Wednesday, February 28, 2024

SJU Travels to Florida for Seven Baseball Games – Saint John’s University Athletics

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Saint John’s baseball travels to Florida for seven games – three in Port Charlotte and four in Ft. Myers – over a span of six days from March 6-11.

THE TRIP: The Johnnies start the trip Monday vs.  No. 5 Baldwin Wallace (Ohio), the first of three games in Port Charlotte before traveling southeast to play the remaining four games in Ft. Myers.

Port Charlotte, Fla.

-Monday, March 6: No. 5 Baldwin Wallace (Ohio), 11 a.m. ET – Live Stats | Live Video

-Tuesday, March 7: Misericordia (Pa.), 10:30 a.m. ET – Live Stats | Live Video; Lebanon Valley (Pa.), 2 p.m. ET – Live Video

Ft. Myers, Fla.

-Wednesday, March 8: Pittsburgh-Bradford (Pa.), 12 p.m. ET

-Thursday, March 9: Hiram (Ohio), 3 p.m. ET – Live Stats

-Friday, March 10: Wabash (Ind.), 12 p.m. ET 

-Saturday, March 11: Augustana (Ill.), 10 a.m. ET

A LOOK AT THE JOHNNIES: Saint John’s started its 2023 season with a 1-2 record against Luther (Iowa) last weekend (Feb. 25-26) on the University of Saint Mary campus in Leavenworth, Kan. 

Game 1

The Johnnies totaled 18 hits, including the go-ahead home run from senior Max Nyrop (Alameda, Calif.) in the top of the 10th inning for a 10-9 win in game one. Three Johnnies – Nyrop and juniors Jordan Amundson (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and Owen Best (Aurora, Colo./Regis Jesuit) – collected four hits apiece and combined for five runs scored and nine RBI. Amundson smacked two doubles and Best, who was making his Johnnie debut, hit a homer in the sixth inning and drove in five for the game.


Senior Wyatt Rudolf (Carver, Minn./Chanhassen) made his SJU debut and picked up the win in relief, allowing two runs on six hits with 10 strikeouts in six innings of work. Senior southpaw Casey Trapp (Blaine, Minn./Centennial) made the start and was tagged with seven runs – three earned – on seven hits in four innings. He struck out six in the no-decision.


Game 2

The Norse scored six of their eight runs in the second inning and the team’s ace – Ryan Manternach -took care of the rest as Luther earned the split with an 8-0 win. The All-ARC first-team selection a year ago held SJU to three singles in the complete-game, seven-inning shutout.

The Johnnies loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the sixth inning, but Nyrop lined a screamer at the second baseman and Amundson grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Junior Griffin Larson (Edina, Minn.) took the loss, allowing seven runs (five earned) on four hits in two innings. Senior Jack Haring (Ham Lake, Minn./Blaine) pitched two hitless innings of relief with two strikeouts and classmate Cade Marsolek (Savage, Minn./Burnsville) took the final two innings and allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts.

Game 3

The Johnnies left eight men on base and committed four errors in a 5-1, series-ending loss. The Norse plated two runs in the first inning and added another, thanks to a leadoff walk, in the third. 


SJU found the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning when senior second baseman Owen Dauk (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) started the frame with a double and scored on an RBI single from junior third baseman Joe Becker (New Prague, Minn.) in the next at-bat. Luther added an insurance run in the eighth and ninth innings. Becker and Nyrop led SJU with two hits apiece. 


Three sophomores provided the pitching for SJU. Lefty Will Fazio (Minneapolis, Minn./Blake) took the hard-luck loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked two. Tien Foudray (Excelsior, Minn./Holy Family Catholic) surrendered an unearned run in two innings of relief and Connor Hartley (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Rosemount) pitched the ninth.

MIAC ATHLETES OF THE WEEK: Nyrop and Rudolf were named the MIAC Baseball Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, on Monday (Feb. 27).


Nyrop batted .583 (7-for-12) with a home run and two RBI as SJU went 1-2 against Luther (Iowa) over the weekend in Leavenworth, Kan. His solo homer in the top of the 10th inning proved to be the game-winning run in the 10-9 victory in Saturday’s season and series opener. Nyrop batted 4-for-6 with runners on base and 2-for-3 with two outs in the three games. 


Rudolf made his SJU debut and picked up the win in relief, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings of work in Saturday’s extra-inning victory. The transfer from Division II Concordia-St. Paul struck out 10.

