The Lawrence University baseball team’s winning streak was abruptly halted last weekend, April 28-29, against St. Norbert College where the team suffered four losses. After winning a nonconference match up at Whiting Field against Northland College on Wednesday, April 25, the team took their momentum to De Pere, Wisc. to take on the top dog in the Midwestern Conference.
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and the Vikings dropped the opener 24-2 and lost the second game 6-1. Looking to salvage the season series, and feeling relieved to return home, Lawrence hosted St. Norbert for two more games on Sunday, April 29. In an offensive-dominated doubleheader, heartbreak and late game collapses were the name of the game for Lawrence.
In the opener, freshman pitcher Davis Ogilvie threw 7 1/3 innings of six hit ball and left the game in the eighth inning with an 8-6 lead. Unfortunately, The Green Knights victimized Ogilvie’s relief, fellow freshman Phil Clark, tallying six runs in the eighth inning. Three of the runs came off of big home run blasts from St. Norbert’s Travis Mason and Garrick Fisher.
Lawrence managed to scrape a run across in the bottom half of the inning bringing the score to 14-9 but St. Norbert’s piled on two more runs in the top half of the ninth. The Vikings managed one final run from a Davide Harris RBI double, but in the end came up short.
In the nightcap, the Vikings led 6-2 as late as the sixth inning but once again were doomed by an explosive inning put together by a dangerous St. Norbert offense. The Green Knights came up big in the sixth inning pushing six runs across, three off of a Jose Godinez homerun.
Lawrence once again staged a comeback when ** Eric Bohling, who already had two hits in the game, came up big with a homerun, putting the score at 9-7. In the eighth inning Lawrence, had the bases loaded and Ogilvie took a walk to bring the Vikings within one. St. Norbert’s reliever Kevin Nutley then shut down the Lawrence comeback by striking out ** Davide Harris and ** Gabe Henriques consecutively.
Once again, in the final frame, Lawrence put the tying runs on base but couldn’t drive them in and dropped the nightcap 10-8. Last weekend was certainly a tough one to swallow for Lawrence fans, coaches and players alike. However, Lawrence has several region games left in the season and it is remarkable how the attitude of the team has shifted.
After winning a meager three games last season, the team went into the weekend with a chance to realize their goal of making the conference tournament. The team’s rebound on Sunday at home after being beaten pretty handily twice on Saturday is telling of the morale of the team and the difference between last year’s squad and the current team. While the team may not make the conference tournament, this year’s Vikings team has changed the baseball culture at Lawrence in a jiffy.