2014 - Baseball schedule/results

16-30 overall, 6-14 GPAC - Season Stats

FEBRUARY
  Feb. 16 Bethany College (Kan.) (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Lindsborg, Kan. L, 1-5
L, 1-2 (10 inn.)
  Feb. 17 Bethany College (Kan.) (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Lindsborg, Kan. W, 16-14 (9 inn.)
W, 5-2
  Feb. 22 Ottawa University (Kan.) (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Ottawa, Kan. L, 0-4
W, 13-3
  Feb. 23 Ottawa University (Kan.) (1x7) Concordia webcast scheduled Ottawa, Kan. W, 10-1
  Feb. 23 William Penn University (Iowa) (1x7) Concordia webcast scheduled Ottawa, Kan. L, 1-6
  Feb. 25 Mid-America Nazarene Univ. (Kan.) (2) Olathe, Kan. CANCELED
  Feb. 28 Oklahoma Wesleyan University (2) Bartlesville, Okla. L, 0-14
L, 2-9
MARCH
  March 1 Oklahoma Wesleyan University (2) Bartlesville, Okla. L, 1-11
L, 2-5 
Tucson Invitational: March 8 - 15 (all times are Mountain Standard Time)
  March 8 SW Minnesota St. University (1x9)Audio-Webcast.png Tucson, Ariz. L, 6-7
  March 8 Wheaton College (Ill.) (1x9) Tucson, Ariz. L, 8-9
  March 9 University of Jamestown (N.D.) (2)Audio-Webcast.png Tucson, Ariz. L, 2-4
L, 4-11
  March 11 Missouri Valley College (1x7) Tucson, Ariz. W, 20-8
  March 11 Dakota State University (S.D.) (1x7) Tucson, Ariz. W, 8-4
  March 14 Presentation College (S.D.) (2) Tucson, Ariz. W, 8-0
W, 7-2 
  March 15 Dickinson State University (N.D.) (2) Tucson, Ariz. W, 16-3
W, 6-1 
  March 22 Dakota State University (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. CANCELED
  March 23 Dakota State University (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 5-6
L, 5-9
  March 25 Manhattan Christian College (Kan.) (2) Manhattan, Kan. CANCELED
  March 29 Briar Cliff University* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 5-7
L, 4-15
  March 30 Dakota Wesleyan University* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. W, 14-13
W, 10-8
APRIL
  April 5 Dordt College* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 3-5
L, 6-8
  April 6 Mount Marty College* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. W, 13-2
L, 5-9
  April 12 (24) Northwestern College* (2) Orange City, Iowa L, 1-3
L, 1-14
  April 15 Morningside College* (2) Sioux City, Iowa L, 3-7
W, 11-7
  April 16 York College (1x9) York, Neb. L, 5-11
  April 18 Doane College* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Crete, Neb. L, 2-6
L, 6-8
  April 19 Midland University* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 3-12
L, 0-14
  April 22 York College (1x9) York, Neb. L, 6-13
  April 25 Hastings College* (2) Hastings, Neb. W, 7-4
L, 2-7
  April 26 Neb. Wesleyan University* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled SENIOR DAY Seward, Neb. L, 3-9
W, 11-7
MAY
GPAC Tournament: May 1-3 at Mitchell, S.D.
  May 1-3
TBA TBA
NAIA Championships: Opening Round: May 12-15; World Series: May 23-30
  May 12-15 NAIA Opening Round TBA TBA

*
Indicates Great Plains Athletic Conference Games
% vs. GPAC Tournament
All Home Games in BOLD

2014 Roster

No.

Name

B/T

Pos.

Ht.

Yr.

Hometown

1

Tucker Epp

R/R

RHP

6-2

Jr.

Blue Springs, Neb.

2

Sean McCartney

R/R

C

5-10

Jr.

Greeley, Colo.

3

Bryce Rone

L/L

OF/LHP

5-10

Fr.

Monument, Colo. 

4      

Ryan Fesmire

R/R

C

5-10

Fr.

Firestone, Colo.

6

Josh Mondt

R/R

SS/2B

5-10

Fr.

Greeley, Colo.

7

Jaydee Jurgensen

L/L

LHP/1B

6-4

Jr.

Lincoln, Neb.

8

Steven Archibald R/R 1B/3B 6-2 Fr. Colorado Springs, Colo.

9

Cole Stuerke 

R/R 

SS/2B

6-1 

Jr. 

Lakewood, Colo.

10

Andrew Yerrell

R/R

3B

5-10

Jr.

Santa Fe, Texas

11 

Ethan Utecht 

R/R 

DH 

5-9 

Jr. 

Valentine, Neb.

12

Heath Benker

R/R

RHP

6-1

Jr.

Florence, Colo.

13

Zach Cambier 

R/R 

1B  

6-1 

Jr. 

Castle Rock, Colo. 

14

Erik Ellison

L/R

OF

6-3

Sr.

Bennington, Neb.

15

John Jay Silva

L/L

LHP

6-2

Jr.

Thornton, Colo.

16

Daniel Wilkerson 

R/R 

OF 

5-9 

Jr. 

Santa Fe, Texas 

17

Josh Prater

R/L 

LHP

6-0

Fr. 

Colorado Springs, Colo.

18

Brody Yost

L/L LHP 6-0 Fr. Sutton, Neb.

19

Edwin Izumigawa

R/R 

RHP

6-0 

So. 

Pearl City, Hawaii

20

Travis Smith R/R 3B/1B 6-0 So. Aurora, Colo.

21 

Alex Cargin

R/R 

SS/2B

5-9

So. 

Leawood, Kan.

22

William Holbrook R/R RHP 6-2 Jr. Tucson, Ariz.

23

Nathan Radic 

R/R 

OF

5-11

Jr. 

Parker, Colo. 

24 

Matt Chambers 

L/L 

LHP 

5-11 

Sr. 

Lakewood, Wash. 

25

Mark Wilcox L/R 2B/SS 5-10 Jr. Seward, Neb.

26/42

Taylor Dudley

L/R

OF

6-0

So.

Longmont, Colo.

27 

Camaren Gause

R/R 

OF 

6-2 

Sr. 

Tucson, Ariz.

28 

Schafer Thompson

R/R 

RHP/IF

5-11 

Fr. 

Limon, Colo.

29

Ryan Dubberke R/R DH/1B 5-9 Jr. Wildwood, Mo.

30 

Tyler Nelson

L/R 

C

6-0

Fr. 

LaPorte, Texas

31/51

Larry Poncetta R/R OF 5-11 Fr. Sterling, Colo.

32 

Hayden Davis

R/R 

C

5-7 

So. 

Lincoln, Neb. 

33 

Tim Fosmo 

R/R 

RHP 

6-0 

Sr. 

Douglas, Wyo. 

35

Micah Thiessen

R/R

RHP

5-11

Jr.

Lincoln, Neb.

36

Jordan Stirtz

R/R

RHP

5-10

Sr.

Gretna, Neb.

37

A.J. Peterson R/R RHP/2B 5-8 So. Tampa, Fla.

40

Zach Kollbaum

R/R

OF

5-10

Jr.

Cole Camp, Mo.

41

Noah Wolff R/R C 6-0 Fr. Wellington, Kan.

43

Aaron Hentges R/R OF 5-10 Fr. Concordia, Mo.

44 

Riley Kleven

R/R 

OF 

5-10

So. 

Williston, N.D.

45

James Hall

R/R 

RHP

5-8

So. 

Polk, Neb.

46

Ryan Miller

R/R 2B 5-8 Fr. Sioux City, Iowa

47

Caleb Helmstedter R/R RHP/IF 5-8 Fr. Lincoln, Neb.

48

Devin Bettmann R/R RHP 6-2 Fr. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

49

Ethan Mirly L/L LHP 5-9 Fr. Jackson, Mo.

50

Devin O'Brien

R/R 

RHP

6-2

Fr. 

Lincoln, Neb.

52

Brett Shartzer

L/R IF   Fr. Colorado Springs, Colo.
53

Patrick Hanson

R/R RHP 6-3 Fr. Plattsmouth, Neb.

54

Titus Utecht

R/R

RHP

5-11

So.

Valentine, Neb.

55

Mitch Kelly

R/R

RHP

5-9

So.

Castle Rock, Colo.

56

Jonathan Vieira

R/R OF 5-10 Fr. Colorado Springs, Colo.
57

Tanner Hill Bloyd

R/R OF 6-0 Fr. Lincoln, Neb.
58

Levi Betten

R/R OF 5-9 Fr. Olathe, Kan.

59

Alec Suarez

R/R

RHP

5-11

Fr.

Loveland, Colo.

62

Ryan Trueblood R/R C 5-5 Fr. Lenexa, Kan.

64

Dusten Colon

R/R

MI/RHP

5-11

Fr.

Beaumont, Texas

 

Erik Andrews R/R OF 6-1 So. Loveland, Colo.

2014 - Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Jeremy Geidel

Hitting Coach: Rich Eber

Pitching Coach (GA): John Couch

Student Assistant: Michael Moore

Baseball placed ninth in GPAC preseason poll

20 JAN 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Seventeenth-year head coach Jeremy Geidel’s Concordia baseball program has been picked by league coaches to finish ninth in the GPAC. The preseason poll was released Monday morning by the conference.

Last season the Bulldogs went 13-26 overall and 6-14 in conference action (10th place). Among the seven Concordia players who received some form of all-conference mention last season, three return in 2014: outfielder Camaren Gause, left-handed pitcher Luke Parish-Ward and infielder Andrew Yerrell.

The 2014 season begins on Feb. 15 when the Bulldogs visit Bethany College (Kan.) for a doubleheader. Concordia’s first 10 scheduled games are all set to take place in the state of Kansas. The first scheduled home doubleheader is March 22 versus Dakota State University.

2014 GPAC preseason baseball poll

(First-place votes in parentheses)

  1. Northwestern – 99 points (9)
  2. Doane – 87 (1)
  3. Morningside – 80 (1)
  4. Midland – 74
  5. Mount Marty – 59
  6. Dakota Wesleyan – 55
  7. Nebraska Wesleyan – 48
  8. Briar Cliff – 34
  9. Concordia – 30
  10. Hastings – 28
  11. Dordt – 11

2014 Concordia baseball season preview

12 FEB 2014

At a glance
2013 Record:
 13-26 overall; 6-14 GPAC (10th)
Head Coach: Jeremy Geidel (17th year)
Key Returners: IF Alex Cargin, RHP Tim Fosmo, OF Camaren Gause, C Sean McCartney, RHP Jordan Stirtz, OF Daniel Wilkerson, IF Andrew Yerrell
Key Losses: RHP Joe Brandenburg, C Ray Finley, OF Zach Gulley, IF Tyler Harris, RHP Jeremiah Luber, SS Kyle Ivanoff, RHP Nick Thill
Key Newcomers: C Ryan Fesmire, RHP Will Holbrook, LHP/1B Jaydee Jurgensen, C Tyler Nelson, LHP Josh Prater, RHP Shafer Thompson, LHP Brady Yost
2013 GPAC All-Conference: Tyler Harris (second team), Ray Finley (honorable mention), Camaren Gause (honorable mention), Kyle Ivanoff (honorable mention), Luke Parish-Ward (honorable mention), Nick Thill (honorable mention)

Outlook:
The dawning of a new season brings an air of renewed optimism and hope after a frustrating 2013 campaign for Concordia University baseball. Head coach Jeremy Geidel enters his 17th season, one he believes will more closely resemble 2012 when the Bulldogs piled up a school record 25 wins.

With senior center fielder Camaren Gause anchoring the lineup and former University of Kansas product Jaydee Jurgensen at the top of the pitching rotation, Geidel and company believe they have the nucleus in place for a rebound season.

“There’s no question we had some growing pains last year,” Geidel said. “Coming out of last year’s season, the younger players, especially the sophomore class and even the juniors, were determined in the offseason to come back and have a better season.

“It’s very exciting to see the team turn last year’s negative results on the field into a positive this year.”

Gause, who transferred from Eastern Arizona Community College prior to last season, is a potential star with a year as a Bulldog under his belt. The Tucson native carried a .375 batting average into April before slumping late in the season. He still managed to earn a GPAC player of the week award and lead the team with a .372 on-base percentage.

The team’s outfield anchor can’t wait to get back on the field and help demonstrate that 2013 was more aberration than a sign of things to come.

“The past is the past,” Gause said. “You can’t read into that but we can build off what we learned and the mistakes we made. This offseason has really been important for us. Going into this season we have good attitudes and confidence levels. We’re just hungry. We’re hungry for the season to start.”

