the sixth, as Hemsath led off with a triple and came home on Deis' one-out single. Saint Michael's scored all four of its runs in the home half, with Robertson scoring the tying run on an error and Kroeger slugging a three-run homer to left field. Vanhove scored an unearned run in the seventh, and Wisconsin-Stout loaded the bases with three straight two-out singles in the eighth, but Brennan struck out the final batter. Devine worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Saint Michael's heads to the Terry Park Sports Complex tomorrow to take on Wilmington (Ohio) College in a 9 a.m. doubleheader.