St. Norbert Bashes Way to 2-0 Start at MWC Tournament

From Sports Information Director, May 11, 2012 | Baseball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

GRINNELL, Iowa - St. Norbert College is the lone unbeaten team remaining after winning a pair of games Friday at the Midwest Conference Tournament hosted by Grinnell College.

The Green Knights (25-11) opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over Knox College at William Penn University, and then pounded their way past Beloit College 14-0 in a winners' bracket game at Grinnell. St. Norbert, which has won 17 of its last 18 games, will face either Beloit or Grinnell in Saturday's 1 p.m. championship game. Either the Buccaneers or Pioneers would have to beat St. Norbert twice to steal the title.

St. Norbert scratched out single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings to squeak past Knox. Josh Honzik improved to 6-2 this season with a complete-game victory, allowing four hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts. Chris Hillesheim was 3-for-4 to lead the Green Knights offensively, who had 10 hits.

Garrick Fisher's RBI single in the third inning scored Jordan Powers for a 1-0 lead. The Prairie Fire tied the game in the fifth on Michael Schroeder's RBI triple, but St. Norbert answered in the bottom of the inning when Travis Mason scored on Hillesheim's infield hit and a Knox error. The Green Knights picked up a valuable insurance run in the sixth when Nick Pierre hit a solo home run to right field.

St. Norbert wasted little time in jumping on Beloit, scoring three runs in the first inning and then broke the game open with a big six-run frame in the fourth. Jose Godinez had a two-run single in the first, and Mason scored on a fielder's choice. In the fourth, Matt Hannon and Travis Mason had RBI singles. Fisher scored a run on a groundout, and Troy Rottier hammered a three-run double down the right-field line for a 9-0 lead. Hannon later added a two-run home run in the sixth inning for the game's final runs.

The Green Knights ripped 14 hits, with Powers going 3-for-5 and three runs scored. Hannon was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and four runs scored. Chad Ljunggren was 2-for-4, while Fisher was 2-for-5. Kevin Nutley worked the first five innings for the win, allowing just one hit with no walks and six strikeouts.