The St. Thomas baseball team (13-13) swept the Bethany Lutheran College Vikings (15-7) 4-3 and 6-0 Monday at home in a non-conference doubleheader.
Right-handed freshman pitcher Jared Dehmer started for the Tommies, pitching five innings, allowing eight hits and three earned runs, and striking out five batters.
Dehmer loaded the bases twice and managed to escape with the help of solid defense. He only allowed one run in both situations.
He said he was used to pitching in high-stress situations from high school and said focus is crucial.
“You have to spot your pitches a lot better, aim for low corners, make sure they try to ground out,” Dehmer said.
The Tommies were up 3-2 until a passed ball in the sixth inning caused Bethany’s junior catcher Casey Woodside to score.
St. Thomas coach Chris Olean said the Tommies managed to rally back after the mistake.
“We did a few things in that game to hurt our self towards the end,” Olean said. “We shouldn’t have been in that position. The passed ball that allowed the tying run to score was big, but our guys found a way.”
He said the passed ball caused momentum.
“When you see a big play like that, you have to be ready for the other team to use that momentum, and it usually carries over to the next inning,” Olean said.
Junior second baseman Charles Bruchu helped the Tommies gain a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning with a key RBI single.
“In that situation, you’re just looking for a pitch in the middle of the plate that you can do something with,” Bruchu said. “You just [have] to stay loose and stay focused at the same time. You don’t want to get too over-focused and give in to the pressure.”
All nine Tommie starters had a hit in the first game.
Dorgan carries Tommies in second game
The Tommies won the second game 6-0 with the help of J.D. Dorgan’s home run and three RBIs.
Freshman left-handed pitcher Zach Franz threw 110 pitches in seven innings, allowing seven hits and no runs.
Franz said the number of pitches he threw didn’t phase him.
“I try keeping the intensity up,” Franz said. “You don’t really feel anything until after the game. As long as the coach will let me go, I’m going.”
Olean said he was pleasantly surprised with Franz’s performance.
“Having Zach throw a shutout in game two was surprising. He’s been good but certainly hasn’t put together a game like that,” Olean said. “Bethany’s got a good team, so we were expecting two pretty good games. He held them in check.”
St. Thomas will play Augsburg Wednesday at home.
“We played them in the MIAC conference tournament last year,” Olean said. “They were very good, and they gave us some good ball games.”
He added, “Overall today we played good baseball, and a lot of it is in our own hands, but it’s just fun to start winning again.”
Hannah Anderson can be reached at email@example.com.