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Johnnies Face Augsburg Thursday in Minneapolis


Saint John’s baseball travels to take on Augsburg for a 2:30 p.m. doubleheader on Thursday, April 18, at Parade Stadium in Minneapolis. – Live Stats | Live Video

A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Saint John’s (17-8, 6-2 MIAC) bats stayed hot in a non-conference sweep of Northwestern yesterday (April 15) at Haugen Field at Becker Park.

The Johnnies cracked 15 hits to take game one with an 11-3 score and totaled 11 more hits in game two but needed a walk-off home run from junior catcher Blake Mellgren (Northfield, Minn.) on the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh inning for a 4-3 victory and the sweep.

SJU batted .448 (26-for-58) in the doubleheader, which was originally scheduled for March 25 but had to be postponed due to weather, two days after it batted .493 (34-for-69) with 16 extra-base hits (10 doubles and six home runs) in a home sweep of Carleton.

The Johnnies’ top-two hitters in the batting order – senior right fielder Rodney Erickson (St. Paul, Minn./Woodbury) and senior second baseman Owen Dauk (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) – combined to go 11-for-13 at the plate with three RBI, two doubles and nine runs scored against Northwestern.

Game 1 (at Saint John’s 11, Northwestern 3)

Northwestern jumped on the scoreboard first with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning, but SJU answered with four in the bottom half of the frame thanks to a fielder’s choice from senior third baseman Joe Becker (New Prague, Minn.), a two-run single from senior designated hitter Owen Best (Aurora, Colo./Regis Jesuit) and a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior first baseman Jackson Peter (Elrosa, Minn./Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa). 

The Eagles responded with an unearned run in the second before the Johnnies rattled off seven-straight runs in the victory. The home team plated two in the second inning, added four unearned runs in the third and ended the scoring on Dauk’s fourth hit – an RBI single – in the fifth. Dauk went 4-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored, while Erickson went 3-for-3 with four runs scored in the first game alone.

Freshman Carter Theisen (Rosemount, Minn.) improved to 2-1 on the season after he allowed the three runs (two earned) on five hits in six innings. He struck out two and walked three.

Freshman Brady Drkula (Cottage Grove, Minn./Park) made his collegiate debut and pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief.

Game 2 (at Saint John’s 4, Northwestern 3)

The Johnnies out-hit UNW by an 11-4 margin in game two, but hit into three double plays. SJU jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when Erickson scored on a double-play ball from Becker.

The Eagles scored three runs (two earned) to gain a two-run lead in the second inning, but SJU answered with two to tie the game in the third. Erickson was retired for the first time to start the third and Dauk followed with a single. He scored on an RBI double from Becker, who tied the game on a hit from senior center fielder Jordan Amundson (Eden Prairie, Minn.). 

The only time Dauk was retired in the doubleheader came in the fifth inning when he hit a line drive off the pitcher and the deflection shot into the air to the UNW second baseman, who caught it and doubled up Erickson at first base for the third double play of the game. Dauk ended the day 6-for-7 with three RBI, four runs scored and two stolen bases.

The Eagles threatened to take the lead thanks to two infield singles and a hit batsmen with two outs off junior reliever Kade Bowar (Burnsville, Minn.) in the sixth inning, but Bowar induced an inning-ending flyout. He pitched a 1-2-3 top of the seventh inning to collect his first win of the season.

Mellgren laced the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the seventh inning for his third homer of the season and the Johnnies’ third walk-off win.

Sophomore Vinny Schleper (Shakopee, Minn.) gave up three runs (two earned) on just two hits in the no-decision. He struck out four and walked two in five innings.

Erickson finished 5-for-6 with five runs scored, while Amundson and Mellgren each went 3-for-7. 

TWO FROM 100 AS A JOHNNIE: Amundson needs two hits to become the 39th Johnnie to reach 100 in a career. He recorded his 100th collegiate hit, thanks to the five he collected as a St. Thomas student-athlete from 2020-21, Saturday vs. Carleton. He is currently tied for fifth in program history in triples (8) and is sixth in walks (53).

RECORD BOOK UPDATE: Becker is second in SJU history in RBI (119), three from the record of 122 owned by former teammate Max Nyrop ’23. He is also fourth in program history in both doubles (36) and total bases (255), fifth in home runs (18), tied for sixth in runs scored (110), tied for ninth in triples (7) and 10th in hits (151). J. Schleper is tied for second on SJU’s all-time doubles list with 39, two from the record of 41 held by Matt Butorac ’11, and eighth in total bases (234). Erickson is tied for third in triples (9) and is 10th in runs scored (105). SJU’s all-time leader in runs scored (142) and hit-by-pitch (60), Dauk is fifth in walks (72), tied for fifth in triples (8), tied for eighth in doubles (30) and 10th in total bases (229). Senior pitcher Kody Dalen (Carver, Minn./Chanhassen) is fourth with 161 strikeouts, 40 from the record of 201 owned by Joel Swenson ’99.

