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Saints Halt Titans' Five-Game Winning Streak

Saints Halt Titans' Five-Game Winning Streak

UW-Oshkosh had its five-game winning streak snapped as The College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) baseball team swept a doubleheader with a pair of one-run victories on Saturday (April 1) in Duluth, Minn.

The College of St. Scholastica (9-6) pulled out a 10-innng, 5-4 win during its home opener before defeating the Titans, 4-3, with a three-run eighth inning in the nightcap.

The Saints outhit UW-Oshkosh, 21-13, during the doubleheader. The College of St. Scholastica collected seven doubles and one triple while the Titans were held to two triples and one double.

In Saturday's first contest, The College of St. Scholastica's Joey Zwak hit a two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to score Tyler Duex with an unearned run.

Duex reached first base on an infield error to lead off the Saints' 10th inning. Duex advanced to second base on a single by Brian Minks off UW-Oshkosh relief pitcher Nick McLees.

McLees then induced an infield popup and notched a strikeout, but Zwak lined a single to right field that scored a sliding Duex without a play at the plate.

The Saints outhit the Titans, 14-7, as The College of St. Scholastica received two hits each from Duex, Minks, Zwak, Riley Bernsdorf and Steven Neutzling. Duex and Bernsdorf had two doubles apiece.

UW-Oshkosh (7-6) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and fifth innings off Saints starting pitcher Grant Rindal.

Jack Paulson led off the game with a walk and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Johnny Eagan. Taylor Grimm doubled home Andy Brahier with one out in the fifth inning to increase the UW-Oshkosh lead to 2-0.

UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Colan Treml faced the minimum of nine batters through the first three innings despite yielding hits in each frame. Treml picked off runners in both the first and third innings, and escaped the second frame with a double play.

After pitching around an error and a single in the fourth inning, Treml allowed singles by Zwak and Trevor Bernsdorf to open the fifth frame. A sacrifice bunt moved both Saints into scoring position, and a fielder's choice groundout by Drew Colvard scored Zwak to trim the UW-Oshkosh lead to 2-1.

Tim Munn singled to continue the inning for Duex, who hit a ground-rule double to score Colvard with the tying run. Minks then delivered a single up the middle that scored two runs before Neutzling's ensuing single ended Treml's outing.

Jack Tierney relieved Treml and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases with two outs. However, Tierney got Zwak to fly out to end the threat.

Tierney retired the last eight Saints batters he faced as the Titans trailed, 4-2, entering the ninth inning.

Rindal, who walked UW-Oshkosh's Eagan and Tyler Kozlowski to begin the top of the ninth inning, exited for Saint relief pitcher Joe Gonrowski. Eagan and Kozlowski promptly stole second and third bases, and Brahier then hit a single to score Eagan and trim the Titans' deficit to 4-3.

After Brahier was lifted for pinch-runner Jensen Hinton at first base, Dylan Ott squeezed home Kozlowski with the game's tying run. A wild pitch advanced Hinton to third base with one out, but Gonrowski got a lineout to left field and a flyout to right field to preserve the tie.

McLees, who relieved Tierney to start the bottom of the ninth inning, gave up a leadoff double to Riley Berndorf, who exited in favor of pinch-runner Alek Stone.

Stone was thrown out easily at third base on a grounder to Kozlowski, the Titans shortstop. McLees proceeded to get out of the inning by inducing a double play off the bat of Munn.

Gonrowski (1-0), who retired the last five UW-Oshkosh batters he faced, picked up the win for the Saints.

Rindal pitched the first eight innings for The College of St. Scholastica, yielding four runs on six hits and five walks. Rindal entered the contest with a 0.56 earned run average in 16 innings pitched.

McLees (0-1) was charged with the loss, surrendering an unearned run on three hits in 1.2 innings pitched.

Treml ceded four runs on 10 hits in 4.2 innings pitched, while Tierney tossed 3.1 scoreless innings.

Grimm went 2-for-4 with a double and one run batted in to lead UW-Oshkosh.

In Saturday's second game, The College of St. Scholastica scored three runs on four hits during the eighth inning after collecting just three hits over the first seven frames.

Trailing 3-1, Duex sparked the Saints' eighth-inning rally with a leadoff double against UW-Oshkosh relief pitcher Jon Maday, who had tossed a scoreless seventh frame. Minks then followed with a triple to score Duex and conclude Maday's outing.

Lucas Gregory entered for Maday and got a groundout before yielding a run-scoring single to Conor Wollenzien that tied the score at 3. After Munn reached first base via a fielder's choice for the second out, Riley Bernsdorf hit a double down the right-field line to score Munn with the go-ahead run.

UW-Oshkosh's Grimm singled with two outs in the ninth inning before exiting for pinch-runner Chris Atwood, who was caught attempting to steal second base to conclude the game.

Zwak had two hits, including a double, to pace The College of St. Scholastica.

The Saints, who prevailed despite committing a season-high five errors, outhit the Titans, 7-6.

The College of St. Scholastica opened the scoring with an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning off UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Brendan Meissner, but the Titans answered with single runs in the third, fourth and sixth frames.

Zwak led off the home half of the first inning with a double and came around to score on a one-out single by Steven Neutzling.

UW-Oshkosh tied the score at 1 on a sacrifice fly by Paulson in the third inning before taking a 2-1 lead on Ott's sacrifice fly in the fourth.

The Titans tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning as Kozlowski's squeeze bunt scored Eagan, who tripled with one out.

Meissner pitched around a pair of baserunners in both the third and fifth innings while limiting the Saints to just one hit during the second through sixth frames. Meissner, who allowed an unearned run on just three hits and three walks in six-plus innings pitched, was relieved by Maday after issuing a leadoff walk in the seventh inning.

Saints relief pitcher Jake Turner (1-1) was credited with the win, tossing the final 1.1 innings in scoreless fashion on one hit.

Ben Christofferson pitched the first five innings for The College of St. Scholastica, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks, while Jordan Thompson ceded one run on three hits in 2.2 innings of work.

Gregory (0-2) was saddled with the loss after yielding one run on two hits in the eighth inning.

Eagan had a pair of triples and scored twice to lead UW-Oshkosh.

The Saints, who have made 12 consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III Championship, won their fifth straight game over UW-Oshkosh. The Titans claimed the first 10 meetings between the teams from 1996-2008.

UW-Oshkosh plays a doubleheader at Saint Mary's University on Sunday (April 2) in Winona, Minn.

Photo by Jennifer Zuberbier