IN THE RECORD BOOK: Nyrop’s home run last Saturday enabled the senior to move into a tie for third on SJU’s all-time list with 19, six behind the record of 25 held by former teammate Ethan Roe ’22. He is also now ninth in program history with 92 RBI, 18 from the record of 110 set by Max Jackson ’19.

LAST YEAR’S TRIP: SJU posted a 3-8 record over its 11-game, nine-day spring-break trip last year (March 5-13, 2022) in Florida. The Johnnies went 2-4 in Ft. Myers, in which three of the four losses were by one run and the other was in extra innings, and 1-4 in Port Charlotte. SJU started the five-game schedule in Port Charlotte with a 20-8 win over then-No. 2 Marietta (Ohio), but lost the next four. The three of the four opponents are either ranked nationally (No. 5 North Central and No. 15 Denison) or receiving votes (Wooster).  

The Johnnies hit 11 home runs over the 11-game road stretch and batted .324 (33-for-102) with runners in scoring position, including .400 (6-for-15) with the bases loaded. SJU, however, batted .223 (27-for-121) with two outs and 31 of the 81 strikeouts at the plate were looking. The pitching staff, meanwhile, posted a 7.23 ERA and issued 72 free passes – 39 walks and 33 hit batsmen – in 93.1 innings pitched. The opposition batted .332 with 33 extra-base hits (23 doubles, four triples and six homers).


-Baldwin Wallace (Ohio): The Yellow Jackets are 5-1 and ranked No. 5 in the country…Baldwin Wallace starts its trip Saturday and plays three games before facing SJU Monday morning…BWU finished third in the Ohio Athletic Conference with a 12-5 record last season, but earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament and won five-straight games en route to the Division III World Series…the team went 0-2 to finish with a 37-13 record.

-Misericordia (Pa.): Misericordia is 1-2 and plays four games – the opener vs. Baldwin Wallace and two vs. Wabash (Ind.) – before Tuesday’s meeting with the Johnnies…the Cougars claimed second in the Middle Atlantic Conference’s Freedom Division with a 15-6 record (28-17 overall).

-Lebanon Valley (Pa.): The Dutchmen are 0-3-1 and begin their trip with two, nine-inning games Monday and face Wabash Tuesday morning before the contest vs. SJU that afternoon…Lebanon Valley won the Middle Atlantic Conference’s Commonwealth Division with a 13-3 record and hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time in program history last spring…LVC finished 30-16 overall.

-Pittsburgh-Bradford (Pa.): The Panthers are 3-5 and face Hiram (Ohio) in a doubleheader Monday before Wednesday’s showdown with SJU…the team was scheduled to open the trip Sunday with a doubleheader vs. Finlandia (Mich.), but Finlandia canceled its season after the institution announced it was closing on March 2…UPB finished 12-23 overall and 5-11 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference last season.

-Hiram (Ohio): The Florida trip serves as the first games for Hiram, which will play six before Thursday’s contest vs. SJU…Hiram finished 17-23 overall last season and 6-12 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

-Wabash (Ind.): Wabash is 4-2 and starts its trip Sunday with a doubleheader vs. Misericordia…the Little Giants posted a 20-19 overall record, including a 4-14 mark in the North Coast Athletic Conference… Wabash, like SJU, is an all-male institution.

-Augustana (Ill.): Augustana is 3-2 and travels to Topeka, Kan., for three games – vs. Cornell (Iowa), Luther (Iowa) and Wisconsin-Platteville – this weekend before venturing south to Florida for its first contest on Thursday (vs. Pitt.-Bradford)…the Vikings went 11-7 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin in 2022, but won the CCIW Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Regional at Aurora (Ill.)…Augie went 1-2 to finish with a 34-12 record.

SERIES HISTORIES: Next week’s games are the first for SJU against the likes of Lebanon Valley, Misericordia and Wabash on the baseball diamond. The Johnnies split their doubleheader against Hiram last spring, taking the first game 7-1 before spotting the Terriers a 5-0 lead in the first inning in an eventual 8-7 defeat. Haugen’s crew is 3-0 all-time against Pitt.-Bradford, all in Florida: a doubleheader sweep (5-0 and 4-1) in 2017 and 13-1 in 2018. 

SJU is 0-1-1 all-time against Baldwin Wallace, a 9-9 tie in 11 innings in 1997 and a 5-4 loss in 10 innings at the 2019 NCAA Regional in Chicago, and aims for its first win vs. Augustana (Ill.). The Johnnies are 0-5 all-time against the Vikings, in which three of the five games were decided by two runs or less. SJU opened its 2022 spring-break trip with a narrow 5-4 loss.


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