Green Knights Split to Open MWC Tournament

From Sports Information Director, May 10, 2013 | Baseball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

RIPON - St. Norbert College faces a long road back if it wishes to repeat as Midwest Conference championship after the Green Knights split a pair of games Friday to open the MWC Tournament. The Green Knights topped Knox College 7-0 in the opener before dropping an 8-7 decision to Ripon College at Francis Field.

The Green Knights (25-12) will face Knox College (22-12) in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Saturday at Francis Field. The winner will then have to dispatch the Red Hawks (23-13) twice in order to claim the MWC title.

St. Norbert benefited from a two-hit shutout by Matt Freeman in the opener. Freeman walked only one and struck out four to pace the Green Knights over the Prairie Fire.

Alex Larsen had a two-run double in the first inning, and Jose Godinez had an RBI single in the fifth. Godinez had a three-run double in the seventh inning to break open the game, and he added another RBI single in the ninth.

Godinez finished 3-for-5 with five RBIs against Knox, while Chad Ljunggren was 3-for-5 with four runs scored.

St. Norbert got off to a fast start against Ripon, scoring four times in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-1 lead. Travis Mason had a two-run double, and two runs scored later on an infield error.

The Red Hawks cut the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth before the Green Knights got one run back on an RBI double by Godinez.

Neither team scored again until Ripon scored five times on five hits in the top of the eighth inning for an 8-5 lead. St. Norbert made a last-ditch rally in the bottom of the ninth, scoring twice on a bases-loaded walk to Larsen and Cameron Jerina driving in a run on a fielders' choice. The Green Knights had the bases loaded with two outs but Brandon Kozinski's line drive was corralled in the outfield to end the game.

St. Norbert outhit Ripon 14-10 but left 11 runners on base to the Red Hawks' five. Mason was 3-for-5, while Godinez and Ljunggren had two hits apiece. Kevin Nutley took the loss, allowing seven hits, six earned runs, three walks with three strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings pitched.