SIOUX CITY, Iowa – After stranding 10 runners in a frustrating game 1 loss, the Concordia University baseball team busted loose in game 2 and salvaged a split at Morningside (17-20, 6-6 GPAC) on Tuesday evening. In a doubleheader that had twice been postponed, the Bulldogs fell 7-3 before finishing the night with an 11-7 win in Sioux City, Iowa.
Concordia ends the day with an overall record of 14-22 and GPAC mark of 4-8.
It was another solid offensive day for a Bulldog team averaging more than six runs per game.
“We swung it well,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “Our guys attacked the ball better today than last time out at Northwestern. We swung at better pitches.
“It was nice to get production again from our 3-4-5 hitters, and (Taylor) Dudley had a nice game and (Josh) Mondt drove in some runs. That was good to see.”
Second baseman Alex Cargin enjoyed one of his finest days as a Bulldog, going 3-for-4 (one run) in game 1 and 2-for-4 (three runs, one RBI) in game 2 to lead an offensive attack that pounded out 11 hits in both ends of the twin bill. Center fielder Cam Gause also produced solidly (3-for-7, two RBIs, run) and bumped his hitting streak to 10 games.
The Bulldogs also got a big effort from game 2 starting pitcher Jordan Stirtz, who worked 8.2 innings and surrendered only one earned run on eight hits and five walks. The native of Gretna, Neb., allowed five runs (all unearned due to an error) on three singles and a walk in the bottom of the ninth before being lifted for reliever Heath Benker.
“We wanted Stirtz to finish it off,” Geidel said. “He pitched a great game. He settled down after the first inning and put up a lot of zeroes. It was a great job by him to bounce back after a tough outing at Northwestern (April 12).”
Geidel’s club staked Stirtz to a lead as large as 11-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth. The Bulldogs scored at least one run in each of the first five innings, including five in the second. The explosion was fueled by a Mark Wilcox RBI double and a two-run double from Daniel Wilkerson. Mondt (3-for-5 in game 2) sparked the five-run frame with a leadoff single.
A total of six Bulldogs had at least one two-hit game on the day. Designated hitter Andrew Yerrell reached base three of four plate appearances (2-for-3, walk) and scored three times in game 2. Dudley also added a three-hit performance in game 1.
The momentum quickly swung the Mustangs’ way in game 1 when the Bulldogs failed to score in the top of the first off of Derek Appley despite having runners at first and third to begin the frame. Morningside then responded with four runs on four hits and an error in the bottom half and never looked back.
Concordia left another two runners on base in the third and ended the fifth with the bags loaded and down just 5-3.
Right hander Will Holbrook fell to 2-6 after getting tagged with the loss to begin the evening. Holbrook gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits and one walk in five innings.
A busy week that includes nine games on the slate continues on Wednesday with a non-conference affair at York College (23-17). The nine-inning contest is set to begin at 5:30 p.m.