In a doubleheader originally scheduled for Saturday (the games were delayed three times due to rain), the Oles and the Tommies each gained a 4-0 victory to remain tied atop the MIAC standings. Both teams have identical 12-4 conference records with four games remaining in the regular season.
Captain Eric Tobias 06 was the hero in St. Olafs game one victory, turning in a masterful performance with a complete game, five-hit shutout. It was Tobias best outing of the season to date, and the Ole improved his overall record on the season to 6-1, also lowering his ERA to 1.73.
Tobias also struck out seven batters on the leagues top offensive team, reaching as high as 87 mph on the radar gun.
Tobys performance was a classic case of a senior delivering in a key situation, said Brett Berry 06. He carried us on his shoulders when we needed him the most.
I cant remember a time when Eric hasnt been the ultimate competitor, said fellow team captain Brett Thoreson 06. His game was a big confidence booster for our team.
Offensively, St. Olaf was able to manage 10 hits against St. Thomas senior ace Dan Leslie, who entered the game with the second-best ERA in the conference and a .191 opponents batting average. Chris Terrazas 07 drove in the games first run with a double in the fourth inning, and Luke Gagnon 08 added an RBI single in the sixth.
DH Berry then helped break the game open with a bases-loaded, two-RBI double over the third base bag in the seventh inning.
In game two, it was the Oles who would be shut out with just five hits, as UST junior Riley Bosh kept the opposition at bay to deny the Oles a sweep. Bosh effectively changed speeds and used an excellent breaking ball en route to six strikeouts, allowing just two runners as far as third base all game.
Dan OMalley 06 suffered the loss for St. Olaf, allowing eight hits through four innings and surrendering a three-run homer to Sean Young in the third inning. Alex Summer 09 pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
Alex pitched really well on Tuesday, Tobias said. Hes going to be an important part of our staff during the home stretch of the season.
With the split, St. Olafs overall record moves to 23-7. In the new ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association) the Oles ranking improved from 27th to 19th overall.
St. Olaf will have a difficult road ahead in their quest for the conference crown. The Oles will take on Augsburg Thursday evening in Minneapolis and will host third-place Gustavus (currently on a nine-game conference winning streak) in their last regular season games of the year on Saturday.
The Tommies, by comparison, have only a doubleheader with 10th-place Carleton remaining, after sweeping ninth-place Macalester at home Wednesday.
The seventh annual MIAC Tournament, won by St. Thomas every year except 2003 (St. Olaf won that season) will be held May 12-14 at Northfields Sechler Park and Dundas Memorial Field.