With Gause and junior right fielder Daniel Wilkerson (.284, 2 HR, 21 RBIs) back in 2014, the Bulldogs have an experienced outfield that provides stability for a lineup that lacked punch a season ago. However, the development of Gause and Wilkerson brings hope for a more potent heart of the order.

“Transferring in from Arizona to Nebraska was an adjustment for Cam,” Geidel said. “He’s coming back knowing what to expect. He’s just a good athlete that can get it done. Now he’s got the awareness of how to play in the north.

“I project him to do better than he did last year even though he did have a solid year, because he’s more comfortable.”

According to Gause, the most pleasant surprises may come on the mound for Concordia. Jurgensen, a 6-foot-4 junior from Lincoln, is generating buzz after transferring to Concordia via Scottsdale Community College. The rotation additions of Jurgensen, right-hander Jordan Stirtz (returning after shoulder surgery) and right-hander Will Holbrook (transfer from Pima Community College) will fill the voids left by the graduation of Jeremiah Luber and Joe Brandenburg.

“Jaydee is going to be a very competitive No. 1 for us out there on the mound,” Geidel said. “He’ll give us a good chance going out there against other team’s No. 1s. He’s very consistent. He’s one of those guys that are very mature. To have a guy with his talent and his maturity combined, we’re very fortunate to have him. We haven’t had someone in our program like that since I’ve been here with that kind of combination.”

The bullpen offers a nice mix with right-handed closer Heath Benker leading the way. Benker, who redshirted last season, posted a 2.47 ERA in 22.2 innings of work in 2012. He will be set up by the likes of righties Tim Fosmo and A.J. Peterson as well as lefty Matt Chambers.

“Our pitching lineup is just crazy,” Gause said. “The new guys that came in and even the guys that are here – they’ve improved a lot. Heath Benker has improved tremendously. It’s really exciting to have him back.”

Elsewhere, a key storyline involves the shifting that will take place in the middle infield. Sophomore Alex Cargin, who made 24 starts at second base last season, will slide over to shortstop to take over for departed mainstay Kyle Ivanoff. Cargin’s biggest strength is his glove. Geidel sees “AC” as a gifted defensive shortstop with the potential to develop into a dependable bat as well.

Cargin’s transition means second base opens up for Seward native Mark Wilcox, who has worked his way up after mostly playing JV the past two seasons. Wilcox got a taste of varsity action in 2013 and is expected to provide some pop from the middle infield.

While first base is still up for grabs between several options, there is no doubt about third base where Andrew Yerrell holds down the hot corner. Yerrell started all 39 games last season and has been a steady performer throughout his career.

That leaves left field and catcher where Eric Ellison and Sean McCartney appear poised to grab starting roles. Ellison appeared in 20 games last season as an outfielder while McCartney started 14 games behind the dish. Both will be counted on to make leaps forward in 2014.

Improvement is the name of the game for a program that will enter the season with low expectations from outside its own dugout. The Bulldogs landed 10th in the preseason coaches’ poll after missing the GPAC tournament a year ago.

While games are won on the field, the attitude is in place for a reversal of fortunes.

“We have to act like winners,” Gause said. “We’ve got to be mentally strong. It’s baseball – you have to have that. You have to have confidence in yourself and know that you can get the job done and know that if you don’t get the job done, your teammate behind you can get the job done. Don’t be afraid to fail. Success is all about failure. You have to get yourself back up.”

Gause’s remarks bare plenty of resemblance to those of Geidel. The Bulldog skipper has seen plenty of reason for optimism this offseason.

“The maturity level overall for the whole program has enhanced,” Geidel said. “That has helped our practices. I believe that’s going to transition over to games. They’re going to be able to handle things. They’re not going to ride the ebbs and flows of the games. All the sudden something bad happens, they’re not going to dwell on that. This team has a maturity level that they can persevere.”

The first pitch of the 2014 Concordia baseball season is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16 when the Bulldogs take on Bethany College (Kan.) in a road doubleheader. Concordia is scheduled to make its first home appearance on March 22 when it hosts a twin bill with Dakota State University (S.D.).

Season-opening series moved to Sunday-Monday

12 FEB 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia University baseball's season-opening series at Bethany College has been pushed back one day and is now set to take place on Sunday and Monday (Feb. 16-17).

The change was made in hopes that field conditions will be playable by Sunday afternoon at Philip Anderson Baseball Field in Lindsborg, Kan. Last week a storm blanketed the field in several inches of snow.

Revised schedule:
Sunday, Feb. 16, 1 p.m. at Bethany (doubleheader)
Monday, Feb. 17, TBA (Either 12 or 1 p.m.) at Bethany (doubleheader)

Holbrook tosses masterpiece but Bulldogs fall twice in season-opening doubleheader

16 FEB 2014

LINDSBORG, Kan. – A pair of junior college transfers made their Bulldog debuts on the mound as the Concordia University baseball team opened the 2014 season with a doubleheader at Bethany College (Kan.) on Sunday afternoon. Concordia’s bats were kept quiet as the Swede pitching staff paved the way for Bethany (6-3) wins by scores of 5-1 and 2-1.

Game two was not decided until the 10th inning when the Swedes’ Nicholas Ceccarelli singled in the walk-off run off of Bulldog reliever Heath Benker. That capped a frustrating offensive game in which Concordia managed only two hits on a chilly afternoon with the wind blowing in.

“I was pleased with our approaches from most of our guys,” 17th-year head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “We did a good job transitioning from the indoor cages. We just didn’t get production from some guys we are expecting a lot from this season.

“We had our chances. There a couple of hit and runs that we didn’t execute. There were some missed opportunities for sure.”

Bulldog right-hander Will Holbrook, a transfer from Pima Community College and Tucson, Ariz., native, dazzled in game two in serving as the day’s biggest bright spot. After allowing the first three hitters he faced to reach base, Holbrook settled in and retired nine in a row and 18 out of 19. He worked 7.1 innings, surrendering five hits and one run while striking out three and walking none.

“I was very encouraged,” Geidel said. “Other than the hiccup at the beginning of the game Will pitched solid. He had very good command and composure. We got exactly what we were hoping for out of him.”

At the plate, Concordia could not solve Bethany game two starter Dan Eck, who went nine innings in a game scheduled for seven. Eck dominated in allowing only two hits, two walks and one run.

The Bulldogs did not muster a single baserunner until taking back-to-back walks with one out in the fifth. Left fielder Erik Ellison followed with an RBI single that tied the game at 1-1.

Concordia dropped game one despite out-hitting Bethany 7-6. The Swedes put up three unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth with the aid of an error and three hit batters. They led 4-1 after four and later tacked on an insurance run in the sixth off the Concordia bullpen.

Making his debut as a Bulldog, left-handed starter Jaydee Jurgensen limited the Swedes to three hits and four runs (one earned) over four innings, but he struggled with his control (seven hit batters). His breaking ball repeatedly broke too far in on right-handed hitters.

“Jaydee’s a competitor,” Geidel said. “He understands what he needs to do to get himself back on track.”

Offensively, all seven of Concordia’s game one hits were singles. The Bulldogs got their only run when second baseman Mark Wilcox’s bases-loaded walk forced in a run following three-straight singles. They then left the bases full when third baseman Andrew Yerrell lined out to right.

Veterans Yerrell, right fielder Daniel Wilkerson and center fielder Cam Gause made up the 3-4-5 spots in the Concordia lineup in both games. Several players made their first career starts, including Tyler Nelson, Cole Stuerke and Ethan Utecht.

Ellison and shortstop Alex Cargin were the only Bulldogs to record multiple hits on the day. Both went 2-for-7.

Playing on a field that had been blanketed by several inches of snow earlier in the week, both teams put together clean defensive games. There was only one combined error committed on the day. Geidel lauded several of his players for spectacular defensive plays.

The Bulldogs complete a four-game series at Bethany on Monday with another doubleheader. The first pitch is slated for 12 p.m.

Santa Fe nucleus fuels Concordia baseball sweep

17 FEB 2014

LINDSBORG, Kan. – Santa Fe, Texas, natives Daniel Wilkerson and Andrew Yerrell both drove in four runs apiece to power two Bulldog victories over host Bethany College (6-5) in Lindsborg, Kan., on Monday afternoon. Concordia (2-2) salvaged a split of the four-game Sunday-Monday series, winning the final two games by scores of 16-14 (nine innings) and 5-2.

“Those guys were able to produce today and it made a big difference,” 17th-year head coach Jeremy Geidel said of Wilkerson and Yerrell. “Plus (shortstop) Alex Cargin at the top of the lineup did a good job having quality at bats and getting on base. Having those guys produce is huge.”

A day after putting up two combined runs as part of a doubleheader sweep by Bethany, the Bulldogs wasted little time getting on the board with Wilkerson’s three-run homer (first of two four-baggers on the day) to right in the top of the first of game one. It was a sign of things to come in a contest that featured 30 combined runs and took more than four hours to complete.

The wacky game saw Concordia relinquish leads of 11-8, 12-11 and 14-12 before it finally staved off the Swedes in the ninth inning (two extra innings). Sean McCartney delivered the game-winning RBI single in the top half of the ninth and reliever Edwin Izumigawa put up a rare zero in the bottom half to earn the win on the mound.

“I haven’t seen a (wild) game like that where we continued to battle the way we did,” Geidel said. “To come back and play another nine-inning game after a 10-inning game yesterday – they really showed me something I hadn’t seen before. Then they came out in the second game and laid it on the line again.”

Yerrell enjoyed a fine day at the plate, going 4-for-8 with four RBIs and two runs. His two-run single in the fifth inning of game one helped open the floodgates as part of a six-run frame that put the Bulldogs in front 11-8. Yerrell and Wilkerson have served as the 3-4 hitters in the lineup in each of the first four games of the season.

While Bethany outhit the Bulldogs 18-12, Concordia made up for it by taking advantage of five Swede errors that led to six unearned runs.

After missing last season because of surgery, Bulldog right-handed pitcher Jordan Stirtz returned to the mound in game two to calm things down. He fired a complete game, allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits and two walks. He struck out two.

“It’s great to see Stirtz do that in his first start in over a year,” Geidel said of the fifth-year senior. “To see ‘grandpa’ come out and do a great job like that was impressive. It was a long year for him emotionally having to sit out. Today was very fulfilling for him.”

The Swedes got on the board first in game two as a run crossed the plate with the aid of a Bulldog error in the second. Concordia responded with four runs in the third thanks to run-scoring hits produced by catcher Ryan Fesmire and Yerrell.

After Bethany got one back in the fifth, Wilkerson stroked his second homer of the day to lead off the sixth. It was the sixth career homer for the muscular right fielder, who has already equaled a career best for homers in a season.

“Wilk has that power,” Geidel said. “He’s grown into a college hitter.”

Bethany flashed some power of with four home runs of its own on Monday – all by different individuals. Jordan Geiger and Aaron Huerta both clubbed four hits in game one for the Swedes.

In addition to the big days from Wilkerson and Yerrell, Cargin went 3-for-8 with four runs while leading off both games.

The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday with another venture into the state of Kansas. Concordia begins a three-game series with Ottawa University (0-0) on that day at 1 p.m. The Braves are a member of the NAIA’s Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Bats bust loose to fuel split at Ottawa

22 FEB 2014

OTTAWA, Kan. – After hurler Jacob Loucks limited the Concordia University baseball team to only four hits in a game one shutout, the Bulldogs broke out with 13 runs on 16 hits in game two to earn a split in a road doubleheader at Ottawa University on Saturday afternoon. Ten different Bulldogs joined in on the hit parade and right hander Will Holbrook grabbed his first career win with Concordia (3-3).

Host Ottawa won game one 4-0 before head coach Jeremy Geidel’s squad responded with a 13-3 victory.

“In the first game we got in an early hole,” Geidel said. “We had our chances throughout the game to score but we didn’t execute. In game two Will did a great job again. He was competitive the entire game.

“Our bats finally came alive and didn’t let up. It wasn’t a perfect day, but our guys are competing the entire time.”

Third baseman Andrew Yerrell led the attack as he went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs in the win. Four other Bulldogs racked up exactly two hits: Zach Cambier (2-for-4), Alex Cargin (2-for-4), Erik Ellison (2-for-4) and Ryan Fesmire (2-for-5). Cargin, Camaren Gause and Cole Stuerke all equaled Yerrell’s two runs driven in.

The offensive explosion began in the third inning when Gause’s two-run single opened the floodgates. Concordia got three in the third, four in the fourth, and three apiece in the fifth and sixth innings to run away from the Braves (1-1).

