Another day, another crazy game for the Carthage College baseball team (5-4), as the Red Men defeated Bethany Lutheran College (0-1), 27-14 in seven innings, on Sunday, March 10 in Tucson, Ariz. The game was the opener of a doubleheader.
Carthage took out its frustrations on Bethany Lutheran with a 12-run first inning, 10 of those runs after two outs. The Red Men sent 17 batters to the plate in the opening frame, and the 12 runs scored just missed tying a school-record 13 runs set against Elmhurst College on April 4, 2006.
Colton Klein led off the game with a single, and Luke Beckmann followed with a two-run homer to give Carthage an early, 2-0 lead. With two outs, the Red Men loaded the bases. Jim Mundo and Jake Snider both worked bases-loaded walks to force in two more runs for a 4-0 margin. Klein, turning the batting order over, singled up the middle to drive home two runs. Beckmann then reached base on an infield error to score another run for a 7-0 lead. Vince Schwartz singled up the middle to drive in two more runs, and the Red Men led, 9-0. Johnny Belskis followed with a two-run single to left, and the score went to 11-0. Ricky Bergstrom kept the hit parade going with a single through the left side scoring the 12th run of the inning. Mundo finally struck out looking to end the 40-minute half-inning.
A two-run homer by Nick Caldeen in the bottom of the first got the Vikings on the board, but a two-run double by Cody Phelps in the second inning put Carthage back up by 12, 14-2. Bethany Lutheran scored four times in the bottom of the second, two on a double by Grant Becher to cut the lead to 14-6.
Klein singled in a run in the third, and Carthage added two more in the fourth to up the margin to 17-6. Myles Farley hit an RBI-triple and Mundo and RBI-double in the fourth. The Vikings scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 17-7.
Just when you thought it couldn't get any crazier, it did, as Carthage put up a 10-spot in the fifth, including six runs with two outs, to go up by 20 runs, 27-7. The damage in the fifth was done with a two-run double by Belskis, an RBI-single by Bergstrom, a Snider sacrifice fly, a two-run triple by Beckmann, an RBI-single by Phelps, an RBI-double by Schwartz and a two-run home by Farley. The Vikings scored twice in the bottom of the fifth and five in the sixth to close out the scoring at 27-14.
Klein led the 27-hit onslaught by going five-for-five with four runs scored, a double and three RBI to raise his season batting average to .610 (24-for-41). Schwartz had four hits in six trips with five runs scored and three RBI. Phelps, Farley, Belskis, Bergstrom and Mundo had three hits each, with Beckmann and Belskis driving in four runs apiece.
Carthage starting pitcher Nate Odahl didn't last long, even with a 12-run lead, exiting in the second inning after giving up six runs on five hits and two walks. He was replaced by Clark Hendricks (2-0), who was credited with the win despite allowing three runs on two hits and three walks over three and one-third innings. Ben Rietz worked the final two frames. Logan Nissen (0-1) took the loss for the Vikings by surrendering 11 runs in the first two-thirds of an inning.
From the Carthage record book:
- The 26 RBI tied a mark set against North Park University of April 6, 2000.
- Vince Schwartz and Myles Farley, with five runs scored each, both equaled a school game record held by five others, most recently by Mike Petti versus Wheaton College (Ill.) on April 13, 2011.
- The 27 runs just missed a school record of 28 set against North Park in that 2000 game. The 27 hits was two short of a game-record 29 hits, also against North Park on May 7, 1993.
Carthage wraps up its spring trip to the Tucson Invitational on Monday with a 9 a.m. contest against Wesleyan University.