Sophomore catcher J.D. Dorgan went 3-for-4, including a one-out walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored the game tying and winning runs, as St. Thomas opened its 2012 baseball season with two one-run victories over No. 14-ranked St. Scholastica.
The Tommies are now 6-3 versus the Saints dating back to 2010 and are 4-0 against them on Opening Day under Head Coach Chris Olean.
UST rallied for a 3-2 win as the visitor in game one, and came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the nightcap, 4-3. An interesting start to the season for the Tommies after finishing last spring with a 3-8 record in one-run games, UST didn't record their first one-run victory until their fifteenth game of the season a year ago.
The Tommies (2-0), who avenged three close 2011 losses to the Saints, played errorless defense and walked just two batters on the night.
Righthander Steve Maher (SO-Burnsville/Holy Angels), a transfer from Iowa Central CC, worked into the seventh inning in game one. He fanned six, walked none and allowed just two runs. RHP Josh Kubitschek (JR-Lino Lakes/Centennial), a transfer from MSU Mankato, struck out two of the three batters he faced in relief for the save with the tying run at third base.
Dorgan picked a runner off first base with a runner already in scoring position to end one inning. The sophomore catcher also gunned down two attempted Saints base stealers in the two game double-header.
Junior shortstop Jon Kinsel's RBI single capped a three-run fourth inning rally for UST.
In game two, UST trailed 3-1 through five innings. After starter Dylan Thomas (JR-Lakeville/North) set down the first nine CSS baters in order, the Saints struck for five hits and three runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead.
The Toms added one run in the sixth on a two-out single by senior Dan Reichert and an error on the throw home.
Trailing 3-2 into their last at bat, UST loaded the bases with no outs. Pinch-hitter Tim Kuzniar walked, junior Ben Podobinski executed a slick bunt single in front of the plate, and sophomore Jack Hogan's sac bunt squirted away from the Saints' first baseman for an error. After a strikeout, Dorgan stroked a pitch deep into the left field corner that the diving Saints' leftfielder was unable to glove, allowing both runs to score.
Thomas worked into the sixth inning and allowed three runs, eight hits, two walks wth six strikeouts. Sophomore Jacob Nelson got a strikeout to strand two in the top of the sixth. Soph Mark Ulrich pitched a scoreless seventh and got the win for UST.
Dorgan, Podobinski and Dan Reichert each had three hits on the night for UST.
Parker Olson and Tom Juberian each had three hits on the doubleheader for CSS.
St. Thomas plays two more next Monday evening in the Metrodome against UW-LaCrosse.
Click here for Game 1 box:
Click here for Game 2 box: