MINNEAPOLIS – With an 11-0 rout in game one and a 4-3 extra-innings victory in game two, the 19th-ranked University of St. Francis baseball team completed a four-game sweep of Mount Mercy University on the opening weekend of its 2013 campaign. | Game 1 Box | Game 2 Box
USF (4-0), which defeated the Mustangs 3-1 and 10-6 Saturday night, pounded out 16 hits and scored in every inning in Sunday's first game.
Sophomore center fielder Cody Columbus (Plainfield, Ill./ Joliet Catholilc), junior first baseman Joe Ruge (North Riverside, Ill./ Riverside-Brookfield) and junior right fielder Brad Porter (Plainfield, Ill./ Plainfield North) led the onslaught with three hits apiece. Columbus collected three RBIs, while Ruge and junior designated hitter Julius Patterson (Harvey, Ill./ Thornwood) each drove in a pair.
Senior Ryne Gill (Aurora, Ill./ Waubonsie Valley) scattered three hits in four and two-thirds innings to record the victory, before freshman Charlie Ludolph (Washington, Ill./ Washington) came on to retire Mount Mercy's final batter with the bases loaded to preserve the shutout.
Trailing 3-2 with two outs and no runners on base, the Saints rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to win Sunday's nightcap. Mount Mercy (0-4) took the lead in its half of the 10th when Zachary Kalish tripled with one out and Lance Daugherty followed with a run-scoring single.
Sophomore first baseman Mike Chimera (Oak Forest, Ill./ St. Laurence) sparked the Saints' two-out, two-run rally in the bottom of the 10th with a double to right field. After junior third baseman Anthony Feliciano (Chicago, Ill./ Lane Tech) reached on an error, Porter delivered a base hit to right field to tie the game.
Junior left fielder Tim Reichert (Morton Grove, Ill./ Niles North) then singled through the right side to bring home senior pinch-runner Jesse Gregurich (Mazon, Ill./ Coal City) with the winning run.
The game was scoreless until the fifth inning. After the Mustangs plated the first run of the contest in the top half of the frame, the Saints took a 2-1 lead on a Chimera two-out, two-run double in the bottom half.
Mount Mercy tied the game in the eighth when Joey Gonzalez tripled and later scored on a squeeze bunt.
Freshman Chris Blatti (Joliet, Ill./ Joliet Catholic) picked up the win with one and a third-innings in relief.
USF will travel to Arkansas to face Lyon College in back-to-back twinbills Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16-17.