It's been a brutally harsh spring weather-wise, but for Carroll University baseball fans the spring thaw was worth the wait. The opening weekend of Midwest Conference baseball has brought joy to the Pioneers following several lean years the past decade-plus.
For the first time since 2003, Carroll won 3-of-4 games against perennial MWC powerhouse, St. Norbert College, handing the Green Knights their first MWC series loss since 2006.
The Stein Rear era started a little slowly, but by mid-day on Saturday, fortunes had turned. Saturday began with St. Norbert clobbering Carroll, 12-1 but it ended with perhaps a season-turning 2-1 Pioneer victory in game two.
It was all Carroll on Sunday, and just like game two on Saturday, it started with CU pitchers. Kevin Dineen went 7.2 innings in game one while Tyler Robers pitched a complete game in the nightcap.
Game 1 recap
Dineen gave up just six hits over 7.2 innings. He struck out four batters and walked just two. St. Norbert's lone run was unearned. Danny Arden came on in relief to get the 1.1 inning hitless save.
Ben Turner led CU with two runs batted in. CU led 2-0 after 1-inning; 3-0 after 3-innings; 3-1 after 5-innings; 5-1 after 6-innings.
Game 2 recap
It was Robers turn to wheel and deal on the mound. He went the distance and gave up just eight hits and two runs while striking out nine and walking just one.
Turner and Kyle Sykes had drove in runs for CU but it was Alex Olson's solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning that sent shockwaves around the MWC.
Thanks to poor field conditions in De Pere, all four games were played at the friendly confines of Frame Park.