Those runs were much more than enough to make a winner of Holbrook, a native of Tucson, Ariz., who made his second career start as a Bulldog. He covered all seven innings, scattering nine hits and one walk. He struck out seven. Ottawa tacked on two runs off Holbrook with the game well out of reach in the seventh.

In game one, Concordia ace Jaydee Jurgensen fell to 0-2. He struggled early, giving up three runs on five hits in the first inning. The Lincoln native then settled in and surrendered just one more run over his next five innings of work. However, the Bulldogs left eight runners on base offensively in falling victim to the fine work of Loucks, the Braves pitcher.

The Bulldogs return to action on Sunday with single games at the same site against both Ottawa and William Penn University (Iowa). Game times are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Prater bounces back; Bulldogs split Sunday pair

23 FEB 2014

OTTAWA, Kan. – Saturday’s game two offensive outburst carried over to Sunday’s morning contest as the Concordia University baseball time posted 10 runs on 12 hits to earn a 10-1 victory over host Ottawa University. William Penn pitcher Josh Ruiz then silenced the Bulldogs in the Sunday matinee to lead the Statesmen to a 6-1 victory over Concordia in hand-numbingly cold conditions.

Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s squad went 2-2 on the weekend and remain at .500 overall (4-4).

“I was very pleased with the first game,” Geidel said. “It was very cold – one of the colder games that we’ve played in. I was happy with the way our guys put that in the back of their minds.”

Center fielder Taylor Dudley and second baseman Mark Wilcox bludgeoned Ottawa with three hits apiece as part of another stellar offensive game against Ottawa. Dudley, now 5-for-13 at the plate this season, started both games in center. His two-run single helped spark the six-run sixth inning that put the game out of reach.

On the mound, freshman lefthander Josh Prater rebounded and gave Geidel a seven-inning complete game win over the Braves. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native allowed five hits and a walk and struck out two as part of his first collegiate victory.

“He was in the zone,” Geidel said. “He understood his role and with the wind blowing in he understood that the ball wasn’t going anywhere. He got ahead of hitters and kept things simple.”

Catcher/designated hitter Sean McCartney produced with two hits in both games. He went 4-for-7 with two RBIs and two runs on the day. He cracked an RBI single in game one and drove in the team’s lone run in game two.

“Everybody swung the bats well that first game,” Geidel said. “We were aggressive and put the ball in play. We broke the first game open with that six spot in the sixth. It was to good see our guys build up to that.”

Down just 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth versus William Penn, Concordia missed out on a prime opportunity to tie or even take the lead as it had runners on second and third with one out. Ruiz then got McCartney to ground out to third and Dudley to chop to second to keep the Statesmen in front.

“We have to figure out how to score more runs against other team’s top pitchers,” Geidel said. “We have to execute the bunt or the hit and run and learn how to convert those opportunities. With good pitchers the margin for error is small.”

William Penn collected 13 hits, including three from catcher Patrick Roxbury who delivered one of three RBI hits in the sixth to extend the lead. The Statesmen put up four runs in the sixth. Three were unearned due to an error that occurred with one out.

Concordia righty Jordan Stirtz, who notched a complete game win in his first start a week ago, covered four innings, surrendering seven hits, two walks and two runs (one earned).

Third baseman Andrew Yerrell went 1-for-3 in both games, making him 5-for-14 on the weekend. He’s been the Bulldogs’ most consistent hitter through eight contests. He has at least one hit in six games.

The Bulldogs have Monday off before returning to action on Tuesday when they play a road doubleheader at Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan. (12 p.m.). The Pioneers are a member of the NAIA’s Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Tuesday (Feb. 25) baseball doubleheader canceled

24 FEB 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Tuesday's scheduled baseball doubleheader at MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) has been canceled due to inclement weather (cold temperatures). No make-up date has been set.

Next up on the schedule is a Friday-Saturday series at Oklahoma Wesleyan. Concordia is scheduled to play a doubleheader both days (Feb. 28 - March 1) in Bartlesville, Okla.

Defensive lapses snowball losses at Okalhoma Wesleyan

28 FEB 2014

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.

Oklahoma Wesleyan sweeps away Bulldogs

1 MAR 2014

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – The Concordia baseball squad came away with a tough, doubleheader weekend in Bartlesville, Okla., dropping two games to Oklahoma Wesleyan by scores of 11-1 and 5-2. The Bulldogs fell to 4-8 on the young season.  

“We faced a very good team and did not play well,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “Put those things together and it’s a recipe for disaster. It did not go our way this weekend. We learned some valuable lessons, and now we need to look at the things that need improvements before our next games.”

The Bulldogs fell behind and struggled to get anything going offensively in game one. After a scoreless top of the first for the Bulldogs, Oklahoma Wesleyan (15-3) answered with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, and then scored three more on three hits in the bottom of the second. It was tough going against the stout Oklahoma Wesleyan group that used strong pitching and solid fielding to tame the Bulldogs.

Concordia got their first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning when junior Daniel Wilkerson took a base on balls, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and then scored on a throwing error by Wesleyan’s third baseman a batter later. With the score cut to a 5-1 Wesleyan advantage, the Eagles tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth and then four in the seventh to seal the deal and a 10-run rule win.

Sophomore Edwin Izumigawa and senior Matt Chambers combined for two solid innings of pitching, shutting out the Eagles in the fifth and sixth innings and earning a strikeout each. Freshman Josh Prater (1-1) took the loss, giving up five runs in four innings of work while striking out three.  

The Bulldogs played better in their second match, but came up short once again, slipping 5-2 to the Eagles.

Despite falling behind 5-0, the Bulldogs rallied in the seventh inning, as junior Ethan Utecht and junior Zach Cambier each came through with RBI hits to bring the game to 5-2. It would be all the Bulldogs could muster, however, as they lost the game by the same score. Senior Jordan Stirtz took the loss.

The Bulldogs will next prepare for their spring break road trip to Tuscon, Ariz., to compete in the Tuscon Invitational March 8 – 15 where they will take on a variety of teams from the Midwest.

Baseball falls a run short in opening games of Tucson trip

9 MAR 2014

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

TUCSON, Ariz. – Escaping the harsh winter of the Midwest, the Concordia Bulldogs began their spring break road trip of 10 games in Tucson, Ariz. Despite a solid day at the plate, the Bulldogs fell just one run short in each of their first two matchups, losing to Southwest Minnesota State University, 7-6, and to Wheaton College, 9-8, on Saturday night.

Concordia came out hot and swinging against Southwest Minnesota State, starting the game with a double by junior third baseman Andrew Yerrell. Junior Daniel Wilkerson followed suit with a single to left field, bringing in Yerrell for the first score of the game. Senior Cameron Gause later tripled, and after the damage had been done, the Bulldogs had an early 2-0 advantage.

The lead wouldn’t hold long, however, as Southwest Minnesota State’s Patrick Rients answered with a two run shot over the outfield fence to both even up the score and give the Mustangs all the momentum they needed.

Two innings later, with the Bulldogs down 5-2, a Taylor Dudley double brought home Yerrell to bring the game within reach at 5-3. One batter later, junior Zach Cambier’s ground out brought in Wilkerson, and brought the Bulldogs within one run.

After another Mustang run extended the lead to 6-4, the Bulldogs went right back to work in a somewhat chaotic sixth inning. It started with two straight Bulldogs earning bases after being hit by pitches. A Mustang relief pitcher was brought in only to throw a wild pitch, moving two Bulldogs into scoring position. Andrew Yerrell’s ground out brought in junior Cole Stuerke. Then Wilkerson’s single to left-center scored sophomore Alex Cargin, evening up the score at six apiece.

Junior Will Holbrook (1-2) took the loss, despite 5.2 strong innings in which he gave up four runs, a walk, and fanned eight Mustangs.  

Southwest Minnesota State answered once again with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth. The bulldogs had one final breath in them when Wilkerson doubled to center to begin the ninth inning, but it was not to be as the next three Bulldogs went down swinging.

The Bulldogs played a tight game early, until Wheaton stormed to a 4-0 lead, using a double and a single as well as two Bulldog miscues to get on the board.

Not to be outdone, Concordia answered with vengeance, as Yerrell, Wilkerson, Gause and Dudley combined for four straight singles to bring in two runs, and the scored to 4-2.

Wheaton answered their next time up, however, scoring four more runs in the top of the fifth inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, it was the Bulldog’s turn to take advantage of the Thunder errors, as Yerrell and Wilkerson, who each singled in their at bats, were able to score on Wheaton’s mistakes. Freshman Tyler Nelson flied out to bring in to bring home Gause, and bringing the score to 8-5. In the next inning, Concordia was able to add another run when Wilkerson hit a sacrifice fly to score Stuerke.

Wheaton scored their final run in the top of the ninth, and it would be all they needed to top the Bulldogs, despite a comeback effort that fell just short on the side of Concordia.

After Freshman Ryan Fesmire walked with the bases loaded, scoring Dudley, Cargin hit a sacrifice fly to score Cambier. It would be all the Bulldogs could muster, however, as they dropped their second game of the doubleheader.

The Bulldogs will face the University of Jamestown on Sunday at 5 p.m. CST (3 p.m. in Tucson).

Day two of Arizona swing brings two more setbacks

9 MAR 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University baseball team suffered two more losses on Sunday evening as the Tucson Invitational continued in Arizona. The University of Jamestown defeated the Bulldogs by scores of 4-2 and 11-4 to put Concordia at 0-4 on its spring break trip.

A day after putting up 12 runs on 24 hits over two one-run losses, the Bulldog batsmen totaled only six runs against the Jimmie pitching staff on Sunday.

“We are not clicking as a team right now and therefore were not able to win,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “We need to get better and play more consistently. Spring break allows us a chance to see different things and give guys opportunities.”

Individually, Concordia first baseman Zach Cambier had an impressive 5-for-6 performance that included three doubles and four runs on the day. Cambier simply took the torch from right fielder Daniel Wilkerson, who went 7-for-9 on Saturday.

Game one marked a third-straight narrow defeat in Arizona (two one-run losses on Saturday). Lefty freshman Josh Prater tossed five innings of three-run ball in taking the loss a game Jimmies team that entered the day with a 1-2 record.

Jamestown broke up game two by putting four runs on the board in the fourth and then five more in the sixth. The insurance runs deflated a Bulldog team that chipped a run off its deficit in the top of the sixth to make it 6-3 (Andrew Yerrell RBI single). Concordia added a run in the seventh and final inning, but it was not nearly enough down eight runs.

The Bulldogs will be back in action in The Grand Canyon State on Tuesday when they take on both Missouri Valley College (8:30 a.m. MT) and Dakota State University (2 p.m. MT). Concordia will play a total of 10 games over eight days in Tucson.

The Tucson Invitational is a homecoming for senior center fielder Camaren Gause and junior pitcher Will Holbrook, who started Saturday’s game one.

Yerrell and company combine for 28 runs in two Tuesday victories

11 MAR 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University baseball team broke out the heavy lumber and ended its early-season skid by trouncing Missouri Valley, 20-8, before grabbing an 8-4 win over Dakota State to cap a perfect day. With Tucson Invitational teams working with taxed pitching staffs, the offenses ruled on Tuesday in The Grand Canyon State.

Whether by slugfest or pitching duel, the Bulldogs (6-12) simply needed wins as they entered the day with a nine-game losing streak.

“This was huge to get the monkey off our back,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “It shows our guys that they are capable. Now with a couple of days off it gives us a chance to enjoy two well-earned victories. We know we’ll have to be ready for our opponent on Friday.”

Junior third baseman Andrew Yerrell stood out among many Bulldog hitters who feasted upon the pitching staffs of Missouri Valley and Dakota State. Yerrell went 3-for-4 with a double and a triple while driving in half a dozen teammates in the 20-run outburst. The Santa Fe, Texas, native added another RBI triple in game 2.

Yerrell got plenty of help from his fellow Bulldogs. Junior Daniel Wilkerson, another regular from Santa Fe, belted three two-baggers as part of a four-hit doubleheader. In addition, freshman catcher Ryan Fesmire and sophomore shortstop Alex Cargin both cracked three hits in game 1 and outfielder Taylor Dudley sprayed three knocks of his own in the second game.

“We challenged our guys to raise their level of play and get back to the way they played before the Oklahoma Wesleyan series,” Geidel said. “They responded well. We had the day off on Monday and they came out ready to compete. We played with confidence and went out and made things happen instead of waiting for things to happen.”

