The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Royals open MIAC tournament with come-from-behind win over Johnnies

The Bethel University baseball team overcame a seven-run deficit Thursday night, scoring 17 unanswered runs to top Saint John’s University.
Aiden Penner
Ty Koehn got the start on the mound for the Royals Thursday night against Saint John’s, surrendering seven earned runs on 10 hits in four innings of work. Koehn posted a 3.71 ERA across five starts for the Royals in the regular season.

The Bethel University baseball team played the opening round of the MIAC tournament Thursday night at CHS Field in downtown St. Paul. The Royals’ opponents in the opening round matchup were the Saint John’s University Johnnies. Bethel came into the tournament hot, winning six of their last 10 games and five consecutive matchups against MIAC opponents to secure the second seed in the tournament. 

On the mound for the Royals was lefty Ty Koehn, who started five games during the regular season to the tune of a 3.71 ERA. The Johnnies got on the board quickly in the first, courtesy of a two-run home run off the bat of third baseman Joe Becker into the Royal bullpen in left. Saint John’s struck for two more in the third on a hard single to right by Jordan Amundson, plating two runs. 

Saint John’s loaded the bases in the top half of the fourth. Xavier Lortie recorded the first out of the inning, snagging a hot ground ball up the first base line and nailing the runner at the plate to record the first out. 

Andrew Mahlke promptly doubled deep to the right center gap for a double, clearing the bases and putting the Johnnies up 7-0. That closed the book on Royals starter Ty Koehn, who gave up seven earned runs and 10 hits in just four innings of work.  

Matthew Carlsen got the Royals on the board in the bottom half of the inning on a sharp line drive single to right, bringing home a run. Zach Thompson plated another run on a sacrifice fly to right. 

The Bethel bats continued to chip away at the deficit in the fifth, scoring three runs on a Noah Wenberg double deep to the left center field gap to bring the Royals back within two. Jordan Axberg provided a stellar relief for the Royals out of the bullpen, putting up zeros in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to keep the game within striking distance. 

Johnnie miscues on defense were the theme of the night with seven errors total, including a throwing error by third baseman Joe Becker in the sixth on a high chopper that allowed Bethel DH Chris Cannon to reach first and bring home the tying run from third. 

Xavier Lortie came to bat with the bases loaded once again in the seventh and promptly hit a line drive down the right field line into the corner for a three-RBI double, putting the Royals ahead 10-7. 

Things unraveled for the Johnnies in the bottom of the eighth, surrendering seven runs on four errors and allowing the Royals to end the game having gone up by 10 runs after seven innings of play. 

The win moves the Royals into prime position, needing one more win to earn a spot in the MIAC tournament final on Saturday afternoon. First they will have to contend with top-seeded St. Olaf, winners of the MIAC regular season title. The Oles swept the Royals in their regular season doubleheader matchup, winning by a combined score of 25-10. 

The Royals will send their ace John Solfest to the mound this time, however, with a shot at the MIAC championship game on the line. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m today at CHS Field.

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About the Contributors
Aiden Penner, Staff Reporter
Aiden Penner, 19, is a freshman journalism major. His favorite activities are snatching every rebound in pick-up basketball, driving the combine during harvest on his farm and researching obscure statistics on Baseball-Reference. His biggest flex is that he met Carl Azuz. [email protected] | 507.621.4619
Christopher Wrzesien, Staff Reporter
CJ Wrzesien, 24, is a communication major and journalism minor. He enjoys watching baseball, playing the guitar and playing the immaculate grid daily. If you need random sports information he's your guy. [email protected] | 407.937.9251

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