St. Thomas Baseball Summit League Champions 2024
Wesley Dean

St. Thomas Baseball Earns First Summit League Title of D-I Era

In just its third season of D-I play, St. Thomas Baseball has earned the university its first Summit League conference title. The Tommies clinched the championship on May 18 during the final game of the 2024 season, defeating Oral Roberts 7–5.

With the title on the line, a strong start lifted St. Thomas over the defending conference champions. First-year Matthew Maulik got the Tommies on the board with a three-run homer in the first inning, and the team never looked back.

“The whole experience and season felt surreal,” Maulik said, who recorded a team high 19 multi-hit games this season. “We had a great group of guys, and the chemistry was unmatched. It was awesome especially as a freshman.”

It’s been a rapid rise to the top of the Summit League standings for the Tommies as they doubled their win total from a season ago. Finishing 22-24 overall (16-10 Summit League), this year’s squad is also the first scholarship team at St. Thomas to win a championship.

Kolby Gartner throws a pitch in the final game of the 2024 season.
Kolby Gartner throws a pitch in the final game of the 2024 season. (Wesley Dean)

For head coach Chris Olean, who began his 15th season with St. Thomas in 2024, this year’s title represents many years of work for the program.

“We had to overcome a lot of challenges as we transitioned to Division I, figuring out what this level is and how we could win together as a team,” Olean said. “To see all of that time and talent come together on the field, that was, for me, just really rewarding.”

“How does it feel to know that this time will be talked about forever?” President Rob Vischer said on the field to the winning Tommies after the game.

St. Thomas was selected to finish sixth in the Summit Preseason Poll. An offensive explosion propelled the team to the very top. This spring, the Tommies recorded 307 runs in 46 games. In 2023, the Tommies recorded 186 runs through 44 games.

Coach Olean is taking some time to celebrate this year’s accomplishments, but already has his eye on next year – one that should have the Tommies in contention again for another title.

“Every single year is different – you have to remake the team and figure out the culture and what makes that group tick,” Olean said. “But we really like the talent we have coming in next year and we like the talent we have coming back.”