FOND DU LAC, Wis. (SabreAthletics.com) – Offense and pitching guided the Marian University baseball team to a 13-3 game one victory over visiting Milwaukee School of Engineering, but the Raiders answered back with a 9-7 win in game two to earn the Northern Athletics Conference doubleheader split on Senior Day at Herr- Baker Field this afternoon, April 27.
The Sabres poured it on in game one, pounding out 14 hits and ending the game in just eight innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. Sam Forkert earned his third straight victory on the mound for Marian and Ty Gellinger turned in a 3-for-4 effort at the plate. In game two, the Sabres squandered a lead when David Miklosi blasted a seventh-inning grand slam to break a 3-3 tie.
The Sabres had their win streak snapped at five games, but moved to 17-11 overall, 11-7 in the NAC with the split. Meanwhile, MSOE snapped its 10-game losing skid with a win in game two to move to 6-16 (2-14 NAC).
In game one, Forkert had things going early on until a comebacker that he nearly snagged between his legs ignited the Raider offense.
MSOE scored three runs after the play that put a little scare into Forkert and the home faithful at Herr-Baker Field. However, he would rebound to put up four scoreless frames after that, going seven strong innings, scattering eight hits and striking out nine batters while walking none.
The Sabres backed him offensively with two runs in both the second and third innings and a four-run outburst in the fourth. Senior Garrett Dorn recorded a pair of RBIs in the contest, one in each the third and fourth innings.
Marian added four more runs in the final two frames with senior Will Martin ending the game with a liner to the left-center field gap, scoring pinch runner and fellow senior, Mitch Andrus from second base for the 13th and final run of the game.
Senior Jeff Thomas had pitched a scoreless eighth inning in relief, recording a strikeout while holding the Raiders hitless.
In game two, Bryce Taylor got the start and turned in a solid showing once again. He went five innings and allowed just two runs (1 earned) on four hits, while striking out three and walking one. He left the game with a 3-2 lead, but would settle for the no-decision.
Brett Barger came on in relief and pitched around a failed pick-off attempt that sent a Raider baserunner from first to third and eventually in to score the unearned run, tying the game at 3-3 after six innings.
In the seventh, MSOE found its rhythm. The first two batters reached on a hit-by-pitch and base hit. After a sacrifice bunt moved them both over, Barger intentionally walked the three-hole batter, Derek Jordan, to load the bases and setup a force out play at home plate.
Head Coach Jason Bartelt went back to his bullpen and called for junior Jake Schaffhauser, who had been lights out of late, earning a win and two saves on back-to-back days last Tuesday-Wednesday.
However, it would be a different story today, as the clean-up hitter, Miklosi, took the first pitch he saw and crushed it over the left field fence on a day with the wind blowing out. That broke the 3-3 tie and gave the Raiders a lead they would not relinquish.
The Sabres battled back with three runs in their half of the seventh, capped by a Martin RBI single to center field, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Junior Chad Langley recorded three hits in the nightcap to bring his season average up to .445, which ranks second in the league behind Wisconsin Lutheran's Aaron Roeseler.
Marian will be back in action tomorrow, April 28, as it travels to Aurora, Ill. to take on the league-leading Spartans in a noon start.