|R.J. Brown is the first pitcher to toss two no-hitters in the same season since Jake Perkins did it for Ferrum in 2014.
St. Mary's (Minn.) athletics photo
NORTHFIELD, Minn. — On March 17, R.J. Brown (Broadview, Ill.) found himself in among rare company in Saint Mary's University of Minnesota baseball history, tossing the Cardinals' first no-hitter in more than two decades.
On Friday, the Cardinal right-hander found himself in even rarer company.
Brown became the first Cardinal pitcher on record to throw two no-hitters in a single season, allowing just three base runners in leading Saint Mary's to a 4-0 win in the opening game of its Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against Carleton at Mel Taube Field.
The Cardinals recorded their second straight four-run performance in the nightcap—and for the second time in as many games, four runs proved to be more than enough, as Jake Barry (Tinley Park, Ill.) broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to lift Saint Mary's to a sweep-clinching 4-2 victory.
Brown—who allowed just three base runners, two via Cardinal errors and the other on a second-inning hit batter, en route to his first no-hitter against Aurora on March 17—was just as stingy against Carleton on Friday. The junior right-hander once again allowed just three base runners—one on a third-inning walk and the other two on back-to-back walks in the fourth—while striking out three. He induced the Knights into 10 groundball outs and eight fly ball outs.
While Brown was being his usual untouchable self, the Cardinal offense made the most of its four Game 1 hits, getting an RBI single from Joe Seegers (Oconomowoc, Wis.) in the fifth and a two-run double by Justin Weinberg (Eagan, Minn.) in the sixth. Saint Mary's plated its other run—also in the fifth inning—on a passed ball.
Weinberg finished with two of Saint Mary's four hits in the opener—including his two-run double—with Seegers and Will Matthews (Geneva, Ill.) accounting for the other two.
Saint Mary's wasn't about to wait until the fifth inning to get on the scoreboard in the nightcap, as Bob Kinne (St. Paul, Minn.) reached on a two-out error in the top of the first, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a second straight wild pitch by Carleton pitcher Tyler Rolland.
Carleton did not waste a lot of time ending Cardinal starter Eli Morison's (Minneapolis, Minn.) no-hitter in Game 2, getting an RBI double from Brendon Fischel in the bottom of the first inning to knot the game at 1-1.
The Knights took their first lead of the afternoon with a solo run in the bottom of the fifth, but Saint Mary's answered with a run in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Chris Bartosz (Woodridge, Ill.), and took the lead for good in the seventh, thanks to a two-run home run by Jake Barry (Tinley Park, Ill.) in the seventh.
Carleton threatened in the bottom of the ninth, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but Cardinal reliever Ezekiel Chamblee (Zumbrota, Minn.) got Fischel to ground out to third to end the threat—and the game.
Bartosz finished 2-for-3 with an RBI, with Weinberg, Barry, and Bailey Melz ( all had one hit. Jacob Taschetta (Winfield, Ill.) earned his second win of the season, tossing 1.1 innings of hitless relief, while Chamblee collected his first collegiate save, blanking Carleton on two hits over the game's final two innings.
The Cardinals (6-8 MIAC, 15-17 overall) are right back in action on Saturday, hosting Concordia in a 1 p.m. conference doubleheader at Max Molock Field. Saturday is also Senior Day for Saint Mary's eight graduating seniors, as well as Strikeout Cancer Day.