Softball: Cardinals complete 3-game sweep


(4/21/2021)

If the Saint Mary’s University baseball team’s offense was looking for a little pick-me-up, the Concordia College Cobbers proved to be just the tonic for what ailed them.

The Cardinals, who managed a combined six runs in their conference split against Saint John’s last Thursday, feasted on Cobber pitching for a second straight day Sunday, scoring a season-high 11 runs in cruising to their third straight win over Concordia, this one an 11-1 decision at Max Molock Field.

Saint Mary’s, which scored 18 runs in sweeping CC on Saturday — winning the opener 10-3 and getting a two-run, walk-off double from Tyler O’Brien in the bottom of the 10th for an 8-7 win in the nightcap — benefited from a pair of home runs and a six-run sixth in posting its fourth straight win.

For the third consecutive game, it was the Cobbers who would strike first, scoring their only run of the game in the second inning. Saint Mary’s answered with one run in the third and three more in the fourth  to take a 4-1 lead. Two runs scored on Will Matthews’ first home run of the season.

Liam Belleveau jump-started the Cardinals’ six-run sixth, blasting his first collegiate home run — a one-out, solo shot. A bases-loaded walk to O’Brien plated run number two, and Taylor Anderson and Justin Weinberg followed with run-scoring singles — Anderson’s plating one and Weinberg’s scoring two. Mathews completed the six-run onslaught with his second extra-base hit of the game, this one an RBI double to make it a 10-1 SMU lead.

Zach Drak rounded out the scoring for the Cardinals, delivering an RBI single up the middle in the seventh for the 10-run cushion.

Overshadowed in the Cardinals’ offensive exploits was the stellar pitching of Jake Mercado, Fountain City’s Jonathan Cieminski, and TJ Bergland, who combined on a seven-inning two-hitter. Mercado allowed one run on two hits in five strong innings, while Cieminski and Bergland each pitched an inning of perfect relief.

Matthews finished the day 2-for-3 with a run scored and three RBIs, while Weinberg also had two hits, scored twice and drove in a pair of runs.

The Cardinals (10-5 conference, 16-8 overall) are back in action today, hosting Macalester in a 2:30 p.m. conference doubleheader at Max Molock Field.

 

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