Defensive lapses snowball losses at Oklahoma Wesleyan
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – The Concordia University baseball team ran into a buzz saw against a hot Oklahoma Wesleyan University squad on Friday. The host Eagles (13-3) swept the Bulldogs with wins by scores of 14-0 and 9-2 in Bartlesville, Okla. Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s club fell to 4-6 overall.
A rough defensive outing made for a long day for the Bulldogs, who committed a combined 10 errors in the two games.
“It all started with defense,” Geidel said. “We had 10 errors on the day and that set the tone. We allowed their hitters to have extra at bats and that put a lot of pressure on our pitching staff. It also put pressure on us to score against some very good Oklahoma Wesleyan pitchers.”
On a day when Concordia struggled in all facets, the Bulldogs did not score a run until the fourth inning of game 2 when Daniel Wilkerson doubled in Alex Cargin with two outs. That brought Concordia within 3-1, but Oklahoma Wesleyan responded with three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to put it out of reach.
Wilkerson provided the other Bulldog run on the day with a solo blast to left field to lead off the seventh inning. It was the third long ball of the young season for the Santa Fe, Texas, native, who went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs in the doubleheader.
Concordia starting pitchers Jaydee Jurgensen and Will Holbrook allowed a combined 18 runs on the day with their rough patches compounded by defensive miscues. Eight of Oklahoma Wesleyan’s combined 23 runs were unearned.
Meanwhile, hurlers Diego Ibarra (5-0) and Rhett Acker (3-0) remained unblemished by firing seven-inning complete games for Oklahoma Wesleyan. Ibarra tossed a six-hit shutout in game one before giving way to Acker for the capper.
Ibarra and Acker got plenty of support from their offense. Third baseman and No. 3 hitter Jose Ruiz had a big day, going 4-for-5 (home run, two doubles) with seven RBIs.
On the other hand, Concordia could not come through when it did put men on base. It was a symptom of a tough all-around day.
“We spread hits around but we weren’t able to string them together,” Geidel said. “Our energy level was just not up and we weren’t focused on defense. Oklahoma Wesleyan is a real good team but we have no one to blame but ourselves.”
The Bulldogs will look to rebound on Saturday when they conclude the four-game series at Oklahoma Wesleyan with another doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. from Doenges Stadium in Bartlesville.