The Lawrence University baseball team took all four games from Carroll this past weekend to leapfrog into third place in the Northern Division. The Vikings will need help to make the MWC tournament, which takes place in two weeks.The Vikings’ first win featured the fantastic pitching of Vikings ace Aaron Sorenson. Sorenson gave up only three hits and struck out nine batters in seven innings, as the Vikings cruised 5-0. The Vikings would score three runs in the fifth, headlined by Doug Coe’s first collegiate home run. He went 3-4 along with Brad Hauser to lead LU.
In the second game the Vikings jumped out early with four in the first and two more in the third, and then withstood a Carroll comeback to win 8-6. R.J. Rosenthal pitched six and a third innings, giving up five runs for the LU victory. Tom Ritzer pitched the last two and a third innings, giving up only two hits for his first save of the season. The Vikings offensive attack was headed up by Andrew Wong. Wong went 4-5 with four runs scored and a home run in the fifth, to lead LU.
Games three and four took place at Fox Cities Stadium, and in the first game, it was all LU from the get-go. B.J. Chase gave up one run in six innings for the win, but he had all the offensive support he could ask for as the Vikings cranked out a season high 19 hits and 18 runs in an 18-1 victory. Wong again was one of the players driving the LU offense. He went 3-4 with five runs scored and two doubles. Kevin Fitzsimmons also had an amazing game going 3-3 with four RBIs.
Game two was much closer, but Fitzsimmons would again play a pivotal role. He hit a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th inning to drive in the winning run in a 6-5 LU victory. The win was given to Hauser, his first collegiate win. He threw the last two innings, only giving up one run in the top of the ninth inning. Josh Ritchie threw eight good innings for LU before that. The Viking offense was anchored by Fitzsimmons. He went 3-4 including his game-winning hit.
The Vikings have two critical series ahead of them in the next two weekends. LU will host and then go to Beloit for two doubleheaders this weekend. If the Vikings can win all four games from the Buccaneers, they will have a chance to face St. Norbert next weekend in Miller Park in Milwaukee for a chance to advance to the MWC tournament.
Currently the Vikings are in third place in the Northern Division, three games behind the Green Knights. Two LU losses this weekend could put the Vikings out of the running for the second and final spot. The Green Knights will not have an easy road this weekend as well, as they play host to and go to first place Ripon, undefeated in the conference. Look for an in-depth preview of the St. Norbert series and the games in Miller Park in next week’s The Lawrentian.