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Late St. Norbert Rally Leads to Twinbill Sweep and MWC North Division Title

From Sports Information Director, May 2, 2009 | Baseball
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College used a ninth-inning rally in the second game of a Midwest Conference doubleheader to finish off a sweep of Lawrence University by scores of 17-7 and 7-6 in 10 innings.

The Green Knights (21-11, 12-4 MWC North) claimed their fourth MWC North Division championship in five years and will host the league championship tournament May 8-9.

St. Norbert led 4-1 going into the eighth inning but Lawrence answered with three runs in the eighth and two in the ninth to take a 6-4 lead. The Green Knights started the bottom of the ninth when Jared Yost beat out a slow roller to third and Tony Jandron singled to left. Yost and Jandron then had a double steal to move up to second and third with nobody out. Cory Fuller then hit a deep drive to left that was caught just shy of the fence to score Yost on a sacrifice fly. Jandron moved up to third on a flyout to right by Garrick Fisher. Ryan Gusick then singled with two strikes through the right side to tie the game.

Lawrence left two runners on in the top of the tenth. St. Norbert opened its half of the inning with a strikeout, but Brett Birkholz singled to reach. Yost then doubled to deep right to put runners on second and third. Jandron was intentionally walked to load the bases. With Lawrence's infielders at double-play depth, Fuller hit a grounder to short, but beat the relay to first by a step to drive in the winning run.

Yost and Birkholz were both 4-for-6, with Yost scoring three runs and Birkholz two. Fuller was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in, while Jandron was 2-for-5 and Brandon Hintz 2-for-6. St. Norbert had 17 hits in the game. Jandron earned the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief. Justin Wotachek got the start and allowed seven hits and four runs in 7 1/3 innings.

In the opener, St. Norbert and Lawrence were tied 7-7 after the Vikings' half of the fifth but the Green Knights scored the last 10 runs of the game. Fuller had an RBI double and Fisher a two-run single in the fifth to make it 10-7. St. Norbert scored twice in the sixth on a Birkholz squeeze bunt and a fielder's choice. The Green Knights then scored five times in the eighth to end the game. Birkholz had a two-run double, Jandron an RBI double and Fisher a two-run single in the inning.

Birkholz was 4-for-5 in the opener with three runs scored and three runs batted in. Fisher was 4-for-6 with six runs batted in, while Yost and Jandron had two hits apiece. St. Norbert had 16 hits in game one and 33 for the doubleheader.

Jordan Vater earned the win for St. Norbert, working four innings of scoreless relief. Vater allowed three hits with no walks and one strikeout.