St. Scholastica narrowly escapes with 1-0 win against St. Thomas (Minn.)
WHITEWATER, Wis. -- St. Scholastica needed just one run to take down top-seeded St. Thomas (Minn.) on Wednesday, defeating the Tommies 1-0 to open the Whitewater Regional of the NCAA Division III tournament.
It was a typical CSS-St. Thomas game, which saw great pitching performances from both starters, Kyle Jensen for the Saints and Steve Maher for the Tommies.
Jensen went six innings for the Saints and struck out six, while allowing just four hits. Maher went 8.1 innings, did not allow an earned run, struck out three and scattered seven hits.
CSS threatened first in the top of the fifth as Tyler Henderson led off the inning with a single. Jordan O'Neill then got Henderson to third with a single to right field. However, on the next play Henderson was cut down at home plate on a ground ball to shortstop and the Saints went down quietly in the inning.
After St. Thomas (33-6) stranded a runner at third to end the sixth, Andy Schwantes led off the seventh with a single. It was the fourth consecutive inning the Saints had the leadoff hitter on base.
With Schwantes on first and Henderson at the plate, Henderson laid down a bunt that was grabbed by the catcher right at home plate. The ball was ruled fair and the catcher tried to gun down Schwantes at second, but was unsuccessful. The Tommies got Henderson at first, but on the throw to first, Schwantes broke for third where no one was covering. The throw by the first baseman went over the third baseman and Schwantes scored on the play to give CSS a 1-0 lead.
Thomas Rogers took over for Jensen in the seventh and stranded a St. Thomas runner at third in the inning. In the eighth, the Tommies got another runner on third with one out, but a line out to the shortstop and a fly out ended the threat. In the ninth, St. Thomas had runners at first and second with two outs, but Rogers induced a fly out to end it and give the Saints the 1-0 victory.
Jensen improved to 5-2 with the win, while Rogers earned his ninth save of the season. Kyle Flagstad and Schwantes each had two hits to lead the CSS offense. The Saints out-hit the Tommies 7-6. Jake Casareto saw his 22-game hitting streak come to an end.