In game 1, senior right-hander Heath Benker got his first start on the mound since 2011. Backed by the offensive fireworks, the native of Florence, Colo., went four innings and allowed five runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out three in a winning effort. He was then replaced by Matt Chambers, who was followed by two additional hurlers.

Geidel used a similar approach to game 2, trotting out a staff of relievers to cover the seven-inning game. After freshman lefty Bryce Rone tossed the first three innings, senior righty Tim Fosmo navigated the fourth and fifth innings to pick up the win. Three more pitchers (Edwin Izumigawa, John Jay Silva and Schafer Thompson) were used over the final two innings.

“These were typical mid-week games,” Geidel said. “Every team went deep into its pitching staffs. We were all using our bullpens. You were going to see some high-scoring, long games. We did a good job managing our outs and were able to score a lot.”

In game 1, Concordia racked up 15 hits. Eight of its nine starting position players tallied at least one hit. The 20 runs were the most for the program since a 20-1 victory over the University of Illinois-Springfield on March 14, 2013.

The Bulldogs have four games remaining in Tucson. They will play a doubleheader with Presentation College on Friday (9 a.m. MT / 11 a.m. CT) prior to another twin bill on Saturday against Dickinson State University (9 a.m. MT / 11 a.m. CT).

 

Baseball runs win streak to four with Friday sweep of Presentation

14 MAR 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University baseball team stayed hot at the plate and got two complete game pitching performances on Friday to extend its winning streak to four. The Bulldogs improved to 4-4 on the current Arizona swing and moved to 8-12 overall by defeating Presentation College by scores of 8-0 and 7-2. Concordia will complete the trip with another doubleheader Saturday morning.

“We played well today,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “Our pitchers threw strikes and were competitive in the zone. At the plate we did a good job swinging it and being aggressive. We’re playing with confidence now. It’s good to see us put good doubleheaders together back-to-back.”

Will Holbrook (2-2) tossed a gem in game 1 while performing in his hometown of Tucson. The 6-foot-2 junior right-hander threw his first shutout as a Bulldog, going all seven innings and scattering seven hits and a walk to go with five strikeouts.

Holbrook and game 2 starter Brody Yost got plenty of support from the Bulldog bats. Concordia combined for 15 runs on 21 hits in the twin bill. Junior first baseman Zach Cambier, now 12-for-29 on the Arizona trip, had five hits in seven at bats and drove in two and scored two on the day.

Junior right fielder Daniel Wilkerson, who cracked three extra base hits (two doubles, one triple) on Friday, delivered the big blow in game 1. The native of Santa Fe, Texas, smacked a two-out, three-run double to extend the Bulldog lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning.

Like Holbrook in game 1, Yost shut down the Saints (3-17) offensive attack in game 2. Yost fired all seven innings and allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits and four walks. He struck out seven on the way to earning his first collegiate victory.

“We used everyone on Tuesday so it was nice to save our bullpen for the last day of the trip,” Geidel said. “Both guys threw their pitches today. Yost did have four walks but he settled back in and used his defense behind him. Both of our pitchers were composed and really filled up the zone.”

The Bulldogs had four individual multiple hit performances in both games. In game 1, shortstop Alex Cargin (2-for-3, two runs, two hit by pitches), outfielder Taylor Dudley (2-for-4, run, RBI) and designated hitter Tyler Nelson (2-for-4, two doubles, two RBIs, run) joined Cambier as Bulldogs with two hits or more.

In game 2, catcher Ryan Fesmire (2-for-2, run, RBI), second baseman Cole Stuerke (2-for-4) and Wilkerson (2-for-4, double, triple, two runs) each had two hits in addition to Cambier’s two knocks.

During the current four-game win streak, Concordia is averaging nearly 11 runs per game. The stroke of hot hitting came at a good time as the Bulldogs had been dealt their eighth and ninth losses in a row on Sunday – the second day of the Arizona trip.

“It’s all mental,” Geidel said. “We were punched in the face in that series at Oklahoma Wesleyan. We didn’t have confidence after that. We played some close games but it was like we were waiting for something bad to happen. It was a matter of them saying we have to do this. Guys have stepped up and you can see that in their individual performances.”

Concordia will be back in action at the same time on Saturday – 9 a.m. MT / 11 a.m. CT – to take on Dickinson State University (N.D.) in another doubleheader. The Blue Hawks are 3-9 following five-consecutive losses.

Bulldogs pile up 22 more runs to complete winning road trip in Tucson

15 MAR 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University baseball team finished its Arizona swing with two more wins on Saturday to move to 6-4 on the road trip and 10-12 overall. Winners of six in a row, the Bulldogs stayed hot at the plate and topped Dickinson State University (N.D.) by scores of 16-3 and 6-1 to continue their win streak.

The suddenly explosive Concordia offensive attack, led by left fielder Taylor Dudley (team best .392 batting average), added 22 more runs on Saturday and is averaging just under 11 runs during the current six-game win streak.

“Our guys are having really good at bats,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “They’re being aggressive. They made things happen in just about every inning in that first game. The second game was a little tighter but we had some big hits with two outs to score runs.”

Dudley, a Longmont, Colo., native, went 5-for-7 with two RBIs and two runs on Saturday to improve to 14-for-28 (11 RBIs) on the Arizona trip. Dudley, 4-for-5 in game 1, was one of four Bulldogs to record two or more knocks as part of a 16-hit attack in game 1 versus the Blue Hawks (3-11).

The top of the order combo of shortstop Alex Cargin (3-for-5, two RBIs) and second baseman A.J. Peterson (1-for-1, two hit by pitches, walk) wore out the base paths while combining for seven runs scored. They set the table for the likes of Dudley and third baseman Andrew Yerrell, who drove in four teammates in game 1.

After giving back a three-run lead in game 1, Concordia responded with three runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings and seven in the seventh to take a commanding 16-3 advantage. Yerrell drilled a two-run double in the fifth and then a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Dudley (RBI single), Tyler Nelson (RBI single) and Daniel Wilkerson (sac fly) also added RBIs over the fifth and sixth innings.

The Bulldogs sent 12 hitters to the plate in the seven-run seventh. Dudley started the inning with a double and then later chipped in an RBI single when he came up again in the frame. In between, Cargin had a two-run single and Yerrell had an RBI single of his own.

Runs were a bit more difficult to come by in game 2, but it didn’t matter with the way that senior right-handed pitcher Jordan Stirtz quieted the Blue Hawk bats. Stirtz went all seven innings for his second complete game. He gave up one run (unearned) on six hits and two walks. He struck out four.

“He was spotting his pitches very well,” Geidel said. “He did a good job mixing his pitches and keeping them off balance. Their hitters were getting frustrated. He just stayed in the zone and our defense did a good job for the most part.”

Seven different Bulldogs collected one hit each in game 2 in a balanced offensive effort. Up 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Concordia added more breathing room for Stirtz with a Nelson run-scoring single and a Cargin sacrifice fly.

“At the plate our guys are confident,” Geidel said. “They are seeing the ball well and they know what they’re trying to do. They’re executing whether it’s hit and runs or bunts. When you do that good things happen. We’re putting pressure on the defense.”

It was a big week for Dudley as well as other regulars in Zach Cambier, Wilkerson and Yerrell. Cambier went 13-for-35 in Arizona, Wilkerson 17-for-37 with six doubles and 12 RBIs and Yerrell 13-for-33 with 14 RBIs.

Dickinson State, a member of the Frontier Conference, has lost seven-consecutive games. It was led on Saturday by first baseman Chris Mjelstad, who went 3-for-6 with an RBI on the day.

The Bulldogs have a week off before returning to action next Saturday. They are scheduled to host a four-game series with Dakota State at Plum Creek Park March 22-23. Doubleheaders on both days are set to begin at 1 p.m.

Hot Arizona trip leads to GPAC Player of the Week honors for Dudley

18 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Sophomore left fielder Tayler Dudley has emerged as one of the biggest stories of the early season for the Concordia University baseball team. On Tuesday the native of Longmont, Colo., garnered GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Baseball Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career. Dudley is the Bulldogs’ first conference weekly honoree since Camaren Gause (April 2, 2013) last season.

Dudley scorched the ball in Concordia’s six-game winning streak to close last week’s action in Tucson, Ariz. The lefty went 12-for-19 (three doubles) with nine RBIs and seven runs. He had at least one hit and at least one run in all six games. Dudley’s four hits in the 16-3 win over Dickinson State University (N.D.) on March 15 were a career high.

On the season, Dudley leads the team in batting average and owns a slash line of .392/.475/.490 (BA/OBP/SLG) in 19 games (15 starts). He has 14 RBIs, 12 runs and four stolen bases. Dudley is in his first season as a starter after primarily serving as a pinch runner in 2013.

Dudley and the Bulldogs are scheduled to return to action on Saturday with a home doubleheader that marks the beginning of a four-game series with Dakota State University. Twin bills begin on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Baseball set to open home schedule with Saturday and Sunday doubleheaders

20 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – After starting the 2014 season with 22 games away from Seward, the Concordia University baseball team is set to make its home debut this weekend. Dakota State University will visit Plum Creek Park for doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday as part of a four-game nonconference series. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. on both days.

All of the weekend’s action can be viewed live on the web via the Concordia Sports Network.

Streaking
Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s squad will enter Saturday’s twin bill with a six-game win streak that closed the Tucson Invitational. After dropping the first four games (three by two runs or less) of the Arizona trip, the Bulldogs responded by outscoring their opponents 65-18 over the next six contests. Concordia is hitting .383 (69-for-180) during the current winning streak that has also included three complete game efforts from its starting pitchers. Last season the Bulldogs won back-to-back games only once. They had not won six in a row since 2005.

GPAC ranks
At 10-12 (.455) overall, Concordia has the seventh-highest winning percentage among GPAC teams. Offensively, the Bulldogs rank sixth in the conference in runs per game (6.23) and eighth in both batting average (.283) and slugging percentage (.368). As a pitching staff, Geidel’s squad rates ninth in ERA (5.06), 10th in opponent batting average (.326) and fifth in strikeouts (94). Concordia is ninth in fielding percentage (.932). Individually, Jordan Stirtz ranks ninth in the GPAC in ERA (2.33), Will Holbrook ranks second in innings (32) and strikeouts (28), Taylor Dudley ranks 11th in on-base percentage (.475) and 12th in batting average (.392), Daniel Wilkerson rates thuird in home runs (3), third in stolen bases (9), fourth in runs score (21), fifth in total bases (43), fifth in doubles (7), seventh in hits (25), ninth in RBIs (18) and 10th in slugging (.573), Alex Cargin leads the league in runs (24), Andrew Yerrell ranks fifth in RBIs (21) and seventh in hits (25).

Dudley nabs GPAC player of the week honors
Left fielder Taylor Dudley did not even make his first start until game No. 8. Used mostly as a pinch runner last season, the Longmont, Colo., native has emerged as a pleasant surprise. Dudley was named the GPAC player of the week on Tuesday on the heels of a current six-game hitting streak, during which he has gone 12-for-19 (.632) with nine RBIs and seven runs. The 6-foot sophomore cracked a career high four hits in a 16-3 win over Dickinson State on March 15. His .392 batting average leads the team.

Heavy lumber
The 65 runs scored last week were piled up thanks to the contributions of many. Both of Concordia’s Santa Fe, Texas, stalwarts also had big performances under the desert sun. Right fielder and clean-up hitter Daniel Wilkerson went 17-for-37 with six doubles, a triple and 12 RBIs over the 10 games in Arizona. Wilkerson, 11 extra base hits on the season, leads the Bulldogs with a .573 slugging percentage. Wilkerson shares the same hometown as third baseman and No. 3 hitter Andrew Yerrell, who went 13-for-33 with 14 RBIs in Tucson. Yerrell is the team leader with 21 RBIs. In addition, first baseman Zach Cambier went 13-for-35 in Arizona. All three are batting above .330 on the season.

Stirtz so good
Because of shoulder surgery last season, fifth-year senior Jordan Stirtz had not appeared on the mound since May 3, 2012. In his very first outing this season, the Gretna, Neb., native tossed a seven-inning complete game and picked the win over Bethany University on Feb. 17. In his first five starts this season, Strirtz has allowed one or no earned runs four times. His ERA of 2.33 ranks best among Bulldog starting pitchers.

Fosmo stays perfect
Right-handed reliever Tim Fosmo still has yet to allow an earned run out of the bullpen. In nine innings this season, the senior from Douglas, Wyo., has allowed just a single unearned run on eight hits and three walks. Fosmo worked seven innings over the Arizona trip. He picked up his first career win in the team’s 8-4 victory over Dakota State on March 11.

