SEWARD, Neb. – With a chance to break a program record for wins in a season, the Concordia University baseball team fell twice at home to rival Doane on Thursday night. The Bulldogs’ final 2015 home appearance saw losses come by scores of 6-4 and 18-3 in a run-rule shortened night cap.
First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad remained stuck on 25 wins (25-17 overall). At 7-11 in conference play, the Bulldogs are in a dog fight to secure one of the final berth to the upcoming eight-team GPAC tournament with two league games left to on the slate.
Due to postponements over the weekend, Concordia played its third doubleheader in four days and began Thursday with several of its top pitchers unavailable. That gave junior righty AJ Peterson a chance to make his first career start on the mound. He was one of five Bulldog pitchers used in a competitive first game.
Concordia brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh after Doane (32-12, 11-7 GPAC) led by as many as four runs. The Bulldogs tightened the score with two seventh-inning runs with the help of a Tiger error and a wild pitch that made it a 6-4 ballgame. After Taylor Dudley singled through the left side, pinch hitter Daniel Wilkerson flew out to right for the final out of the contest.
Game 2 quickly got out of hand. Doane piled up four runs in both the first and third innings and the five more in the fourth to make for an anticlimactic night. Tigers Kevin Clausen (3-for-4, four runs, two RBIs), Nick Studer (4-for-4, four runs, five RBIs) and Jake Smith (3-for-4, two runs, three RBIs) went a combined 10-for-12 as part of a 19-hit attack. Doane ended the evening with a combined 27 hits.
The Tigers got a seven-inning complete game performance from starting pitcher Ryan Bergstrom in game 2. He allowed just one hit – a two-run Ryan Fesmire single – the entire night. He struck out eight and walked three while surrendering just one earned run.
Concordia game 2 starting pitcher Cade Moring was tagged with 11 earned runs on 10 hits and three walks in three innings. Wyatt Weller and James Hall also entered the contest in relief.
Dudley went 3-for-4 with a run in the opening game to highlight Concordia’s offensive output. Kaleb Geiger struck for his first career home run in the bottom of the fourth inning of game 1.
The Bulldogs conclude the regular season on Friday with a trip to Midland (23-28, 7-9 GPAC) for a Friday doubleheader. First pitch from Fremont is set for 5 p.m. It will mark the end of a stretch of eight games in five days for Concordia, which hopes to extend its season to GPAC postseason play beginning on April 30.