Luber stymies Eagle bats as Bulldogs claim victory
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – After almost two weeks between games and after having three doubleheaders wiped out by cold and snowy winter weather, the Bulldogs finally got back to action on Friday. Behind starting pitcher Jeremiah Luber’s masterpiece, Concordia (1-4) snagged its first win of 2013 by knocking off Oklahoma Wesleyan (11-5) by a 7-2 score in Bartlesville, Okla.
“We pretty much re-started our season,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “When you take that long off, you’re basically re-opening your season. We kind of rebooted mentally and physically.”
Luber, a senior right-hander from Waverly, Neb., held the Eagles hitless through five innings. Oklahoma Wesleyan finally recorded its first hit when shortstop Mason Feeler singled to center to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Luber (1-1) tossed a nine-inning complete game in which he gave up five hits without a single walk. He struck out two and induced 17 fly outs and eight ground outs, while taking advantage of cold temperatures and a wind that blew in.
“He pitched a great game,” Geidel said. “He really pitched to his strengths. He kept the fastball down and was able to get his off-speed pitches over. He controlled the game and really had everything settled in.”
Luber got plenty of support from a Bulldog offensive attack headed by catcher Ray Finley. Finley clubbed a pair of two-run doubles, one in the third and one in the seventh, to provide his pitcher a nice cushion. Finley finished 3-for-5 on the day with four RBIs and a run to lead a lineup that pounded out 12 hits, 10 of which came off of Oklahoma Wesleyan starter Chad Backward (2-2).
“Ray had great at bats because he allowed things to come to him,” Geidel said. “He swung at pitches he could hit.”
Concordia took an early lead by picking up two runs in the top of the second inning. Singles by Camaren Gause, Finley and Tyler Harris loaded the bases with one out. Eric Ellison then knocked in Gause with a fielder’s choice grounder to second. First baseman Nolan Schaeffer followed with an RBI base hit to leftfield.
Finley cracked his first two-run double in the top of the third to break open a 4-0 lead. Harris proceeded with a single to center to send Finley racing to the plate for a 5-0 lead. Four innings later, Finley capped all scoring with his double to right field that brought home Gause and Kyle Ivanoff, putting the momentum back in Concordia’s favor after the Eagles’ two sixth-inning runs.
Gause (3-for-4), Harris (2-for-4) and Schaeffer (2-for-4) joined Finley in the hit parade. Gause, a native of Tucson, Ariz., settled into the cleanup spot for the second-straight game while starting for the fifth time in centerfield in his first season as a Bulldog.
The five Eagle hits were spread out amongst five different players. Outfielder Hunter Meyn and second baseman Jose Ruize posted an RBI apiece on the day.
Oklahoma Wesleyan entered the day with a four-game winning streak, including a three-game sweep of Hastings Feb. 23-24. The Eagles also were defeated in two out of three games against Doane Feb. 15-16. Oklahoma Wesleyan is a member of the NAIA’s Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Concordia will challenge Oklahoma Wesleyan again on Saturday in a doubleheader set to begin at 12 p.m. in Bartlesville.
1 March 2013