Concordia falls to Nebraska Wesleyan in GPAC Tournament opener
Bulldogs face second seeded Morningside in an elimination game at 8:30 p.m.
Three first inning runs proved too big a hill to climb as the Concordia University, Nebraska, baseball fell to Nebraska Wesleyan, 3-1, in the opening round of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Tournament on Thursday, May 3.
The loss dropped Concordia to 25-27 on the season, while Nebraska Wesleyan moved to 19-20 overall.
Concordia must now fight through the elimination bracket to continue its season. The Bulldogs first test will be the second seeded Morningside Mustangs, who dropped a 4-1 decision to Mount Marty early on May 3.
Senior Steven Ivanoff got off to a rocky start against Nebraska Wesleyan on Thursday as the second hitter of the game, Tanner Lewis, hit a solo home run over the left field wall to give the Prairie Wolves a 1-0 lead. Ivanoff walked the next batter, Alex Heideman, then surrender a single to center to Josh Ostrom. Heideman took third on the single, beating a thrown from Concordia’s Zak Goodrich (Lutz, Fla.). Unfortunately the throw to third allowed Ostrom to advance to second. This proved costly when Beau Kelly drove a two-run single up the middle to push it to a 3-0 game.
After stranding two runners in the second, Concordia got themselves on the board in the second. Junior Ray Finley (Tucson, Ariz.) led off with a sharp single to left, then was lifted for pinch runner, Joe Brandenburg (Waconia, Minn.). Brandenburg moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Andrew Yerrell (Santa Fe, Texas). Concordia's next hitter, freshman Daniel Wilkerson (Santa Fe, Texas), made the most of the opportunity with a single through the left side to put runners at the corners. Brandenburg scored one out later on an error.
Nebraska Wesleyan's starter, Matt Schommer, made the 3-1 lead hold up as he slammed the door on the Bulldogs’' offense. Schommer allowed only three hits over the final five innings to move to 3-2 on the season. In the game, Schommer allowed one run on six hits and one walk.
Ivanoff rebounded to allow just three runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings in the loss (7-5).