Scouting Dakota State
Dakota State entered the week with an overall mark of 6-10. That record includes an 8-4 loss to Concordia in a game played in Tucson, Ariz., on March 11. The Trojans, led by fourth-year head coach Scott Hortness, went 4-5 on their nine-game road trip in Arizona. Offensively, Dakota State is a batting .310 and scoring an average of 5.1 runs per game. Its pitching staff sports an ERA of 5.32 and an opponents’ batting average of .300 over 115 innings. First baseman David Halstead is off to a hot start. He is batting .472 with eight RBIs in 12 games. Dakota State is coming off a 2013 season in which it went 11-30 overall. Hortness’ club will take on Dakota Wesleyan in a doubleheader on Thursday prior to shifting focus to this weekend’s series.

Saturday baseball doubleheader canceled 

21 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Saturday's scheduled baseball doubleheader between Concordia University and Dakota State University has been canceled due to expected low temperatures. Concordia and Dakota State remain scheduled to play a twin bill at Plum Creek Park at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

View the complete Bulldog baseball schedule HERE.

Dakota State takes two from Concordia in mistake-plagued doubleheader 

23 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – After 22 games away from Seward to open the 2014 season, the Concordia University baseball team finally hosted its home opener on a chilly, but sun-soaked Sunday afternoon at Plum Creek Park. Visiting Dakota State University (8-12) spoiled the day by sweeping the doubleheader, winning by scores of 6-5 and 9-5.

The pair of losses snapped a six-game win streak for head coach Jeremy Geidel’s Bulldogs, who fell to 10-14 on the season.

Concordia squandered leads in both games against a Trojan team it had already beaten 12 days earlier in a contest played in Tucson, Ariz. On Sunday the Bulldogs committed a combined eight errors and their pitching staff issued 10 free passes. Even for Geidel’s offensive attack that had hit .383 over the previous six games, the miscues were too much.

“Too many walks and errors in key moments and situations,” Geidel said. “We had the chance to make some plays, especially some double plays and didn’t make them. And we gave some extra bases to Dakota State with walks. It was a situation where we have the lead like that, you have to keep it.”

The first two innings of game 1 failed to foreshadow the rough day ahead. Concordia jumped out to a 4-0 lead by pushing across three in the first and one in the fourth. Second baseman AJ Peterson got the Bulldogs on the board quickly with an RBI single that was followed soon after by an RBI groundout from Daniel Wilkerson and a sac fly from Zach Cambier in the three-run first.

The wheels started to come off in the fifth when Dakota State edged in front with four runs, aided by a critical error on a sacrifice bunt. The Trojans took full advantage with RBI singles immediately preceded off the bats of Jon Davis and David Halstead.

Halstead later came through with the game-winning RBI double in the top of the seventh to break a 5-5 tie. Reliever Bryan Westra then threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to earn a save in support of winning pitcher Austin Weber.

Dakota State’s come-from-behind triumph took the air out of a Bulldog team that did not seem to play with the same fire it showed in winning the last six games of their Arizona road trip.

“The energy level those last six games was a lot different than today,” Geidel said. “How do you recapture that energy level and intensity that you found in Arizona and bring it back home in the north and a weekend like this? You have to find that before conference.”

Concordia, behind game 2 hurler Jordan Stirtz, held leads of 1-0 and 3-2 in the night cap. That’s when defensive gaffes once again became an issue. Three different Bulldog infielders were tagged with an error apiece in the Trojans’ four-run sixth that gave them a 6-3 lead, one they would not relinquish.

After the Bulldogs came back with two in the bottom of the seventh, Dakota State responded with three more runs in the eighth – when bases on balls proved fatal for the Concordia bullpen.

At the plate, junior third baseman Andrew Yerrell stayed hot, going 3-for-6 out of the No. 3 spot for Concordia. Game 2 second baseman Cole Stuerke notched three hits in five at bats as part of the Bulldogs’ 12-hit output.

After going 0-for-4 in game 1, Trojan right fielder Seth Spears came back with a big game 2 performance (3-for-4, two doubles, one triple). Spears led a 13-hit outburst against six Concordia game 2 pitchers.

The Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Manhattan Christian College (Kan.), a NCCAA member, for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. from Manhattan, Kan.

Baseball doubleheader at Manhattan Christian canceled 

25 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – The scheduled Tuesday (March 25) baseball doubleheader at Manhattan Christian College has been canceled. Make-up dates are being considered but nothing has been finalized.

Tuesday's games were wiped out because of snow accumulation in Manhattan, Kan., on Monday. The field remained too wet to allow games to be played early this week.

Next up on the schedule is the GPAC-opening twin bill at Plum Creek Park with Briar Cliff on Saturday. The Bulldogs also host Dakota Wesleyan on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. both days.

Baseball hosts Briar Cliff and Dakota Wesleyan in weekend doubleheaders 

27 MAR 2014

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.

Baseball squanders leads in GPAC-opening defeats at hands of Briar Cliff 

29 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University baseball team again watched early leads melt away as it began the conference season by dropping a pair of games to visiting Briar Cliff on Saturday afternoon. The Chargers (9-15, 2-0 GPAC) won a tight 7-5 contest in game 1 before running away with a 15-4 victory in the capper.

Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s Bulldogs, who had not played since last Sunday, fell for the third and fourth-straight times. Concordia is 10-16 overall.

“It’s frustrating. It’s obviously very similar to last week,” Geidel said. “We’ve been trying to work on our defense and getting a lead and holding a lead. It’s one thing to go against the opponent and battle and it’s another to be hurting yourself.”

In each of Concordia’s last four last losses it has held early advantages. Center fielder Camaren Gause pushed Concordia to a 3-2 lead with a missile over the left field wall for a two-run homer. The Bulldogs held a lead as large as 4-2 in game 1 and got up 2-0 in the first inning of game 2.

A nightmare inning doomed Concordia in both games against the Chargers, who piled up four runs in the sixth frame of game 1 and eight runs in the seventh inning of the second contest. Briar Cliff first baseman Jake Erichsen homered twice during the eight-run seventh, during which he put a huge exclamation mark on his day with a grand slam to left.

 The Chargers, who had lost five in a row entering the weekend, pounded out a combined 27 hits (18 in game 2) to take advantage of another shaky defensive effort by the Bulldogs. Concordia committed three errors in both ends of the twin bill.

On a positive note, Gause busted out of his slump with his bullet of a home run. He went 1-for-3 with three RBIs and three walks on the day. In addition, Daniel Wilkerson went 4-for-8 with three RBIs in the doubleheader. Leadoff hitter Alex Cargin was 3-for-4 with a run in game 2.

“I like our approaches at the plate,” Geidel said. “I like the way the guys are swinging it. It was good to see Gause give us the lead midway through the first game. That was encouraging to see. I think there’s a lot to build on offensively. We have to give credit to Briar Cliff too. They hit the ball pretty well.”

Not only did Wilkerson continue his hot hitting, he also stole a base in each game to give him 11 thefts on the season. His previous career high was four stolen bases.

Concordia starters Will Holbrook and Bryce Rone took were both tagged with losses. Holbrook held up well in game 1 until Briar Cliff’s four-run sixth. The Tucson, Ariz., native ended up allowing six runs (three earned) on seven hits in 5.2 innings.

Remarkably, the top six hitters in the Briar Cliff lineup all had two hits or more in game two. Erichsen went 4-for-6 with two homers and six RBIs. Matt Boswell and Matt Fiechtner both went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs.

Concordia will hope to flush Saturday’s frustrations down the drain when it returns to action on Sunday.

“I believe it’s one of the hardest collegiate sports there is to play because you have to play two games in a day and then you have to turn around the next day regardless of the results the previous day,” Geidel said. “There is no rest or relaxation.

“They determine what happens tomorrow by their effort and their attitude.”

The Bulldogs remain at home on Sunday for another doubleheader matinee. Concordia and Dakota Wesleyan (15-9, 1-1 GPAC) will get started at 1 p.m. The Tigers split a twin bill with Nebraska Wesleyan on Saturday.

Gause powers sweep of Dakota Wesleyan in Sunday slugfest 

30 MAR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia and Dakota Wesleyan combined for 45 runs in a slugfest of a baseball doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. Center fielder Camaren Gause blasted a walk-off two-run homer to lift the Bulldogs to a wild 14-13 victory in game 1 prior to a 10-8 win in game 2.

Concordia overcame deficits of 13-5 in the opening contest and 7-5 in the night cap to improve to 12-16 overall and 2-2 in conference play.

“It was one of those games where the guys really grinded,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said of the game 1 comeback. “They came out today to play hard and play it right. We got ourselves in a big hole and our guys came out and stayed with it. They chipped away at it.

“It ended up being a being a memorable win for us with Cam hitting that walk-off home run.”

Gause’s game-winning blast provided the biggest highlight of what turned into a huge weekend for the native of Tucson, Ariz. With Daniel Wilkerson on second and one away in the bottom of the seventh, Gause blasted Shaun Dean’s offering over the left field wall to set off a celebration at the plate.

Gause was lifted into the air by several teammates and then bear-hugged by third base/hitting coach Rich Eber. The rally from eight runs down was a significant boost to a team that had lost four straight.

“That was exciting. It was a great experience to have,” Gause said. “I just trust the process. My teammates never gave up on me and I never gave up on myself either.”

Some extra swings in the batting cage helped Gause overcome his recent slump. Over four games this weekend, the senior went 6-for-11 with three home runs (two in Sunday’s game 1), two doubles, four walks, nine RBIs and a highlight reel catch in center while battling the wind.

“He worked all week,” Geidel said. “He knew he was struggling. He was getting some extra swings in with coach Eber. Credit coach Eber for simplifying his swing a little bit and giving some confidence back to him this week. It was a good job by Cam coming out and being mentally tough.”

Dakota Wesleyan scored six runs in the top of the fifth and led 13-5 at the end of five in game 1. Left fielder Taylor Dudley’s three-run double keyed a five-run sixth and Wilkerson’s two-run double in the seventh then set the stage for the heroics of Gause.

Wilkerson finished 3-for-9 while driving in five runs to extend his team-leading RBI total to 27. First baseman Zach Cambier went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in game 2 and catcher Ryan Fesmire went 2-for-4 with an RBI in game 1.

Dakota Wesleyan also got big production at the plate. The Tiger trio of Ben Spitznagel, Ben Ladner and Cody Silveria each had two hits in both ends of the twin bill.

Bulldog winning pitchers were relievers Schafer Thompson and Bryce Rone. Junior lefty Jaydee Jurgensen made his first mound appearance since March 8 and worked two innings to pick up the save in game 2.

After letting leads slip away in each of the team’s latest four losses, the Bulldogs were happy to be on the other side of things on Sunday.

“It will help big,” Gause said. “We’re going to go out and practice this week and focus on that and then come out with the same energy as today.”

The Bulldogs will have nearly a week off before returning to action next Saturday when they travel to Dordt (8-10, 1-3 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. doubleheader in Sioux Center, Iowa. Concordia returns home the next day to host Mount Marty (14-8, 0-2 GPAC). The Sunday matinee will get underway at 1 p.m. from Plum Creek Park.

Santa Fe's Wilkerson and Yerrell make home deep in the heart of Bulldog lineup 

4 APR 2014

By Jake Knabel, Sports Information Director

Current pitching coach John Couch decided to attend Concordia in 2006, then unaware of the profound impact his choice would have on the Bulldog baseball program. Couch’s migration up north via Santa Fe, Texas, paved the way for current Concordia stalwarts Daniel Wilkerson and Andrew Yerrell.

Like Couch, Wilkerson and Yerrell spent their prep playing days at Santa Fe High School, located about 35 miles to the southeast of Houston. While not necessarily planning to attend the same college, the two longtime friends left The Lone Star State and headed roughly 900 miles north after completing high school.

“When we were recruiting them, I told (head coach Jeremy) Geidel, ‘if we get one it’s going to be a package deal,’” Couch said.

Now in their junior years, the Santa Fe combo is thriving in the No. 3 and 4 spots in the Concordia batting order. Yerrell leads the team with a .352 batting average while the muscular Wilkerson has cleaned up with a team high 27 RBIs through 28 games.

Having looked up to Couch, who coached both during summer leagues back home, the young Texans naturally were all ears when the possibility of playing baseball at Concordia came up in conversation. Couch quickly went to work recruiting them upon his hiring as a graduate assistant on Geidel’s staff.

It wasn’t hard for Couch to get the dialogue going. His family already had strong bonds with the Wilkersons and Yerrells. Independently, both decided Concordia was the right opportunity.

