APPLETON, Wis. -- The Lawrence University baseball team rallied in both games of Saturday's Midwest Conference doubleheader to sweep Beloit College and earn a pair of critical league victories.
Lawrence scored a walk-off 6-5 win in the opener and then grabbed a 5-2 victory in the nightcap at Whiting Field.
The wins move Lawrence (13-19, 6-8 MWC) into a three-way tie for second place in the North Division with Beloit (20-15, 6-8) and Ripon College. A Lawrence win in Sunday's doubleheader at Beloit, coupled with a St. Norbert College win over Ripon on Sunday, would put the Vikings in the four-team league tournament.
The Vikings got a trio of fine pitching performances and some timely hitting to pick up the sweep.
In the opener, Beloit built a 5-1 lead before Lawrence started clawing back in the fifth inning. The Vikings started the inning with a double from Andrew Lauber and Nolan Spencer's single. Zach Rabideau squeezed home a run, and Matthew Holliday's ground out scored another to trim the lead to 5-3.
Lawrence got two more runs in the sixth to tie it. Rudy Mueller-Schrader reached on an error, and Anthony Ortiz followed with an infield single. Mike Brady then doubled to score Mueller-Schrader, and Lauber's ground out scored Ortiz to tie the game at 5-5.
The score stayed that way until the bottom of the ninth. Spencer singled to start the inning, and Rabideau followed with a bunt to move Spencer to second. Holliday's sharp single to left scored Spencer to give the Vikings a walk-off win.
Spencer went 4-for-5 and scored a pair of runs to pace the Vikings. Holliday was 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, and Rabideau and Lauber both went 2-for-4 and drove in a run.
Mike Brady worked two innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win. Chris Shaw made the start and tossed seven strong innings for Lawrence. He allowed seven hits and two earned runs, struck out three and walked five. Connor McCloskey worked the final two innings and took the loss for Beloit.
In the nightcap, Lawrence tied it in the seventh and pulled ahead in the eighth to get the win.
Travis Weber gave the Vikings an early 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the second, but Beloit scored in the third and sixth to take a 2-1 edge. Lawrence evened it at 2-2 when Brady singled to start the seventh and later scored on Lauber's single.
Holliday led off the eighth with a single that dropped just fair down the right field line. After a pair of outs, Mueller-Schrader singled up the middle to score Holliday and put Lawrence up 3-2. After a Brady double put runners at second and third, Ortiz followed with a two-run single to give the Vikings a 5-2 edge.
Brady came on in relief in the ninth and allowed an infield single and a walk to bring the tying run to the plate with two outs. He struck out Jake Baltierrez to secure the win and pick up his third save of the season.
Kyle Duex went eight strong innings to pick up the win. He allowed 10 hits, struck out a career-high 11 and walked two. Jacob Sligar worked the final four innings and took the loss for Beloit.
Brady went 3-for-4 and scored two runs for the Vikings, and Holliday and Mueller-Schrader both went 2-for-4.