The St. Olaf baseball team’s non-conference success has continued into the conference slate of games. The team began their season with trips to Arizona and Florida, where they posted wins of 3-2 and 6-2, respectively. Furthermore, through the first six games of MIAC conference play, St. Olaf tops the standings, despite being picked to finish 8th in the preseason poll. St. Olaf has an overall record of 14-5. If the team can maintain their momentum and finish in the top four of the conference standings, they could make a surprise trip to the MIAC playoffs.
Over spring break, St. Olaf traveled to Auburndale, Florida for eight games in seven days. Over the trip, St. Olaf only dropped two of the games, while winning the other six. Highlights of the trip included wins against UW-Stevens Point and Union College.
Back in Minnesota, the winning has not stopped. The team started their conference schedule with sweeps over Hamline and Augsburg. Against Hamline, the team won 3-2 and 4-1 before beating Augsburg 9-8 and 9-0 a few days later. In the first game against Augsburg, St. Olaf held a 6-4 lead heading into the final inning before giving up four runs in the top half of the inning. However, in the bottom half of the innings St. Olaf stormed back, beating the Auggies on a three-run walk-off home run from Ryan Torbenson ’20 .
In their most recent contests, St. Olaf split a doubleheader against St. Mary’s, dropping the first game 3-2, before roaring back for a 13-2 win in the second game. With a 5-1 conference record, the team currently sits atop the MIAC standings.
At the plate, St. Olaf has been paced by a slate of players. Infielder Matthew Muller ’21 leads the team and is third in the conference with a .434 batting average. Meanwhile, outfielder Sam Pressman ’20 and infielder Dylan Blake ’20 are tied for the conference lead in runs batted in with 23 each. Torbenson tops the team with his two home runs.
On the base paths, outfielder TJ Rogers ’21 is second in the conference with 14 stolen bases. Jesse Retzlaff ’20 and Sam Westermayer ’22 have been the top pitchers for the team so far. Retzlaff sits with a 4-0 record and 1.48 ERA, while Westermayer also boasts a 4-0 record to go along with a 1.42 ERA.
The team possesses depth, an arsenal of young talent and veteran leadership under several seniors with years of experience. The team looks to keep winning in hopes of a playoff berth down the road.
St. Olaf’s upcoming schedule includes a game on April 11 against Division II Concordia (St. Paul) before facing Concordia (Moorhead) for a doubleheader on April 13.