CRETE, Neb. – No. 13 Doane came from behind in both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader to earn a sweep of the Concordia University baseball team in contests played at Ledon Baseball Field. The first-place Tigers ran their winning streak to 20 while the Bulldogs fell for the seventh time in their last eight games. Doane (36-7, 14-0 GPAC) won by scores of 6-2 and 8-6.
At 14-25 overall and 4-10 in GPAC play, Concordia sits in ninth place in the league standings.
Despite going toe-to-toe with the conference’s top team, the Bulldogs are not reveling in any moral victories.
“You can kind of look at it that way but I think our guys are disappointed that the same mistakes are happening that allow us to lose a lead,” head coach Jeremy Geidel said. “Whether it be errors or walks. It’s over and over again. Those things are coming back to cost us.”
Concordia missed an opportunity to knock off Doane ace Elliott Engle in game 1. The Bulldogs got a two-run homer from Daniel Wilkerson (fourth of the season) in the top of the first. The blast was the first given up this season by Engle (8-1), who entered the contest with only two earned runs allowed in 45 innings.
Engle dominated the rest of the way and the Doane offensive attack, with the help of a key Concordia miscue, got going with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to gain a 6-2 lead. The Tiger hurler went all seven innings and struck out 14 to tie a school record.
Concordia also held a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth of game 2. AJ Peterson got the start at third base and had a big game, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs. He sprayed run-scoring singles in the third and fourth innings. Catcher Ryan Fesmire (single), second baseman Alex Cargin (bases-loaded hit by pitch) and designated hitter Andrew Yerrell (bases-loaded walk) also had RBIs as part of the four-run fourth.
“AJ got the start at third base for the first time ever and he capitalized on it,” Geidel said. “He was ready and did a good job for us defensively as well as offensively. It was nice to see him respond that way.”
The Tigers came right back with four runs in the fifth to take a lead they would not relinquish. Doane third baseman Ethan Schroeder pounded out three hits and two RBIs as part of a 10-hit attack, six of which came against Bulldog starter Jaydee Jurgensen.
Freshman lefty Josh Prater enjoyed one of his best outings in giving Concordia four solid innings in game 1. Prater scattered seven hits and struck out four. He exited the game with a 2-0 lead with two runners on and no outs in the bottom of the fifth.
Bulldog center fielder Camaren Gause went 1-for-3 in game 1 and 0-for-4 in game 2, snapping his 12-game hitting streak. Gause walked in his final plate appearance of the day, marking the 15th-straight game that he has reached base safely.
The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday with a home doubleheader set to begin at 1 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. Concordia welcomes in Midland (31-14, 10-2 GPAC).