OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Concordia University baseball team escaped the Nebraska blizzard while opening up its 2019 season in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Saturday (Feb. 23). Despite a home run apiece on the day from Evan Bohman, Keaton Candor and Luciano DePamphilis, the Bulldogs dropped two seven-inning contests. Concordia was defeated, 9-8, by MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) and, 12-3, by eighth-ranked Oklahoma City.
Fifth-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s program was fortunate not to have attempted to schedule any games up north this February. Instead, the Bulldogs found temperatures in the 50s as they rang in 2019 against quality competition.
“It exposes you,” said Dupic of the challenging first weekend. “When we make mistakes defensively or walk guys, they make you pay. The reality is that when you play good competition you can’t make those mistakes. You have to field the baseball and you have to throw strikes. Oklahoma City made all the plays. That’s the difference. I hope that we can learn from it and keep getting better.”
Concordia is a bit more short-handed than it would like to be with the season now underway. It has to roll with who is available. On Saturday, Dupic gave the ball to two hurlers who made their first career collegiate starts – junior Jake Fosgett and sophomore Adrian Cotton. Fosgett has moved into the rotation after serving as the team’s closer last season. He allowed nine runs (six earned) on 10 hits over four innings versus MidAmerica Nazarene. However, Fosgett flashed good stuff, as the eight strikeouts indicate.
With second team All-GPAC third baseman Thomas Sautel out with a hand injury, DePamphilis got the nod at the hot corner. He delivered a 3-for-3, six-RBI performance in the season opener. His two-run blast in the sixth inning brought the Bulldogs within two (9-7). He also forced in a run in the seventh by taking a hit-by-pitch. The Pioneers (1-3) survived by getting Ben Berg to ground out with the bases loaded.
Bohman also enjoyed a nice day at the plate. He went 4-for-7 with two doubles, a homer and three runs scored. Catcher Beau Dorman added a pair of doubles and right fielder Wade Council reached base a total of four times out of the leadoff spot.
“I thought we hit the ball pretty well throughout the day today,” Dupic said. “We had some good at bats up and down the lineup. It’s hard to say you’re happy when you lose twice, but I am glad that we played. We need to get out and play right now.”
Cotton was charged with eight earned runs in 2.1 innings. He was plagued by seven free passes. The Concordia bullpen combined to toss 5.2 innings without surrendering an earned run on the day. Thomas Otte logged two scoreless frames in the first game. Jared Schipper struck out six hitters in 3.1 innings of work.
The Bulldogs equaled Oklahoma City with eight hits apiece. The Stars are now 13-1 having played their entire schedule thus far at their home park Jim Wade Stadium. Oklahoma City is coming off a 51-10 season in 2018. Meanwhile, MidAmerica Nazarene went 24-20 overall last season.
The Bulldogs will remain in Oklahoma City for a Sunday twin bill against the host Stars. First pitch is slated for 10 a.m. CST. Transfer Sasha Jabusch is expected to make his Concordia debut on the mound. For live coverage, check out Oklahoma City’s Stretch Internet portal.