NATIONAL STATS: SJU is currently (through April 16) fifth in NCAA Division III in WHIP (1.20), seventh in hits allowed per nine innings (7.55), eighth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.78), 12th in walks allowed per nine innings (3.20) and 20th in doubles per game (2.44). Individually, junior Connor Hartley (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Rosemount) is fourth in walks allowed per nine innings (0.71) and sixth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (10.33).

STAT COMPARISONS: The Johnnies are second in the MIAC with a .498 slugging percentage in conference play, while the Auggies are in the bottom two in batting average, slugging percentage and opponent batting average. 

Batting Average

7. SJU, .289 (.298 overall)

10. AUG, .239 (.270 overall)

Slugging Percentage

2. SJU, .498 (.480 overall)

10. AUG, .300 (.364 overall)

ERA

7. SJU, 5.43 (4.17 overall)

9. AUG, 7.18 (8.75 overall)

Opponent Batting Average

5. SJU, .261 (.225 overall)

11. AUG, .378 (.355 overall)

Fielding Percentage

5. SJU, .964 (.956 overall)

9. AUG, .942 (.950 overall)

A LOOK AT THE AUGGIES: Augsburg (5-17, 2-8 MIAC) snapped an eight-game losing streak with a sweep of Macalester – 3-2 in eight innings and 5-4 in seven – on Saturday (April 13) in St. Paul. Sophomore Stanley Regguinti leads the MIAC with a .439 batting average (29-for-66) and has scored 20 runs so far this spring. Junior Adam Marshall is next at .408 with a team-leading 31 hits and 20 RBI. Sophomore lefty Austin Lang is 1-4 and leads the team in ERA (3.78), innings pitched (33.1) and strikeouts (28).

LAST SPRING: SJU ended its regular-season schedule with a doubleheader split at Augsburg back on May 7 (2023) in Minneapolis.

Four Johnnie pitchers combined to allow three hits as SJU cruised to a 7-0 win in game one, but the visitors committed three errors and left 11 men on base in an 11-5 loss in the nightcap. Five of the 11 runs allowed were unearned.

Senior Jack Haring ’23 broke the Johnnies’ season record for pitching appearances with this 20th in the bottom of the fourth inning of game two.

Game 1 (Saint John’s 7, at Augsburg 0)

Following a scoreless first inning, SJU posted four runs on four hits in the top of the second. Amundson started the inning with a single and scored on an RBI triple from Peter, his first of the season. After J. Schleper walked on four pitches, Best brought in Peter with a sacrifice fly. Catcher Matt Herold ’23 followed with a double and Erickson plated Schleper with an RBI single. Dauk ended the scoring with a sac fly, the team’s 20th of the season.

SJU tallied three more runs in the fifth inning to gain a 7-0 lead. Becker walked and first baseman Max Nyrop ’23 singled to start the inning. Both runners moved up a base on a sac bunt from Amundson before Peter scored them both with a two-run single. Peter moved to third on a single from Schleper and scored on a wild pitch.

Senior Griffin Larson (Edina, Minn.) earned the win in relief (1-1 record) after he pitched two hitless innings with two strikeouts. Senior Wyatt Rudolf (Carver, Minn./Chanhassen) made the start and allowed two hits with three strikeouts in three innings for the no-decision. 

Erickson, Herold, Nyrop and Peter all had two hits each, while Peter drove in three runs.

Game 2 (at Augsburg 11, Saint John’s 5)

Peter matched his second-inning triple from game one and scored on Herold’s two-out, RBI single. The Auggies tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second and gained their lead of the day with an RBI triple in the third.

The Auggies made it 4-1 with a pair of unearned runs during Haring’s record-breaking appearance in the fourth inning and added another in the fifth.

Nyrop doubled off the left-field fence to start the sixth and scored on a sac fly from Schleper to make it 5-2, but the Auggies added three more unearned runs with two outs in the bottom half.

Catcher Zach Selchow ’23 doubled to start the seventh and scored on a two-out double from Becker. 

The home team scored three runs on four hits off Jordon Huwe ’23 in the bottom of the seventh and SJU answered with two, a sac fly from Erickson and a two-out single from Dauk (11-5), to end the game’s scoring in the top of the eighth.

Dauk, Nyrop and Peter added tallied hits in game two. Nyrop and Peter both went 4-for-8 at the plate and combined for five runs scored on the day.

Junior southpaw Will Fazio (Minneapolis, Minn./Blake) started game two and took the loss after he allowed the Auggies’ first two runs on three hits in three innings. He struck out four and walked one.

Senior Quinn Krueger (Woodbury, Minn.) surrendered four runs (one earned) in two innings.

SERIES HISTORY: The Johnnies are 48-13 against the Auggies since 1993, including a 24-6 record on Augsburg’s home field. SJU has won 20 of the last 22 meetings overall.

 

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