If Saint Mary’s University baseball coach Nick Winecke was concerned that his squad might show any ill effects after dropping the first two games of their three-game Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference series against St. Olaf College, the Cardinals quickly put those fears to rest.
Saint Mary’s erupted for five, third-inning runs and their offense never showed signs of letting up, as the Cardinals scored in each of the final five innings they batted en route to an 11-0 victory at Mark Almli Field.
The Cardinals, coming off 8-4 and 14-6 losses to the Oles at Max Molock Field on Saturday, started slow — being held off the scoreboard in each of their first two at-bats.
And then the floodgates opened.
Three straight one-out walks loaded the bases in the top of the third inning, setting the table for Justin Weinberg, who laced a two-run single to plate the game’s first two runs. SMU’s fourth walk of the inning reloaded the bases and Andy Tepp was hit by a pitch to make it 3-0. After a Jack Arndt strikeout, Cameron Weber ripped a two-run single of his own to push the SMU lead to 5-0.
A Will Matthews sacrifice fly scored one run in the fourth and Zach Drake RBI groundout in the fifth made it 7-0.
The Cardinals tacked on two more runs in the sixth on run-scoring singles by Tepp and Connor Cornell, and a Taylor Anderson, Weinberg single in the seventh rounded out the scoring.
Weinberg finished the afternoon 4-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs to pace the Cardinals’ 12-hit attack, while Anderson had two hits — a double and a triple — in four at-bats, scored twice and drove in a run. Eight of the 10 Cardinals who had an at-bat recorded at least one hit.
Jake Mercado picked up the pitching win, going the first six inning, scattering six hits, while walking five and striking out six. Mercado was lifted after giving up a single and a walk to open the seventh. Austin Lenhardt came on set down the three Oles he faced to seal the win.