TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University baseball team returned to the win column on Monday (March 9) as its stay at the Tucson Invitational nears the end. Ben Berg and Jakob Faulk both homered as part of a 6-4 afternoon victory over the University of Antelope Valley (Calif.), a member of the NAIA’s California Pacific Conference.
A day earlier, sixth-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad dropped a pair of games to GPAC rival Jamestown. The Jimmies won by scores of 4-0 and 7-6 (both seven-inning contests). The Bulldogs (12-5) are 2-3 on the Arizona swing with two games remaining at the Tucson Invite.
“We swung the bats really well and were able to play well defensively,” Dupic said. “Antelope Valley is a really good team. I thought our pitchers competed and it was a well-played game. Antelope Valley is a team that likes to run and can really put the pressure on you. We handled it well.”
Concordia took an early advantage by putting three runs on the board in the first inning. Five different Bulldogs collected two hits: Berg (one home run), Evan Bohman (one double), Nick Boys, Faulk (one home run) and Thomas Sautel. To cover all nine innings, Dupic used four pitchers: Jake Fosgett (two innings), Lukas Diehm (3.2 innings), Evan Beran (2.1 innings) and Ryan Samuelson (one inning). Samuelson was again effective at shutting the door on an opponent.
Dupic is quickly learning that his team has quality depth, which comes in handy when playing a lot of baseball over a short time period. Said Dupic, “We’re seeing a lot of progress. I really like our bench. We didn’t play some of our regulars today. We’re able to do that because of our depth. We have guys with different skillsets and we’re seeing what they can do. We’re learning what guys can fill what spots.”
In action that took place late on Sunday night, the Bulldogs came up short in a matchup between squads expected to compete for the GPAC title this spring. In game one, Dru Fitz and Andy Reed combined to shut out Concordia on six hits. Jakob Faulked notched a pair of hits. Alex Delgadillo fired a seven-inning complete game for the Bulldogs. Lincoln Trujillo went 2-for-3 with a home run for the Jimmies.
In game two, a seventh-inning Bulldog rally was stamped out with the bases loaded. Back-to-back walks by Faulk and Ben Berg both forced in runs to put Concordia within a run. Jamestown pitcher Cameron Jenkins then got a groundout to first to end the threat. Keaton Candor went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs while Thomas Sautel collected a pair of hits and an RBI.
On their final day of the Tucson Invitational, the Bulldogs will take on Mayville State University (N.D.) in a doubleheader with first pitch set for 9 a.m. MT / 11 a.m. CT. The games will be played on Field 6 at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson.