Spring break trip sparks new confidence

Anika Besst, Guest Reporter

Hamline’s baseball team returns from the Tucson Invitational spring break trip sunburned and striving for a great season. 

They went 2–5, with three of their losses going into extra-innings. 

“I think it was a good trip overall, we were in a lot of close games,” sophomore Finn Melchior said. “We are right there talent, wise.”

Out of the seven games, six were one-run games. 

“I think overall, I am feeling pretty good. Especially being that close in the games we lost,” Sophomore Caden Erickson. 

Highlights of the week included strong offense and leadership from returning players. 

“We are really close to breaking through the barriers of the past seasons,” Erickson said. “We’re ready to show people we are capable of more.”

The Pipers are looking to improve on the past two seasons where they finished 14–26 and 14–25, respectively. 

Baseball used this trip to not only warm up for the season, but to also gel as a team for 2023. 

“We bonded well as a team over the week,” Melchior said. “It was fun having those bonding experiences in Tucson.”

The Tucson trip started March 11 with the Pipers dropping both games of a doubleheader with Sul Ross State. 

Hamline was up 3–2 in the sixth inning after Senior Mac Enlow singled and later scored the go-ahead run on a Sul Ross State error.  

However, later that same inning that Sul Ross State went ahead to stay with two runs on a base hit. 

This was followed by a 29–8 loss on March 12 against Concordia (Wis.). In the eight inning game, Hamline used six pitchers. 

The game featured 16 hits from the Pipers with senior Max Gerstner the offensive star going four-for-five with two runs scored and three RBIs. 

The Pipers came back strong the next day with a 5–4 win against Otterbein. 

After back and forth leads from each team, a series of errors and intentional walks in the tied-up ninth inning led to Junior Colin Schuetz’s game-winning RBI-single.

“There’s bright spots offensively. We’ll definitely build on that and keep going,” Erickson said.  

Their longest game, a 12 inning marathon, was played on March 15 against Carthage’s Firebirds with the Pipers on the short-end of a 5–4 game. 

The offense was fueled by Erickson who hit a two-run home run and drove in a third with a double.

Two days later the Pipers turned the tables on Carthage winning 5–4 with pitcher Sophomore Dalton Maxwell finishing the game with three and 2/3rds inning of relief.

Their final game in Tucson against the Redlands was a 10-inning 10–9 loss. Along with the 19 runs, the teams combined for 28 hits. For the most updated stats and records, visit hamlineathletics.com. 

Pipers baseball will begin the MIAC season on April 1 against Gustavus. 

After the successes and team-building in Tucson, the baseball team is looking forward to starting MIAC play. 

“The trip gives us confidence as we go into the conference season,” Erickson said.