“Up to my senior year I had no intentions of playing college baseball until Coach Couch approached Dan and myself about coming to Concordia,” Yerrell said. “Knowing Couch as my summer coach for the previous two years, I trusted what he had to say about the university and the program.”

Trust in Couch, a four-year letter winner as a Bulldog pitcher, also proved crucial in Wilkerson’s decision.

“Coach Couch played the biggest role in my coming to Concordia,” Wilkerson said. “He approached Drew and I when we were at school one day and told us how much playing for Concordia helped him grow on and off the field and how much we would both benefit from the experience if we chose to come here.”

Considering both cite family as the biggest things they miss about life in Santa Fe, their pledges to Concordia may have been seen as a long shot at one time. Couch says they passed up offers from schools in San Antonio and east Texas for the chance to be Bulldogs. Wilkerson also had opportunities to further his golf career.

“Drew came up first in January and then Daniel came up in March or April (of 2011),” Couch said. “I believe Drew signed first. He’s always been the independent type. He’s going to go by himself and prove that he can do it on his own. Daniel on the other hand, he’s a mama’s boy. He’s a family man. His parents, his mom especially, had to make sure this place is safe. This place is a right fit. He took a little longer.”

Any wait was well worth it for Concordia baseball, which has seen the two grow into a formidable pair of right-handed hitters (deep) in the heart of the lineup. The two played significant roles for Geidel immediately as freshmen. After feeling things out early in their careers, Wilkerson and Yerrell have busted loose in 2014 and have the Bulldogs averaging nearly 6.5 runs per game.

Couch says the two simply needed a little experience to develop and adapt to college pitching. All three Santa Fe natives agree that it was just a matter of time before the production came in Texas-sized form.

“It's definitely a great honor being given such important roles on the team although I can't say I'm very surprised because Drew and I work really hard and set our goals high in anything we do,” Wilkerson said. “We are our biggest critics and do not ever get complacent with our performance. We certainly try to better ourselves with every game, every at-bat and every practice so it is very rewarding finding success through our hard work.”

The two friends complement each other perfectly in the 3 and 4 slots in the lineup. Yerrell (third base/DH) has gotten on base at a .455 clip, helping Wilkerson (right field) rank in the top five in the conference in RBIs. The Santa Fe duo has a combined 50 RBIs, 50 runs and 17 stolen bases.

It just makes sense that they came to Concordia together and now bat one after the other.

“Hitting in front of Dan has many advantages,” Yerrell said. “Many teams can tell that he is a big guy and can hit the long ball at any time. But because of Dan and our entire lineup swinging the bats so well and getting on base, it makes it easier for me to do my job at the plate.”

Their successes bring joy to many in the Santa Fe community, which supports a population of 12,222. Wilkerson and Yerrell are well known back home as outstanding athletes and young men alike.

“Both are looked up to in Santa Fe,” Couch said. “Everyone always wants to talk with them and hang out with them and see how they’re doing. They have people always checking up on them. They have people calling me all the time asking how they’re doing. They’re role models to the youth in Santa Fe just like they are to the youth here in Seward. I think they understand that. It’s something to be proud about.”

With that kind of support in Santa Fe, it’s unlikely either Wilkerson or Yerrell will forget their roots. After all, Wilkerson chose Pat Green’s “I Like Texas” as his walk-up song for this season. There’s also little doubt that they will have no regrets about skipping town for Concordia.

Couch calls Geidel a second father and both Wilkerson and Yerrell credit Concordia and its staff for helping shape them.

“Coach Geidel and Coach (Rich) Eber have really helped me grow as a ball player over the past two-and-a-half-years,” Wilkerson said. “They have really helped me understand the game better and to realize the things we need to do to become successful.”

Added Yerrell: “I give a lot of credit to Coach Eber who has helped develop my swing since I was a freshman. Coach Geidel and my teammates have also helped push me to my full potential throughout the years I have spent here. I try to never get complacent with my performance and always strive to be better.”

AFTER GRADUATION

Wilkerson (criminal justice major):

After graduation I plan on returning to Santa Fe. I will most likely try to get in to law school or join the U.S Marshals Service. I haven't fully decided which one I will do yet. 

Yerrell (physics major):

After graduation I plan on going to Officer Candidates School in the Navy. I will enter the engineering field and hope to make a career for myself in the military.

Saturday (April 5) baseball doubleheader moved to Plum Creek Park 

4 APR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Due to snow in Sioux Center, Iowa, the Saturday, April 5 baseball doubleheader between Concordia and Dordt has been moved to Plum Creek Park in Seward, Neb. The twin bill is set to get started at 1 p.m. Dordt (8-12, 1-3 GPAC) will serve as the home team on the scoreboard.

The Bulldogs (12-16, 2-2 GPAC) will also be at home on Sunday for another 1 p.m. doubleheader. Mount Marty (14-10, 0-4 GPAC) will be the visitor.

Dordt overcomes deficits, Gause hot hitting in doubleheader sweep

5 APR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Centerfielder Camaren Gause remained white hot but it was not enough as the Concordia University baseball team failed to hold leads in both ends of a doubleheader sweep by Dordt on Saturday. In a twin bill originally scheduled to be played in Sioux Center, Iowa, the Bulldogs dropped a pair of two-run decisions, 5-3 and 8-6, at Plum Creek Park.

Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s club, which had been idle since last Sunday, fell to 12-18 overall and 2-4 in conference play.

“The biggest thing in both games is simply that we lost the lead,” Geidel said. “We did our part early in the game. We got our offense going and got a lead. Then it was just a matter of can keep it. We have opportunities where we need to make the play or make the pitch. Defense and pitching have to hunker down when we have a lead. Today we just didn’t do it.”

Five more Bulldog errors on Saturday spoiled another prolific afternoon for Gause, one of the hottest hitters in the GPAC. The native of Tucson, Ariz., now 10-for-19 with five long balls and 11 RBIs over his last six games, went deep in the second and eighth innings of game 2. His second blast easily cleared the left centerfield fence and got the Bulldogs within two, 8-6.

“He’s seeing it well. He really has confidence,” Geidel said. “He’s going out there with a good attitude. He’s keeping it simple and looking for a good quality swing on the ball and we’re seeing results because of it.”

Gause’s fireworks were easily the biggest highlight of a day in which Concordia’s most glaring bugaboos – pitching and infield defense – surfaced again. Those shortcomings allowed Dordt to battle back from a 3-1 deficit in game 1 and a 5-1 disadvantage in game 2.

Other than a second inning homer by the Defenders’ Aaron Parks, Bulldog game 1 starter Will Holbrooks cruised along until wading into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. Dordt got a run in the fifth and then three more in the sixth to chase Holbrooks from the game and tag him with the loss.

Dordt game 2 pitcher Lucas Carls surrendered runs in three-straight innings between the second and fourth, but he battled through seven innings to pick up his first win on the season. The Defenders also got a nice day at the plate from second baseman Dane LePlatt, who went 4-for-8 (3-for-5 in game 2) with an RBI.

Geidel used six different pitchers, including starter Josh Prater, to cover eight innings in game 2. The group of John Jay Silva, Brody Yost and Schafer Thompson combined to pitch 3.1 scoreless innings to give the Bulldogs a shot at a late-inning comeback.

Another Bulldog other than Gause continued his fine work at the plate as Ryan Fesmire went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in game 2. In addition, first baseman Zach Cambier went 2-for-4 in game 2. Cambier briefly left game 1 after fouling a pitch off his face. He returned to his position sporting a bandage for the remainder of the day.

Dordt snapped a five-game losing streak by sweeping the doubleheader.

The Bulldogs will be back at home on Sunday to host Mount Marty (14-12, 0-6 GPAC) in another conference doubleheader. The twin bill is set to begin at 1 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. On Saturday the Lancers lost twice at No. 19 Doane.

Jurgensen picks up first Bulldog win in doubleheader split 

6 APR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University baseball team used a 10-run sixth inning and a masterful complete game effort from Jaydee Jurgensen to win game 1 of a doubleheader split with visiting Mount Marty on Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs took the first contest by a 13-2 score prior to falling, 9-5, in the night cap at Plum Creek Park.

Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s club sits at 13-19 overall and 3-5 in the GPAC after a going 1-3 at home over the weekend.

“It was really nice to see Jaydee get back into a starting role today and come out and respond the way he did,” Geidel said. “You’re in that fifth, sixth, seventh inning and you don’t know if he’s going to out there again or not, but then you put up a nice 10 spot and that helps. It allows him to gain confidence and finish strong.”

Because of an injury that occurred during the team’s spring trip to Arizona, Jurgensen had not started on the mound since March 8. Back to health in time for Sunday, the southpaw looked like the ace pitcher the Bulldogs expected to see when he arrived via Scottsdale Community College. The Lincoln native worked all seven innings and limited the Lancers to one earned run on five hits and one walk.

“Last week I ended up closing the last game of the weekend. This week wherever Coach needed me I was willing to go,” Jurgensen said. “My arm felt good today and I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes. The defense was great the first game behind me and we scored runs when we needed to.”

Jurgensen got plenty of support from his lineup. The Bulldogs busted open a 3-2 game by putting up 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth. During that frame Concordia collected eight of its 12 hits with both centerfielder Camaren Gause and left fielder Taylor Dudley pounding out two hits as 13 hitters came to the plate.

Gause and Dudley stood out on a day when several Bulldog hitters performed well. Gause continued his power surge with a two-run homer to left field to tie game 2 at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth. Gause, who went 3-for-9 on the day, has hit all six of his team-leading long balls over the past eight games.

Dudley enjoyed a stellar twin bill as he went 5-for-8 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs. Dudley knocked Gause in twice during the sixth-inning outburst in game 1. The Longmont, Colo., native improved his batting average to a team best .357.

Concordia had an opportunity to sweep Mount Marty in game 2. Sean McCartney (3-for-4 on the day) delivered a clutch pinch hit RBI single to tie the game at 5-5 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

“We battled today,” Geidel said. “Second game we’re tied 5-5 in the top of the ninth and that’s when you’ve got to have composure and be in the moment. That’s one thing we’re still learning as a young squad. Offensively we got ourselves in that situation to tie it up with McCartney’s pinch hit.”

The Lancers bounced back with a four-run ninth inning to tag reliever Schafer Thompson with the loss. First baseman Jared Miller (4-for-5 in game 2) broke the five-all tie with a run-scoring single to put Mount Marty in front for good.

The late inning binge made a winner of reliever Dustin Haffeman, who gave up only one run despite surrendering four hits in his two innings of work. Concordia racked up 14 hits for the game but left 11 men on base.

The Bulldogs will be idle until next Saturday when they start a weekend featuring four games in western Iowa. Up first will be Northwestern (22-7, 4-2 GPAC), which received votes in this week’s national poll, on April 12.

Baseball swept up by No. 24 Northwestern 

12 APR 2014

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The Concordia baseball squads suffered two tough defeats to Northwestern College on Saturday, dropping a double header 3-1 and 14-1. Concordia fell to 3-7 in the GPAC, 13-21 overall.

Squaring off against a 24th-ranked Northwestern team, the Bulldogs played strong defense in game one, though they struggled to gain offensive momentum.

The Bulldogs got things started with Josh Mondt’s two-out single to bring in Camaren Gause and take an early 1-0 lead. Northwestern answered, however, in the bottom of the second, after some Bulldog defensive miscues produced the game tying run, bringing the score to 1-1. Despite a strong defensive effort and pitching by Jaydee Jurgensen (5 IP, 6H, 2ER, 1BB, 3K), Northwestern tacked on another run in the bottom of the third and fifth innings to seal the deal.

The Bulldogs came close several times to scoring runs that could either have taken the lead or tied up the ballgame.

In the fourth inning, Taylor Dudley was called out in at home after a Mondt single nearly brought him in. In the fifth and seventh innings, Concordia put men on third both times, but were unable to score them.

“In game one, we competed very well,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “Jaydee pitched very well and we played well defensively. We had opportunities to score runs and had some plays go against us at home and we didn’t get the big hit we normally would.

“We played well that first game and had a chance to beat a good team. When you make mistakes or bad pitches against a team like that they’re going to make you pay. You have a very small margin of error.”

In game two, Concordia’s bats were ready as they connected for four hits in the first inning. The Bulldogs again jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when a Taylor Dudley single scored Zach Cambier. It would be all the Bulldogs could muster, however, as Northwestern used some powerful hitting to take the second match.

In examining areas that need improvement, Geidel noted that Concordia needed to get its usual production back from the heart of the lineup.

