Final day at Tucson Invite results in split

By Jacob Knabel on Mar. 9, 2019 in Baseball

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University baseball team is finding out a lot about itself through a challenging nonconference schedule to begin the 2019 season. The Bulldogs squared off against two more NCAA Division II opponents at the Tucson Invitational on Saturday (March 8) and came away with a win and a loss. Concordia played long ball while defeating Southwest Minnesota State University, 10-8, before enduring a 16-3 defeat at the hands of Minot State University (N.D.).

Fifth-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad wound up going 5-7 on the road trip in Tucson. It now stands at 6-10 overall. The slate to this point has included five games against NCAA Division II competition and three on the home field of then eighth-ranked Oklahoma City University.

“We played a lot a people and we played really good competition,” Dupic said. “It’s probably the best competition we’ve played since we’ve been down here. I think we’re starting to get to a better understanding about what our team looks like and who fits into various roles. I’m hoping that we can now put together a lineup, a pitching staff and defense that can be consistent. We’ve played well at times. We have to be more consistent to get on a streak as we get into conference play.”

It appears the Bulldogs have the makings of a formidable lineup. In Saturday’s victory, Keaton Candor, Jesse Garcia, Evan Bohman and Beau Dorman each went deep in a contest Concordia led 9-2 after three innings. Candor drove in four runs against Beaver pitching. In that same game, Luciano DePamphilis and Dorman notched two hits apiece. Garcia, Bohman and Candor all homered in a six-run third inning.

The Bulldogs were able to hold onto the lead while using four different pitchers in the nine-inning outing. Treyton Nixon started, went three innings and then gave way to Lukas Diehm for two innings, then Dylan DuRee for 2.1 and Wade Council for 1.2. A two-way player as a freshman and sophomore, Council had not appeared on the mound yet this season. He induced a double play grounder to lock up the victory and a save.

In the second game, Jared Schipper came on in relief to throw five innings. He struck out seven. In addition, Garcia reached base three times and Bohman and Teyt Johnson notched two hits apiece. Minot State moved to 3-6.

Official game times for the start of conference play next weekend have not been finalized, but the scheduled doubleheaders with Midland will not be played in Nebraska. The GPAC will send its baseball teams down to Topeka, Kan., for neutral site games in order to avoid postponements due to snow on the ground throughout the GPAC footprint. Details on those games will be announced when available.