Baseball hosts Briar Cliff and Dakota Wesleyan in weekend doubleheaders

Baseball hosts Briar Cliff and Dakota Wesleyan in weekend doubleheaders

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University baseball team will be back at home this weekend to host doubleheaders with Briar Cliff (7-15) on Saturday and with Dakota Wesleyan (14-8) on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. on both days as the Bulldogs ready themselves to open the GPAC schedule.

With high temperature forecasts of 62 on Saturday and 75 on Sunday, both doubleheaders are expected to be played as scheduled.

All Concordia varsity baseball home games can be watched live via the Concordia Sports Network.

Team breakdowns
*GPAC rank in parentheses

Concordia (10-14)
Head coach: Jeremy Geidel (17th year)
BA: .285 (8th)
SLG: .361 (8th)
Runs/game: 6.1 (6th)
ERA: 5.06 (8th)
Opponents’ BA: .325 (9th)
K’s: 109 (6th)
Fielding %: .928 (11th)

Briar Cliff (7-15)
Head coach: Boyd Pitkin (17th year)
BA: .252 (10th)
SLG: .305 (10th)
Runs/game: 3.3 (10th)
ERA: 6.32 (10th)
Opponents’ BA: .325 (9th)
K’s: 96 (7th)
Fielding %: .929 (10th) 

Dakota Wesleyan (14-8)
Head coach: Steve Gust (6th year)
BA: .321 (2nd)
SLG: .438 (3rd)
Runs/game: 7.4 (2nd)
ERA: 4.27 (5th)
Opponents’ BA: .276 (5th)
K’s: 116 (5th)
Fielding %: .939 (4th) 

Offensive leaps
Concordia enters the weekend with just four fewer runs than the 151 it scored throughout the entire 39-game 2013 schedule. The great early season work of Taylor Dudley (.356, 14 RBIs), Andrew Yerrell (.350, 14 RBIs), Zach Cambier (.338, 10 RBIs) and Daniel Wilkerson (.317 BA, .537 SLG, 3 HR, 19 RBIs) has made head coach Jeremy Geidel’s offense much more productive. With a team batting average of .285 and an average of 6.1 runs per game, the Bulldogs have improved significantly from their respective figures of .249 and 3.9 from a year ago. Concordia has piled up 10 or more hits in 10 games so far this season.

Cambier extends streak
Junior first baseman Zach Cambier extended his hitting streak to seven games with one hit in game 1 and two hits in game 2 as part of Sunday’s doubleheader versus Dakota State. Camber is hitting .400 (10-for-25) during the streak. Cambier, a native of Castle Rock, Colo., has moved up from eighth in the lineup to fifth by hitting .338 through the first 24 games of the season. He has improved immensely from last season when he went 1-for-22 while seeing action in 13 games.

Scouting Briar Cliff
The Chargers are off to a 7-15 start on the heels of a 12-31 campaign in 2013. Head coach Boyd Pitkin’s club ranks near the bottom of the GPAC in most statistical categories, including batting average (.252 – 10th) and ERA (6.32 – 10th). Designated hitter and clean-up batter Matt Boswell tops the team with a .348 batting average and 14 RBIs. The team’s best starting pitcher so far has been Gary Davis, who sports a 2-3 record, 2.45 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 29.1 innings of work. Briar Cliff will carry a five-game losing streak into Saturday’s doubleheader.

Scouting Dakota Wesleyan
The Tigers have jumped out to a 14-8 mark following a 24-26 season in 2013. Head coach Scott Gust’s squad boasts a potent offensive attack that ranks second in the GPAC in both batting average and runs per game. While it has just one home run as a team, Dakota Wesleyan has six regulars batting .338 or better, led by the .434 clip from shortstop and leadoff hitter Ben Spitznagel. On the mound, Kyle Larson has been dominant early, posting a 2-0 record, 1.88 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 24 innings. The Tigers enter the weekend with a four-game winning streak.

27 March 2014