Mon, May. 9, 2011 - [Baseball]
The Loras College baseball team was mathematically alive at the beginning of the final Iowa Conference series, but would have needed some help in addition to sweeping the Knights. At the end of the series, they were on the outside looking in at the Iowa Conference Tournament. The Duhawks won one game over the weekend against one of the league's top starters and said goodbye to eight seniors.
Game 1, Wartburg 14-Loras 1 (7 Innings)
The Knights took control with a 5-1 lead after three innings and added a big inning late to eliminate the Duhawks from Iowa Conference Tournament contention. Loras starter Kevin Moriarty was lifted after 3.1 innings and five earned runs, and the defense committed three errors behind him to help the Knights to their 14-run output.
The Duhawks managed three hits on the night, the biggest of which came off the bat of Kyle Soeder, who homered in the second inning. The homerun was Soeder's fourth of the season. Loras' other hit came from Connor Reilly.
Wartburg starter Scott Benson threw all seven innings in the game that was originally scheduled for nine innings.
Game 2, Loras 4-Wartburg 2
The Duhawks top six hitters each had hits in Saturday's Game 1, including a three-hit performance by Clay Henricksen, who would register his biggest hit of the day in his final plate appearance of the game.
Wartburg again scored first, in the top of the first inning, when they touched up starter Ben Cottrell for two runs on four hits - all singles. The Duhawks then manufactured a run with a hit and run and an RBI groundout by Calvin Rea, scoring Kyle Soeder.
That 2-1 score held until the bottom of the sixth inning as Cottrell and Wartburg starter Brad Watson locked horns.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Duhawks rallied after two outs to post three runs. Austin Brown singled home Mike Canevello to tie the game at 2-2, and BJ Juergens and Kyle Soeder each followed with singles to load the bases. Henricksen then did his damage with a double down the right field line on the first pitch he saw from Watson to give the Duhawks a 4-2 lead, which they wouldn't relinquish.
Loras closer Spencer Radabaugh entered in the seventh inning in search of his record fifth save of the season and eighth of his career, also a would-be record.
He quickly struck out the Knights' leadoff hitter, before a single and a sacrifice bunt made it a runner-on-second-and-two-outs situation. Wartburg, looking for back-to-back hits from the top of their order, were sent to the loss column when Ben Roemmich flied out to left field to end the game.
Loras completed the comeback and Radabaugh entered the record books for his closing efforts.
Game 3, Wartburg 9-Loras 5
The rubber game of the series again included early runs by the visitors, this time six in the first three innings for a 6-0 lead. Loras would chip away late, but the Knights added three more runs to finish with nine while the Duhawks made substitutions over the course of the final few innings of the 2011 season.
Loras' RBIs came from Clay Henricksen (2) in the fourth with a 2-run homerun, and Calvin Rea (2) in the seventh on a double to right center in his final college at bat, while Mike Pudlo added a groundout scoring Rea in the sixth.
Seniors Kyler Laurie and Cole Boge threw their final innings at Petrakis Park in the loss.
Loras said goodbye to eight seniors in between games of the doubleheader on Saturday. Cole Boge, Austin Brown, Calvin Rea, Kyle Soeder, Eric Rife, Kyler Laurie, Kevin Moriarty, and Greg Farrey were each honored in a ceremony acknowledging their families and their time spent with the Duhawks. The group combined for over 275 hits on offense, and as pitchers logged nearly 600 innings and over 330 strikeouts.