The Bulldogs will travel to Sioux City, Iowa on Mon, April 14 to take on Morningside College in a double header.

Cargin, Stirtz spark game 2 win in split at Morningside 

15 APR 2014

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – After stranding 10 runners in a frustrating game 1 loss, the Concordia University baseball team busted loose in game 2 and salvaged a split at Morningside (17-20, 6-6 GPAC) on Tuesday evening. In a doubleheader that had twice been postponed, the Bulldogs fell 7-3 before finishing the night with an 11-7 win in Sioux City, Iowa.

Concordia ends the day with an overall record of 14-22 and GPAC mark of 4-8.

It was another solid offensive day for a Bulldog team averaging more than six runs per game.

“We swung it well,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “Our guys attacked the ball better today than last time out at Northwestern. We swung at better pitches.

“It was nice to get production again from our 3-4-5 hitters, and (Taylor) Dudley had a nice game and (Josh) Mondt drove in some runs. That was good to see.”

Second baseman Alex Cargin enjoyed one of his finest days as a Bulldog, going 3-for-4 (one run) in game 1 and 2-for-4 (three runs, one RBI) in game 2 to lead an offensive attack that pounded out 11 hits in both ends of the twin bill. Center fielder Cam Gause also produced solidly (3-for-7, two RBIs, run) and bumped his hitting streak to 10 games.

The Bulldogs also got a big effort from game 2 starting pitcher Jordan Stirtz, who worked 8.2 innings and surrendered only one earned run on eight hits and five walks. The native of Gretna, Neb., allowed five runs (all unearned due to an error) on three singles and a walk in the bottom of the ninth before being lifted for reliever Heath Benker.

“We wanted Stirtz to finish it off,” Geidel said. “He pitched a great game. He settled down after the first inning and put up a lot of zeroes. It was a great job by him to bounce back after a tough outing at Northwestern (April 12).”

Geidel’s club staked Stirtz to a lead as large as 11-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth. The Bulldogs scored at least one run in each of the first five innings, including five in the second. The explosion was fueled by a Mark Wilcox RBI double and a two-run double from Daniel Wilkerson. Mondt (3-for-5 in game 2) sparked the five-run frame with a leadoff single.

A total of six Bulldogs had at least one two-hit game on the day. Designated hitter Andrew Yerrell reached base three of four plate appearances (2-for-3, walk) and scored three times in game 2. Dudley also added a three-hit performance in game 1.

The momentum quickly swung the Mustangs’ way in game 1 when the Bulldogs failed to score in the top of the first off of Derek Appley despite having runners at first and third to begin the frame. Morningside then responded with four runs on four hits and an error in the bottom half and never looked back.

Concordia left another two runners on base in the third and ended the fifth with the bags loaded and down just 5-3.

Right hander Will Holbrook fell to 2-6 after getting tagged with the loss to begin the evening. Holbrook gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits and one walk in five innings.

A busy week that includes nine games on the slate continues on Wednesday with a non-conference affair at York College (23-17). The nine-inning contest is set to begin at 5:30 p.m.

Bulldogs trot out eight pitchers in 11-5 loss at York 

16 APR 2014

YORK, Neb. – Head coach Jeremy Geidel used eight different pitchers to navigate a nine-inning, 11-5, nonconference loss at York College on Wednesday evening. In saving their top pitchers for four upcoming weekend GPAC games, the Bulldog ‘pen took its lumps as the host Panthers pounded out 17 hits.

Concordia dropped to 14-23 overall. York improved to 24-17.

“Everyone had their opportunities (on the mound) and we only had two zeroes put up,” Geidel said. “It killed us giving up four runs over the first two innings and then four more in the sixth. We just got behind in the counts and they put pressure on us with their hitting.”

After falling behind 4-0 after two innings, the Bulldogs came right back with a four-run third that included a Daniel Wilkerson RBI single and a Cam Gause run-scoring double. The two-bagger extended the red hot Gause’s hitting streak to 11. The Bulldog center fielder went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run.

York regained the advantage with a run apiece in the third and fourth and then a four spot in the sixth that put the game out of reach. Panther shortstop Anthony Enriquez, a thorn in the Bulldogs’ side all day, singled in the runs in the third and the fourth as part of a 3-for-4, three RBI day.

Concordia freshman left hander Brody Yost started on the mound but gave way to Bryce Rone in the third. Rone hurled one inning and took the loss. Rone was followed out of the bullpen by Matt Chambers (1 IP), Edwin Izumigawa (1 IP), John Jay Silva (0.2 IP), Tim Fosmo (one batter faced), Schafer Thompson (1.1 IP) and Josh Prater (1 IP).

Izumigawa tossed up a zero in the fifth and Prater fired a scoreless eighth.

Wilkerson (2-for-4, RBI, run) and left fielder Erik Ellison (2-for-4, run) joined Gause as Bulldogs with two or more hits. That trio posted seven of the team’s eight hits in the game.

“I thought we swung the bats well considering the conditions,” Geidel said. “Anything in the air was going to get caught with the way the wind was blowing in.

“It was a two-run game until the sixth and our defense again made some mistakes. York’s a team that if you give them a little bit they will take advantage.”

Mitchell Fletcher tossed 2.2 scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season. Fletcher relieved starter Dylan Morrow with one out in the top of the fifth.

During his current 11-game hitting streak, Gause is 20-for-42 with five home runs, 15 RBIs and 44 total bases.

The Bulldogs return to GPAC play on Friday when they travel to nearby Doane (34-7, 12-0 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. The Tigers have won 18 games in a row and are ranked 13th nationally.

Concordia lets leads slip away, falls twice to No. 13 Doane 

18 APR 2014

CRETE, Neb. – No. 13 Doane came from behind in both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader to earn a sweep of the Concordia University baseball team in contests played at Ledon Baseball Field. The first-place Tigers ran their winning streak to 20 while the Bulldogs fell for the seventh time in their last eight games. Doane (36-7, 14-0 GPAC) won by scores of 6-2 and 8-6.

At 14-25 overall and 4-10 in GPAC play, Concordia sits in ninth place in the league standings.

Despite going toe-to-toe with the conference’s top team, the Bulldogs are not reveling in any moral victories.

“You can kind of look at it that way but I think our guys are disappointed that the same mistakes are happening that allow us to lose a lead,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “Whether it be errors or walks. It’s over and over again. Those things are coming back to cost us.”

Concordia missed an opportunity to knock off Doane ace Elliott Engle in game 1. The Bulldogs got a two-run homer from Daniel Wilkerson (fourth of the season) in the top of the first. The blast was the first given up this season by Engle (8-1), who entered the contest with only two earned runs allowed in 45 innings.

Engle dominated the rest of the way and the Doane offensive attack, with the help of a key Concordia miscue, got going with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to gain a 6-2 lead. The Tiger hurler went all seven innings and struck out 14 to tie a school record.

Concordia also held a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth of game 2. AJ Peterson got the start at third base and had a big game, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs. He sprayed run-scoring singles in the third and fourth innings. Catcher Ryan Fesmire (single), second baseman Alex Cargin (bases-loaded hit by pitch) and designated hitter Andrew Yerrell (bases-loaded walk) also had RBIs as part of the four-run fourth.

“AJ got the start at third base for the first time ever and he capitalized on it,” Geidel said. “He was ready and did a good job for us defensively as well as offensively. It was nice to see him respond that way.”

The Tigers came right back with four runs in the fifth to take a lead they would not relinquish. Doane third baseman Ethan Schroeder pounded out three hits and two RBIs as part of a 10-hit attack, six of which came against Bulldog starter Jaydee Jurgensen.

Freshman lefty Josh Prater enjoyed one of his best outings in giving Concordia four solid innings in game 1. Prater scattered seven hits and struck out four. He exited the game with a 2-0 lead with two runners on and no outs in the bottom of the fifth.

Bulldog center fielder Camaren Gause went 1-for-3 in game 1 and 0-for-4 in game 2, snapping his 12-game hitting streak. Gause walked in his final plate appearance of the day, marking the 15th-straight game that he has reached base safely.

The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday with a home doubleheader set to begin at 1 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. Concordia welcomes in Midland (31-14, 10-2 GPAC).

Baseball struggles in lopsided losses to Midland 

19 APR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Very little went right for the Concordia University baseball team on a day in which visiting Midland swept Saturday’s GPAC doubleheader by a combined score of 26-3. The Warriors (33-14, 12-2 GPAC) won 12-3 in game 1 and then 14-0 in game 2 at Plum Creek Park in Seward, Neb.

The Bulldogs (14-27, 4-12 GPAC) suffered their fourth and fifth losses in a row and sit in a three-way tie for ninth place in conference standings.

Game 1 appeared as though it may be a tight pitcher’s duel with the two sides tied 1-1 at the end of four innings. Edwin Izumigawa, making his first start of the season on the mound for Concordia, held the Warriors to just one hit through four innings.

That’s when the wheels came off. Midland got a three-run homer from third baseman Miguel Ramallo in the top of the fifth to grab a 4-1 advantage. The Warriors then busted the game open with an eight-run sixth, highlighted by catcher Jordyn Van Atta’s grand slam off of reliever Heath Benker.

After playing error free in the opening contest, Concordia’s infield defensive woes surfaced again in a second game that Midland led start to finish. A key first-inning error led to three unearned Warrior runs off of right-handed pitcher Will Holbrook. Midland went on to add crooked numbers in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh innings to enact the 10-run rule after seven frames.

Cleanup hitter and right fielder Daniel Wilkerson provided one of the day’s few highlights for Concordia when he crushed a two-run homer to left in the bottom of the sixth of game 1. The homer was Wilkerson’s fifth of the season and second in as many games.

In addition, Bulldog freshman shortstop Josh Mondt notched the first home run of his career when he went deep in the bottom of the third in game 1, tying the score at 1 at the time.

Midland starting pitchers Dillon Cotner (8-2) and Tyler Brungardt (7-4) both picked up victories for a squad that remains two games behind first-place Doane (38-7, 16-0 GPAC) in the loss column. Cotner and Brungardt helped hold the Bulldog attack to a combined seven hits on the afternoon.

The Bulldogs will play one final game outside the conference on Tuesday when they go on the road to take on York College (25-18) at 5:30 p.m. Concordia will finish up GPAC regular-season action next Friday and Saturday. The April 26 home doubleheader with Nebraska Wesleyan will be senior day for the Bulldogs.

Bulldogs fall to Panthers despite four hits from Yerrell 

22 APR 2014

YORK, Neb. – Junior third baseman Andrew Yerrell pounded out four hits to lead a Bulldog offensive attack on a Tuesday night in which head coach Jeremy Geidel turned to five different pitchers. Heath Benker was the only Bulldog pitcher to provide at least an inning of scoreless work as host York College (28-18) outslugged Concordia, 13-6, in a single nine-inning game.

The Bulldogs fell to 14-28 overall with four games left on the regular-season schedule.

The Panthers bludgeoned the Concordia pitching staff by scoring at least one run in every inning between the second and seventh frames. York scored four times in the fourth off starting pitcher Brody Yost and never looked back on the way to a win that included 15 hits.

Yerrell got the Bulldogs’ three-run fifth kick started with an RBI triple for one us his two runs driven in on the night. Center fielder Camaren Gause singled in Yerrell and Taylor Dudley added an RBI base hit of his own in the inning. Concordia trailed 9-4 but would get no closer.

The Panthers got plenty of production from the No. 6 spot in its lineup where Trevor Ramos knocked in four runs as part of a 2-for-3 effort. Three other Panthers drove in two runs apiece.

After Yost threw the first three innings, Concordia turned to Schafer Thompson for two innings, Bryce Rone for 1.2, Micah Thiessen for 0.1 and Benker for one.

The Bulldogs will return to action on Friday for a 5:30 p.m. doubleheader at Hastings (12-22, 6-10 GPAC). Concordia then hosts its final regular-season twin bill on Saturday when Nebraska Wesleyan (6-25, 5-11 GPAC) comes to town. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. on senior day.

Baseball to honor seniors in final regular-season games on Saturday 

24 APR 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University baseball team closes the regular season with a doubleheader at Hastings on Friday (4:30 p.m.) and before returning home for the final time on Saturday (1 p.m.) when Nebraska Wesleyan visits Seward. Five seniors will be recognized between games.

Saturday’s contests will be streamed live online via theConcordia Sports Network. Jordan Miller will provide the play-by-play.

Path to GPAC tournament
All 11 members remain in contention to land a spot in the eight-team GPAC tournament to be held May 1-3 at Caldwell Park and Drake Field in Mitchell, S.D. The Bulldogs (14-28, 4-12 GPAC) are currently in a three-way tie for ninth and one game back of Nebraska Wesleyan (6-25, 5-11) for eighth place. Teams five through 11 are separated by only 3.0 games. In head-to-head with the teams its tied with, Concordia split with Mount Marty and got swept by Dordt.

Getting back on track
Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s squad has lost 10 of 11 games entering a crucial weekend. After a rough April 19 doubleheader versus Midland, the Bulldogs showed offensive progress in a 13-6 loss at York on Tuesday night. Designated hitter and No. 3 batter Andrew Yerrell enjoyed perhaps the best game of his career, going 4-for-5 with two triples and a double against Panther pitching. That effort pushed Yerrell into the team lead with a .341 batting average while staring all 42 games.

The biggest obstacle throughout this season has been infield defense and bullpen struggles. The Bulldogs need to calm down a defensive unit that has committed 21 errors over the last eight games.

Power surge
Eleven of Concordia’s 12 home runs this season have come from either cleanup hitter Daniel Wilkerson or No. 5 hitter Camaren Gause. With six long balls, Gause ranks third in the GPAC. Wilkerson is tied for fourth with five home runs. The Bulldogs are the only team in the conference that possesses two hitters with five or more homers. Shortstop Josh Mondt has Concordia’s other home run. The team’s 12 blasts are third most in the GPAC.

Team comparisons
*Conference rank in parentheses

Concordia (14-28, 4-12 GPAC)
Head Coach
: Jeremy Geidel (17th year)
BA: .285 (7th)
SLG: .382 (6th)
Runs/game: 5.83 (6th)
ERA: 6.50 (11th)
Opponents’ BA: .333 (10th)
K’s: 187 (6th)
Fielding %: .925 (11th)
Leading Hitter: Andrew Yerrell (.342 BA, .452 OBP, .467 SLG, 9 2Bs, 31 RBIs)
Top Pitcher: Jordan Stirtz (3-5, 3.83 ERA, 26 K, 54 IP)

Nebraska Wesleyan (6-25, 5-11 GPAC)
Head Coach
: Bill Fagler (8th year)
BA: .247 (11th)
SLG: .300 (11th)
Runs/game: 3.23 (11th)
ERA: 5.94 (7th)
Opponents’ BA: .311 (7th)
K’s: 142 (11th)
Fielding %: .930 (9th)
Leading Hitter: Colby McPike (.343 BA, .422 OBP, 6 2Bs, 9 RBIs)
Top Pitcher: Jordyn Johnson (1-4, 4.62 ERA, 29 K, 39 IP)

2014 SENIOR CLASS

#24 Matt Chambers
Hometown: Lakewood, Wash.
Parents: James and Randi Chambers
Major: psychology
Graduation: May 2014
Plans after graduation: Seek employment.

#14 Erik Ellison
Hometown: Bennington, Neb.
Parents: Stu and Marcia Ellison
Major: Business Communications
Graduation: May 2014
Plans after Graduation: Get a job in business.

#33 Tim Fosmo
Hometown: Douglas, Wyoming
Parents: Glenn and Joani Fosmo
Major: Organismal Biology
Graduation: May 2014
Plans after Graduation: I plan to return home and pursue a career with either the state Forest Service or the Game and Fish Department.

#27 Camaren Gause
Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
Parents: Gerald and Barbara Gause
Major: Business Administration
Graduation: December 2014
Plans after Graduation: Apply for job inside Raytheon Missle Company in Tucson.

#36 Jordan Stirtz
Hometown: Gretna, Neb. 
Parents: Craig and Lisa Stirtz
Major: Master’s in education 
Graduation: December of 2013; degree in secondary education (mathematics)
Plans after Graduation: Find a job as a math teacher and complete my master’s degree.

Baseball splits at Hastings, remains in contention for GPAC tournament berth 

25 APR 2014

HASTINGS, Neb. – The entire eight-team GPAC tournament field will have to wait until Saturday to be finalized. The Concordia University baseball team remained alive by earning a 7-4 game 1 victory as part of a doubleheader split on Friday evening at Hastings College (13-25, 7-13 GPAC). The Broncos solidified their spot in the postseason by taking the night cap.

At 15-29 overall and 5-13 in GPAC play, Concordia will need to pull ahead or draw even with Mount Marty (22-20, 6-12 GPAC) on the regular-season’s final day in order to reach the conference tournament. The Lancers host Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.

“We need to win games. We’re not trying to hide the fact that we’re in a must-win situation,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “We came out ready to go. We got the momentum early and our guys responded. Our bullpen did a good job. We staffed it a lot different with (Will) Holbrook coming out of the bullpen.”

Designated hitter Andrew Yerrell again powered the Bulldog offensive attack from the No. 3 hole. Yerrell went 6-for-7 with a double, a triple, three runs and two RBIs in the twin bill and is now a white hot 10-for-12 over the past three games, raising his average from .323 to .366.

Yerrell helped get things started in a two-run top of the first in game 1. He singled and ended up stealing home a double steal. The native of Santa Fe, Texas, led off the third and fifth innings with hits to initiate additional scoring. The Bulldogs put up a crucial three spot in the fifth inning thanks also to Daniel Wilkerson’s sac fly and Josh Mondt’s RBI single.

Lefty Jaydee Jurgensen gave Concordia six solid innings of work on the bump to earn his second win. The Lincoln native allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits and one walk. He surrendered back-to-back singles to begin the bottom of the seventh and was lifted for Holbrook, who retired three of the four hitters he faced to pick up the save.

“Jaydee pitched well and it was big getting those three runs in the first inning,” Geidel said. “That makes it a whole different ballgame.”

The Broncos returned the favor by striking for three first-inning runs in game 2 off starting pitcher Josh Prater. The Bulldogs tightened it up when Yerrell tagged Christian Schneider for a two-run single in the fifth. Schneider was masterful against everyone not named Yerrell as the Bronco righty hurled a nine-inning complete game and struck out 13.

Hastings left fielder Trenton Neill matched Yerrell with three hits in both ends of the doubleheader.

Both teams had their issues defensively, combining for 14 errors on the day. Hastings committed six errors to aid Concordia’s game 1 victory.

The Bulldogs used six different pitchers on Friday but Geidel says everyone will be available Saturday with the likely exception of Friday’s starters (Jurgensen and Prater).

“We have to bring it all to the ballpark,” Geidel said. “We have to be locked in physically and emotionally. Our guys will be ready. They’re going to get after it. Our game plan doesn’t change, there’s just a little added pressure.”

Concordia and Nebraska Wesleyan (6-27, 5-13 GPAC) are set to take the field at 1 p.m. at Plum Creek Park on Saturday. The Bulldogs’ five seniors will be recognized between games.

Baseball season ends in split with Nebraska Wesleyan 

26 APR 2014 

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University baseball team entered Saturday knowing it needed to win twice and even get a little help in order to extend its season beyond the weekend. A slow start in Saturday’s game 1 with Nebraska Wesleyan (7-28, 6-14 GPAC) doomed the Bulldogs to a 9-3 loss that essentially meant the season would end at the conclusion of game 2.

Concordia rebounded to take the night cap, 11-7, to send its five seniors out with a victory in their final collegiate games. Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s squad ended the campaign at 16-30 overall and 6-14 in GPAC action.

“It was unfortunate we got that far behind,” Geidel said of the game 1 loss. “That’s just kind of the way our season’s been. Sometimes guys try to do too much and you get less out of them. We’re just glad we were able to win the second one, bounce back and send the seniors out winners.”

After falling behind 2-1 in game 2, Concordia got four runs in the bottom of the second to grab a lead it would not relinquish. Third baseman AJ Peterson, 3-for-5 in game 2, had an RBI single as part of the second-inning outburst.

The Bulldogs then got two runs apiece in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings to build a comfortable 11-3 advantage. Andrew Yerrell, who came into play red hot (10-for-12 in his last three games before Saturday), drilled a solo homer in the seventh to put an exclamation mark on his season.

“Really it was just a fire that I got from my teammates,” Yerrell said. “Knowing it was the last go round for our seniors and my teammates I just wanted to play for those guys. It felt great.”

Junior starting pitcher Will Holbrook (3-7) worked deep into game 2, tossing eight innings. He limited the Prairie Wolves to three runs (two earned) on eight hits and two walks. He struck out five. The native of Tucson, Ariz., dealt zeroes in every frame after giving up one in the second and two in the third.

Game 1 got off to a rocky start as Jordan Stirtz allowed four runs on five hits in the top of the first. Stirtz, a senior from Gretna, Neb., was chased from the contest in the third after being tagged for five more runs. Neither team scored after the third inning.

Left fielder Taylor Dudley provided a large portion of the game 1 offense, driving a sac fly to left in the first and an RBI single through the hole at short in the third. He went 2-for-2 and completed his first season as a starter with a batting average of .344.

Center fielder Camaren Gause also played his final collegiate games on Saturday. He finished the season going 1-for-7 with an RBI double on the day.

The Prairie Wolves got significant production from their 1 and 2 hitters in game 1. John Estudillo and Nick Dolson combined to go 6-for-10 with four runs and three RBIs.

Gause and Stirtz were the biggest components from a small senior class. With so many key underclassmen making up the lineup, the Bulldogs see reason for optimism in 2015.

“I’m very optimistic,” Yerrell said. “The sting that we have right now from a disappointing season is just going to fuel the guys we have coming back. The work ethic we have is tremendous. I know my teammates and I are going to get after it this offseason.”

Yerrell and fellow Santa Fe, Texas, native Daniel Wilkerson, both juniors, figure to again form the nucleus of the batting order in 2015. Yerrell completed the 2014 season with a team best .363 batting average. Wilkerson topped the Bulldogs with 41 RBIs.

Gause and Yerrell named to GPAC second team 

5 MAY 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Center fielder Camaren Gause and third baseman Andrew Yerrell headlined Concordia University baseball all-conference honors, announced on Monday by the GPAC. Both Gause and Yerrell were named second team all-league. In addition, four Bulldogs received honorable mention recognition.

Honorable mention went to outfielders Taylor Dudley and Daniel Wilkerson and pitchers Will Holbrook and Jordan Stirtz.

Yerrell, who led the Bulldogs with a .363 batting average, was also placed on the second team in 2012 and was honorable mention in 2013. The native of Santa Fe, Texas, topped Concordia in average, slugging percentage (.521), on-base percentage (.470), hits (53), triples (5), total bases (76) and walks (28). He ranked second on the team with 34 RBIs.

Gause, an honorable mention selection in 2013, paced the Bulldogs with six home runs while playing a stellar center field. The Tucson, Ariz., native batted .281 with a .375 on-base percentage, .481 slugging percentage, 28 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.

Wilkerson (Santa Fe, Texas) cracked five home runs and topped Concordia with 41 RBIs while equaling Yerrell’s team high 76 total bases. Dudley emerged as the starting left fielder and hit .344 with 26 RBIs.

Holbrook and Stirtz were the Bulldogs’ most effective starting pitchers. Holbrook (Tucson, Ariz.) went 3-7 with a 4.28 ERA and team best 53 strikeouts in 67.1 innings. Stirtz (Gretna, Neb.) posted a record of 3-6 with a 4.94 ERA in 58.1 innings.

Four baseball student-athletes named scholar-athletes

29 MAY 2014

SEWARD, Neb. – Four Concordia University baseball team members were named 2014 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes on Wednesday, as announced by the NAIA. Bulldog honorees Edwin Izumigawa, Jordan Stirtz, Cole Stuerke and Ethan Utecht have received the award for the first time in their careers.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status.

Concordia ranks as the NAIA’s all-time leader in number of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes with 1,020 (first in the NAIA to reach 1,000 scholar-athletes) and counting. (This figure includes all 101 Concordia scholar-athletes announced for 2013-14). During the 2012-13 academic year, Concordia had 71 Scholar-Athletes and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams.

A total of 257 NAIA baseball student-athletes across the nation were named 2013-14 scholar-athletes by the NAIA.

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Neb., that currently serves over 2,200 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world.

2014 Concordia baseball Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes

  • Edwin Izumigawa ● So.* ● Pearl City, Hawaii ● Business Administration
  • Jordan Stirtz ● Sr. ● Gretna, Neb. ● Secondary Education – Mathematics
  • Cole Stuerke ● Jr. ● Lakewood, Colo. ● Exercise Science
  • Ethan Utecht ● Jr. ● Valentine, Neb. ● Physics

*Junior academically