SEWARD, Neb. – Centerfielder Camaren Gause remained white hot but it was not enough as the Concordia University baseball team failed to hold leads in both ends of a doubleheader sweep by Dordt on Saturday. In a twin bill originally scheduled to be played in Sioux Center, Iowa, the Bulldogs dropped a pair of two-run decisions, 5-3 and 8-6, at Plum Creek Park.
Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s club, which had been idle since last Sunday, fell to 12-18 overall and 2-4 in conference play.
“The biggest thing in both games is simply that we lost the lead,” Geidel said. “We did our part early in the game. We got our offense going and got a lead. Then it was just a matter of can keep it. We have opportunities where we need to make the play or make the pitch. Defense and pitching have to hunker down when we have a lead. Today we just didn’t do it.”
Five more Bulldog errors on Saturday spoiled another prolific afternoon for Gause, one of the hottest hitters in the GPAC. The native of Tucson, Ariz., now 10-for-19 with five long balls and 11 RBIs over his last six games, went deep in the second and eighth innings of game 2. His second blast easily cleared the left centerfield fence and got the Bulldogs within two, 8-6.
“He’s seeing it well. He really has confidence,” Geidel said. “He’s going out there with a good attitude. He’s keeping it simple and looking for a good quality swing on the ball and we’re seeing results because of it.”
Gause’s fireworks were easily the biggest highlight of a day in which Concordia’s most glaring bugaboos – pitching and infield defense – surfaced again. Those shortcomings allowed Dordt to battle back from a 3-1 deficit in game 1 and a 5-1 disadvantage in game 2.
Other than a second inning homer by the Defenders’ Aaron Parks, Bulldog game 1 starter Will Holbrooks cruised along until wading into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. Dordt got a run in the fifth and then three more in the sixth to chase Holbrooks from the game and tag him with the loss.
Dordt game 2 pitcher Lucas Carls surrendered runs in three-straight innings between the second and fourth, but he battled through seven innings to pick up his first win on the season. The Defenders also got a nice day at the plate from second baseman Dane LePlatt, who went 4-for-8 (3-for-5 in game 2) with an RBI.
Geidel used six different pitchers, including starter Josh Prater, to cover eight innings in game 2. The group of John Jay Silva, Brody Yost and Schafer Thompson combined to pitch 3.1 scoreless innings to give the Bulldogs a shot at a late-inning comeback.
Another Bulldog other than Gause continued his fine work at the plate as Ryan Fesmire went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in game 2. In addition, first baseman Zach Cambier went 2-for-4 in game 2. Cambier briefly left game 1 after fouling a pitch off his face. He returned to his position sporting a bandage for the remainder of the day.
Dordt snapped a five-game losing streak by sweeping the doubleheader.
The Bulldogs will be back at home on Sunday to host Mount Marty (14-12, 0-6 GPAC) in another conference doubleheader. The twin bill is set to begin at 1 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. On Saturday the Lancers lost twice at No. 19 Doane.