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.