Bulldogs drop series opener at Keiser despite homering three times

By Jacob Knabel on Mar. 1, 2024 in Baseball

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – There were fireworks early on as the Concordia University Baseball team slugged three home runs over the first two innings in Friday (March 1)’s series opener at Keiser University (Fla.). However, the Seahawks outscored the Bulldogs by a count of 9-0 from the bottom of the second on and won, 11-6, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Reigning NAIA National Player of the Week Jaidan Quinn went deep for his ninth home run already this season.

The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for Head Coach Ryan Dupic’s club. Concordia (8-4) is slated to play 10 more games in The Sunshine State over the course of the spring break tour.

“They have a really good lineup and in order to hold them down, we have to be at our best,” Dupic said. “We weren’t at our best, and they took advantage of it. Those things happen in baseball sometimes. It’s a good thing for us to be playing such good competition. We’re looking forward to continuing to play and to getting a lot of games down here. It’s a chance to learn a lot about ourselves.”

The four-game set with Keiser has been billed by NAIABall as its “Big Series of the Week.” It looked like the Bulldogs might take the upper hand in the series on Friday when Joey Grabanski launched a two-run homer and Alec Blakestad delivered a solo blast in the top of the first. The smoldering Jaidan Quinn then hammered a three-run homer in the second. Quinn’s bomb made it a 6-2 Concordia lead at the time. The Bonner Springs, Kan., native Quinn has now homered in four-straight games and in six of the past seven contests.

From that point on, Keiser starting pitcher Danny Galvan (3-0) buckled down and worked seven solid innings (three earned runs allowed). He then handed it off to Chuck Fishbaugh, who fired two scoreless frames to shut the door on the Bulldogs. Offensively, the Seahawks flashed some pop of their own as they notched four doubles and Pablo Ruiz homered twice. Ruiz went 4-for-5 and drove in five runs.

The Concordia offense went quiet outside of the early home runs. On the other side, Keiser managed to tag Caden Johnson for seven runs on eight hits and three walks in three innings. Dupic called upon Ernie Snyder (2.0 IP) and Logan Fragomeni (3.0 IP) out of the bullpen. The trio of Bulldog hurlers combined for 10 strikeouts. Defensively, both teams committed one error.

Keiser improved to 14-2 and has the look of an NAIA top 25 team despite not receiving votes in the preseason coaches’ poll. Said Dupic, “It’s a really, really good team. I was impressed with the depth and competitiveness of their lineup. They’re very difficult to beat. We’ll have to be at our best for sure.”

As part of the four-game series, Concordia and Keiser will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET) in West Palm Beach. The two sides will also meet for one game at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday. Live webcasts and stats are being provided by Keiser via its website HERE.