ST. PAUL, Minn. – The four teams remaining in the 2018 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Baseball Playoffs began double-elimination play on Friday and the top two seeds in the field came away with victories. No. 1 Saint John's took down No. 6 Gustavus, 6-3, in the first game of the day before No. 2 Bethel edged No. 4 St. Thomas in dramatic fashion, 5-4, under the lights at CHS Field.
NO. 1 SAINT JOHN'S 6, NO. 6 GUSTAVUS 3 | BOX SCORE | PHOTOS |
The regular season MIAC champs scored six runs in the first two frames to double-up Gustavus for the Johnnies' first win of the postseason. Senior first baseman Jeron Terres reached 100 career hits in the game after recording three hits in his first three trips to the batter's box. Johnnie catcher Dominick Schleper also had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in. With the victory, SJU has now won 16 of its last 17 games and tied a program record for wins in a season, matching their mark of 32 set in 2016. Despite the loss, Gustavus got solid production out of the middle of the lineup, with third baseman Brock Peterson going 3-for-4 and right fielder Sam Archer knocking in two of the Gusties' three runs. Jake Dickmeyer got the win for the Johnnies, tossing 85 pitches – 66 for strikes – over eight innings of work, while Bennett Wiggins earned the save after coming on in the ninth. Gustavus utilized five arms in the game, with reliever Damon Rademacher working four-and-a-third innings, allowing just three hits and no runs during his time on the mound.
NO. 2 BETHEL 5, NO. 4 ST. THOMAS 4 (10 INNINGS) | BOX SCORE | PHOTOS |
A dramatic new chapter was written in what has become one of the most heated rivalries in the MIAC, as a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th inning gave Bethel a 5-4 victory over St. Thomas on Friday night. The game took just over three hours to complete under the bright lights at CHS Field. The Tommies jumped out to an early lead, scoring a pair of runs to start the game, but Bethel inched its way back with runs in the second and fourth to even the game at 2. UST designated hitter Ryan Lust put St. Thomas back on top in the fifth with his second RBI of the game and crossed the plate himself on a Sam Cobbs double to give the Toms a 4-2 advantage. Two innings later, however, the Royals clawed back with two more runs to tie things up once again and force extra innings. The Bethel offense put St. Thomas on its heels in the bottom of the 10th, setting the stage for Joey Fredrickson to put his plate discipline on display, drawing a walk with two outs and the bases loaded for a literal walk-off win. Jake Marsh got the win for BU, while both starting pitchers – Bethel's Michael Bohlke and St. Thomas' Henry DeCaster – logged six Ks, two walks and four runs allowed during their time on the mound.
The Johnnies and Royals will now meet at noon on Saturday with the winner headed to the 2018 MIAC Playoff Championship Game on Sunday. Bethel won the coin toss to determine the home team for the contest. The losing team will hang around to face the winner of the St. Thomas versus Gustavus matchup in an elimination game at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Tommies and Gusties now find themselves in a win-or-go-home situation, as the two squads meet at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow in an elimination contest. St. Thomas won the coin toss and will be the home team for the game. The winner of the 3:30 p.m. game will face the loser of the noon game to determine which team gets a second chance at the MIAC Playoff title.
Sunday's MIAC Championship will begin at 11:00 a.m. If necessary, a second game will follow 30 minutes after the first to determine the double-elimination tournament winner. The champion will receive the MIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
MIAC BASEBALL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 12, 2018
Game 5: No. 1 Saint John's vs. No. 2 Bethel | 12 p.m. | CHS Field | Live Stats | Video |
Game 6: No. 4 St. Thomas vs. No. 6 Gustavus | 3:30 p.m. | CHS Field | Live Stats | Video |
Game 7: Loser Gm 5 vs. Winner Gm 6 | 7 p.m. | CHS Field | Live Stats | Video |
All Playoff information including seedings, scores and recaps can be found on the 2018 MIAC Baseball Playoffs. Fans can also follow the action on the MIAC Scoreboard, on the free MIAC mobile app, and on social media through the MIAC's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.