Ripon takes season series from Vikings

Andy York

The Lawrence University baseball team played all four of its games against Ripon College this past weekend, and lost all four to the Redhawks. The Vikings lost at home 8-2 and 12-0, and then lost at Ripon 9-8 and 2-1.At home, the Vikings couldn’t shut down the powerful Ripon offense, and seemed unable to hit the ball. In the first game, the Vikings took an early 2-0 lead after four innings, but then LU starter Aaron Sorenson got in trouble, and LU reliever Chris Clouthier gave him no help. Dan Williams hit a three-run shot for the Redhawks to give them a 3-2 lead in the fifth, and the floodgates opened. The Redhawks added two more in the sixth, and three more in the seventh, to make the score 8-2.

The second game was all Ripon from the start, as they scored seven runs in the second and four more in the third to take all the wind out of the Vikings sails. The Vikings committed two costly errors, and only four of the 11 runs were earned. The Vikings couldn’t get a hit off of Ripon pitcher Noah Wishau, who struck out 10 and gave up only four hits in the victory.

After weather postponed the games at Ripon on the first day, the teams met three days later. The games were much closer, but LU couldn’t squeak one out. In the first game, both pitchers threw well. Sorenson was on the hill for LU, and he gave up only four hits. Unfortunately, one was a solo home run in the fourth, followed by a double and a single in the fifth. Andrew Wong scored the only run for LU on his solo home run in the fourth as well. The Vikings could only manage one single in the seventh, and took the loss.

In the second game, the scoring went back and forth. LU took a 2-0 lead, then fell behind 3-2, and regained the lead at 4-3. Ripon made it 5-4 in the fifth, and added four in the bottom of the eighth to take a 9-4 lead. LU scored four in the top of the ninth, but needed five. The Vikings strung a bunch of singles together for their first two runs, and in the fourth, it was a Jared Catenacci two-RBI single that gave the Vikings the lead again. The Vikings pitchers got roughed up in the eighth by Ripon. After a double, a triple, a walk and a wild pitch both LU pitchers, B.J. Chase and Matt Papke, were pulled.

The Vikings nearly came back in the ninth. Doug Coe singled with the bases loaded and no outs, bringing in two runs and cutting the lead to 9-6. Brad Hauser walked with the bases loaded to force in another run, making it 9-7. An RBI ground out made it 9-8, and with runners on second and third with two outs, Ben Clark grounded out to end the game and Ripon walked away with the 9-8 win.

The Vikings are next in action Sunday, at home against Lakeland.