Lawrence baseball team on path toward warm spring

Zach Patrick-Riley

Though the past week has not been exactly perfection for the Lawrence University baseball team, they are on the right path with their strong showings against three great teams.
This last Fri., April 13, the Vikings took the opening game of a double header against UW-La Crosse with a strong pitching performance by Chris Clouthier, allowing only five hits and two runs through six and 2/3 innings.
Freshman pitcher Luke Kostreva was clutch in relief closing out the inning and getting his first college save. A strong batting performance came from Tommy Schmidt, who hit a triple in the gap to score two runs and then a sacrifice fly later in the game for a total of three RBIs.
The Vikings put forth a great effort the second game, with nice pitching from Kevin Kangas, who gave up only three hits but came short as four UW-La Crosse pitches combined to shut out the Vikings.
This Sun., April 15 the Lawrence University Vikings swept a doubleheader from Finlandia University 9-8 and 4-3 with a synergistic performance from the entire team.
When a job needed to be done, the Vikings did it. Whether it was a runner in scoring position being batted in, a bases-loaded strikeout, or inning ending double play – the Lawrence baseball players got it done.
Both games included stellar pitching performances.
Alex Fritsch got his first win of the season by pitching four innings of one-hit relief. Senior Brad Hauser was in the zone on Sunday as he knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth.
Hauser then pitched the second game, getting his first win of the season by scattering eight hits, seven strikeouts, and three runs in a complete game effort.
Tues., April 17, the Vikings won one of two hard-fought games against UW-Stout. With smart batting, Hawk Haiduke and Fritsch each recorded an RBI in the first game to put the Vikes up 2-1 before the seventh inning.
Senior starter Clouthier had a great pitching performance, but due to little slap hits and wimpy bunt singles, UW-Stout pulled away with the win.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Vikings bounced back with force to score six runs to give Kangas plenty of comfort so he could record his first collegiate win at Lawrence. Kangas has pitched great all year and Tuesday was no exception.
Kangas only gave up four hits and two runs while striking out seven in his five innings of work. He was supported by Lawrence’s offense who may not have had the home run bombs, but had batters putting the ball in play when their was a runner on third or putting pressure on the other team leading to errors.
Overall, if you have not gotten out to see the Lawrence University baseball team lately, definitely do your best this weekend to change that. The weather is getting warmer and one can smell that wonderful spring scent.
I know I am going to attend Lawrence play conference games this weekend against St. Norbert and get a big whiff of Lawrence’s baseball players’ cleats burning up the base paths and Norbert’s bats whooshing through the air because, the Vikings, just like the weather, are about to get hot.