ST. PAUL, Minn. – After getting off to a quick start with three runs in the first inning, the Gustavus baseball team couldn’t muster any more offense in a 9-3 loss to Bethel in the MIAC playoff championship on Saturday at CHS Field. The Gusties finish the season 28-14 overall, marking the most wins since the 2006 season.
Bryce Novak (Jr., Cleveland) set the tone in the first inning with a leadoff single up the middle followed by an RBI triple by Jack Hanson (Sr., Minnetonka). Gavin Baker (Jr., Lakeville) followed with a single up the middle to score Hanson and went to second on a wild pitch. Ethan Mocchi (Sr., Champlin) connected for the fourth consecutive hit, a single through the left side, to put runners on the corners. Two batters later, Nick Azar (Sr., Edina) hit a sac fly to center, scoring Baker for a 3-0 lead.
The score remained the same until Bethel tied the game in the third after a leadoff walk, double, single, and another double. The Royals threatened to take the lead in the fourth, but the Gustie defense turned an inning-ending double play. Bethel took the lead for good in the sixth with four runs, scoring two on two errors and two more on a double. The Royals added two insurance runs in the seventh with a two-run homer.
Adam Biewen (So., Golden Valley) suffered the loss after 2.1 innings of relief. He allowed two earned runs on four hits. Hanson led at the plate, batting 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
The Gusties set seven team and five individual records this season:
• team home runs (55; previous record was 37 in 2002)
• team triples (25; previous record was 20 in 1997)
• team RBIs (343; previous record was 298 in 2004)
• team at-bats (1418; previous record was 1362 in 2004)
• team runs (381; previous record was 338 in 2004)
• team slugging percentage (.556; previous record was .521 in 1997)
• team on-base percentage (.423; previous record was .416 in 2004)
• individual hits (Jack Hanson – 82; previous record was 74 by Tony Konicek in 2004)
• individual triples (Drake Siens – 7; previous record was 6 by Brian Sorum in 1997 and Ty Kaus in 2007)
• individual home runs (Jack Hanson – 14; tied with Brad Mazer in 2002)
• individual RBIs (Jack Hanson – 57; previous record was 55 by Tony Konicek in 2007)
• individual runs scored (Jack Hanson – 59; previous record was 53 by Bryant Rogness in 2004)