OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – A challenging season opening weekend in Oklahoma City continued on Sunday (Feb. 24) for the Concordia University baseball team. While the Bulldogs came up a run short in a 2-1 loss in front end of the doubleheader, they accomplished a rare feat in game two. They handed eighth-ranked Oklahoma City University a home defeat. With the help of Wade Council’s bat and Tanner Wauhob’s right arm, Concordia took the final game of the series, 8-4.
The game two victory helped salvage the weekend for fifth-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad. The Bulldogs are now 1-3 overall. Two of the three weekend losses came by one-run margins. Fortunately for Concordia, it gets to hit the road back to Seward after putting a win on the board.
“It was a big deal,” Dupic said. “We know we’re playing good teams down here, but it would not have been fun to leave having not played better baseball today. We weren’t satisfied with the way we played on the first day. We played a lot better today. Beating the eighth-ranked team in the country has to give our guys some confidence.”
Dupic certainly came away pleased with the pitching performances he watched on Sunday. Lefty Sasha Jabusch and righty Tanner Wauhob were tasked with going against a Stars club that led the NAIA last season with an average of more than 10 runs per game. Jabusch and Wauhob combined to limit Oklahoma City (14-2) to six runs on 10 hits over 13 innings (two complete games).
While making his first start of the season, Wauhob actually held the Stars without a hit until they produced back-to-back singles to begin the bottom of the fifth of game two. It was the only inning Wauhob was unable to work himself out of trouble. Wauhob shook off a three-run homer by Tyler Williams to work scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh. In his seven-inning complete game, Wauhob allowed four earned runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out seven hitters.
Jabusch, a transfer from Clark College (Wash.), pitched well enough to be a winner in game one. He scattered five hits and four walks over six innings while striking out six. He tightened things up after Oklahoma City pushed two runs across in the first inning.
“Sasha is a guy who has a lot of ability,” Dupic said. “He loves to compete and he’s fun to watch pitch because of that. He found his rhythm there in the second inning. I was really pleased with him and Tanner was rolling today. He had a blip in the middle of the game, but he does such a good job in terms of his resilience. After the home run you could just tell. He came right back at it.”
In the game two triumph, Concordia rapped out nine hits and drew five walks and four hit-by-pitches. At the top of the lineup, the Bulldogs know they can count on Council. He reached base nine times over the weekend’s four games. In the final contest of the trip, Council went 3-for-4 with a triple, a run and four RBIs. Carson Lindell doubled and scored on Council’s triple in the third. Dylan Jacob also added a run-scoring double in the fifth.
The breakout in game two was a welcome sight after Concordia had been limited to only two hits in game one (one apiece from Lindell and Christian Meza). A first team All-GPAC selection in 2018, Meza moved to third base on Sunday, as opposed to his customary spot at second. Last season’s standout third baseman, Thomas Sautel, continues to recover from a hand injury.
The game two result marked the program’s first win over a nationally-ranked opponent since the Bulldogs defeated then No. 16 Jamestown in Tucson, Ariz., on March 5, 2017.
Tucson will be the location the next time Concordia takes the diamond. It is scheduled to play 12 games at the Tucson Invitational, March 2-9. The Bulldogs will even take on a fellow Concordia in Concordia University, St. Paul during the trip.