By John Froese
The Presentation College Saints baseball team had an excellent few days at Ronken Field in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as they were able to keep their winning ways going with a 3-1 series win over Mayville State University and improve to 6-2 in North Star Athletic Association conference play.
The Saints were able to secure a 9-4 game one victory thanks to an excellent performance by Junior pitcher Chris D’Amico and a fifteen-hit performance by the offense that included five members of the batting order that recorded multiple knocks.
Senior first basemen Anthony Guzman got the hitting started early with an RBI single in the second. Mayville was able to tie the game up in the third and it stayed this way until the sixth, when two Saint errors allowed the Comets to put up 3 unearned runs that knocked D’Amico out of the game and gave Mayville a 4-1 lead.
The Saints answered in a huge way in the bottom half of the inning, as senior outfielder Jesse Spangler led off the inning with a solo blast to center that proved to open the floodgates for the PC offense. Guzman got himself another RBI single that ended up scoring two runs and put himself on second thanks to an error by the Comet leftfielder.
Senior infielder Matthew Schooler followed that up with an RBI single that gave Presentation the lead and junior outfielder Zane Hunt added to it with an RBI single two batters later which gave PC a 6-4 lead.
The hitting barrage carried over to the seventh as senior second basemen Eric Hernadez started the scoring with an RBI groundout that was followed with RBI singles by Schooler and freshman third basemen Gilbert Aguilar. D’Amico finished the day with 5 2/3 innings pitched, allowing four runs (only one earned) on four hits while striking out six.
The winning pitcher, however, was junior lefty Brendan Delgado. Delgado was outstanding in relief, as he finished with 3 1/3 innings pitched, surrendering only two hits and no runs while striking out four.
A big third inning led the way to the day one sweep, and 8-4 victory in game two for the Saints. Hunt blasted a solo homerun, his first of the year, to start the scoring in the third. Next the Saints were able to rally off four more runs, all with two outs, thank to RBI singles off the bats of Hernandez and sophomore catcher Kyle Angielski that both brought home two runs.
The comets were able to get three of those runs back in the top of the fourth, but once again the Saints had an answer in the bottom half of the inning, as the Saints scored a pair of runs thanks to a two-run double by senior catcher/designated hitter Jace Wyatt.
The two teams also exchanged runs in the sixth inning as Wyatt was able to secure himself another RBI with a single to left. Junior Colin Crandall started the game for the Saints and turned in another quality performance, going six innings while allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out three.
Sophomore Dryden Kaczmar pitched a 1-2-3 seventh with a strikeout to close out the game for the Saints.
The third game of the series brought trouble for the Saints, as they were unable to rally out of an early deficit and fell to the score of 7-3. The Saints were down 4-0 before they were able to scratch out a run in the fourth on a RBI single by Wyatt.
PC was able to get the deficit down to two runs after giving up one and gaining two in the sixth on an RBI double by Spangler and yet another RBI single by Wyatt, making the score 5-3. Two more runs scored by the comets in the eighth however was enough to rain on the Saints thoughts of a comeback.
Junior Joey Wollman started the game for the Saints and struggled, going 3 2/3 innings while allowing four runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out four. Spangler then came in to relieve Wollman and held his own, going 4 1/3 innings while giving up three runs on five hits and striking out four.
The bright spot for PC pitching in this game was the work of Junior CJ Canfield, as he pitched a spotless ninth while recording two strikeouts.
The Saints were able to secure the series victory in game four by the score of 4-1 thanks to some timely hitting and yet another outstanding start by freshman phenom BJ Wyche.
Presentation was able to bring home their first two runs of the game in the second thanks to an RBI double by Hunt, and a wild pitch that brought home courtesy runner Lukas Symonds.
The Saints were able to give themselves a little bit more breathing room in the fifth thanks to an RBI single by Hunt and a sacrifice fly by Wyatt. The comets were able to score one off a solo shot in the seventh, but it didn’t matter as the four runs were plenty enough for the PC pitching staff.
Wyche finished his day going 6+ innings and allowing one run on seven hits and striking out one. Canfield followed and was able to lock down the save for PC by pitching another scoreless inning.
UP Next for PC: The Saints will travel to Forest City, Iowa this weekend for a four-game conference showdown with Waldorf University. First pitch is set to be thrown at 1 pm on Friday.