Baseball: Raiders Sweep Saint Mary's in Two Close Games: Krolikowski Gets Career-High in Strikeouts

Darren Krolikowski
Darren Krolikowski

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – Mount Union's baseball team swept Saint Mary's (Minn.) winning game one 6-5 and 3-2 in eight innings Saturday night at the Lake Myrtle Complex in Auburndale, Florida.

With the sweep, the Raiders have won four straight and set their record at 4-1 while St. Mary's ends their spring trip with a record of 3-6.

Game one saw senior Beau Taylor (Alliance/West Branch) get his first win of the year as he went 4.2 giving up nine hits and five runs, four of them earned while having two strikeouts. Fellow senior Mike Martin (Independence) came in and pitched the last 2.1 which earned him the save as he gave up just two hits with three strikeouts.

Juniors Nate Owen (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) and Travis Wood (Hudson) along with senior Christian Stanziano (Oberlin/Elyria Catholic) led the Raiders offense with two hits apiece.

The Cardinals jumped on Taylor early as they scored one run in each of the first two innings to lead 2-0.

In the bottom of the second, the Raiders answered with four runs all with two outs. With the bases loaded, Owen drove in Jimmy Scott (Holland/Toledo St. John's) and Wood with a rip to left field to knot the game at two. Neil Hutchison (Northfield N.J./Mainland Regional) scored on a wild pitch for the Raiders to take the lead and senior Billy Goodall (Canfield/South Range) ripped a double down the right field line to score Owen and put the Raiders up 4-2.

After a 1-2-3 third inning from Taylor, the Raiders added two clutch runs. Jimmy Scott scored on a wild pitch and Stanziano had his dribbler hit third base to stay fair and score Collin Scott (Richmond/Edison) which sent the Raiders to a 6-2 lead.

Saint Mary's made some noise in the fifth inning as they scored three runs on three consecutive doubles off of Taylor which led to Martin shutting the Cardinal offense down the rest of the game in order to pick up the save.

Game two was a pitcher's duel from the start as senior Darren Krolikowski (Independence) and freshman James Green of St. Mary's matched each other pitch for pitch.

Darren Krolikowski went the distance in the 3-2 win as he recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts in his first start of his Mount Union career.

The Raiders got on the board in the top of the second as junior Niklas Kuriger (Atco, N.J./Winslow Township) hit a sacrifice fly out to right field to score Jimmy Scott.

It took until the fourth for the Cardinals to match the score as an error by Krolikowski allowed a runner to come around from first to score the tying run.

In the top of the seventh, the Raiders broke the tie as Stanziano got the second hit of the night for the Raiders and scored on an error by the Cardinals right fielder that was hit by Jimmy Scott with two outs.

The Cardinals would answer in the bottom half of the seventh as they hit two singles in the inning and knotted the game at two and send both teams into extra innings.

In the eighth, junior Jake Smith (Salem/West Branch) started the inning by reaching on an error by the shortstop. Hutchison reached on a bunt single and advanced the pinch runner Nate Emerson (Franklin, Pa./Franklin Area). After a walk to Stanziano that loaded the bases, Goodall came up and looked at four balls as well to score Emerson.

The Raiders will be back in action on Monday, March 5th as they take on Desales (Pa.) in a single 9-inning game at Chain O'Lakes Stadium in Auburndale, Florida with the first pitch coming at 1 p.m.