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ISSUE 118 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 4/8/2005

Highs, lows for the Oles down South

By Ryan Maus
Sports Editor

Friday, April 8, 2005

Minnesota’s spring baseball season is a fleeting thing – one fraught with postponements, freezing temperatures and unplayable diamonds. In order for a competitive college baseball team to play a normal 40-game schedule, unique measures must sometimes be taken.

The St. Olaf baseball team did just that over the past two weeks, traveling to three different locations to play their last 14 games. After splitting a doubleheader with Northland College in the Metrodome on March 19, the Oles traveled to southwestern Florida from March 21-28 (where they played a 10-game schedule, winning six), and finally were able to open their conference season Saturday afternoon against Augsburg College.

Saturday’s doubleheader, originally scheduled for Parade Stadium in Minneapolis, was moved to Cannon Falls, Minn. because of field conditions. The Oles lost game one 1-0 despite a strong pitching performance from Will Huepenbecker ’06, but bounced back to win game two 2-0.

In the first game, Huepenbecker battled Auggie starter Darren Ginther for six and a third innings in a classic pitcher’s duel. The Oles managed just three hits and did not advance a runner past second base all game, while Augsburg finally broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh inning on an RBI single by Tim Wahl.

In game two, Eric Tobias ’06 threw a complete game, three-hit shutout, while Tony DeLaHunt ’05 and Brian Astry ’07 contributed RBI hits in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively. Andrew Schmiesing ’08 went 2-3 with a run scored.

On the team’s eight-day trip to Port Charlotte, Fla. over spring break, the team played a number of quality non-conference opponents. Monday, March 21, St. Olaf took on the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point, splitting a doubleheader with the Pointers, winning 12-8 before falling 21-5. Dan Hansen ’05 got the victory in game one, allowing just one run in five innings of relief. Chris Terrazas ’07 and Schmiesing homered for the Oles.

Tuesday afternoon, St. Olaf was pitted against the Sailfish of Palm Beach Atlantic College. Huepenbecker was the tough-luck loser in the 1-0 game one loss, but Paul Johnson ’08 earned his first collegiate victory with a complete game, 4-0 shutout in game two.

Wednesday, the Oles were defeated by Bowdoin College 5-2 in a six-inning, rain-shortened affair. Three Ole errors led to four unearned runs for the Bears, but St. Olaf was threatening when the game was called due to a thunderstorm.

The University of Chicago proved to be just the right medicine for the floundering Ole baseball team on Friday afternoon, as St. Olaf soundly trounced the Maroons by scores of 17-2 and 11-2. DeLaHunt had five RBI in game one, and Schmiesing hit a grand slam in the second game. Andy Dass ’08 and Dan O’Malley ’06 each threw complete games for their first victories of the season.

Saturday’s doubleheader went equally well for the Oles, as they overpowered the punchless Panthers of Greenville College 5-0 and 23-3. Hupenbecker was the winner in game one, striking out 11 batters while allowing just four hits. In game two, eight different St. Olaf batters collected hits, and Terrazas had seven RBI.

In the team’s tenth and final game in Florida Sunday afternoon, the Oles saw their four-game winning streak snapped with a 10-8 loss to St. Norbert’s College. The Knights scored eight times in the game’s final two innings to pull out the victory.

All of St. Olaf’s games in Port Charlotte were played at the Charlotte Sports Park, former spring training home of Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers.

Coupled with their 1-3 record prior to heading south, the Oles currently stand with an 8-8 overall record and are 1-1 in the MIAC. The team opens their home season Saturday afternoon against Macalester at Mark Almi Field. The action gets underway at 1 p.m

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