SEWARD, Neb. – Though the nine-game conference win streak fell by the wayside, the Concordia University baseball team managed to maintain its perch, alone in first place in the GPAC. After falling in an 8-7, 13-inning affair, the Bulldogs rebounded with an 11-3 win in game 2 of Tuesday’s home doubleheader with Dordt (12-19, 5-9 GPAC).
Third-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad had not lost a conference game since March 28. Concordia’s records stand at 21-14 overall and 10-4 in the GPAC.
“Game 1 was obviously a little frustrating with the end result, but I’m proud of the way the guys came back in game 2 and really battled,” said assistant coach Bryce Berg. “I thought we started off a little bit slow offensively in the second game, but we really got it going as the game went on. We just put together a lot of really good at bats. We also got a really good relief appearance out of Tanner Wauhob.”
With conference twin bills coming up on Thursday and Saturday, Dupic turned to the pitching combo of Cade Moring and Wauhob and got solid results. Making his first start of the season, Moring went three innings and allowed one run on three hits and three walks. Wauhob entered the game with two runners on in the fourth and got the final 12 outs while picking up the win.
Concordia teed off late in game 1 with an eight-run sixth inning that made it a laugher. The Bulldogs batted around during an inning that included a Christian Meza two-run single and a Kaleb Geiger two-run double. Geiger mashed four doubles and had three RBIs on the day.
It was another day in which the Bulldogs got production up and down the lineup. At the top, Casey Berg continued to sizzle. He went 4-for-8 with a triple, a home run, three runs and four RBIs. Christian Meza recorded two hits in both ends of the doubleheader and Logan Ryan added a pair of hits in game 1. In the second game, Jake Adams went 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base.
The game 2 response was another example of this team’s resolve and how the culture continues to evolve.
“It’s always tough after a game like that,” Casey Berg said. “It was a super long game and it didn’t end the way we wanted it to. We had a couple things not go our way. We’ve been preaching all year to stay on an even keel no matter what happens and that’s what we did.”
In the marathon defeat, it appeared that the Bulldogs were primed to either tie and perhaps walk off a winner when Meza’s two-out drive to left chased outfielder Colton VanOtterloo all the way back to the wall. On the run, VanOtterloo made the catch to effectively end the winning streak. It was also VanOtterloo who delivered the game-winning solo homer in the top of the 13th.
Dupic needed a lot of work from the bullpen after Neil Ryan was pulled in the third inning due to wildness. The star on the mound for the Bulldogs was Desmond Pineda, who fired seven innings, allowed just the one run on the VanOtterloo homer and struck out eight Defender hitters. He was tagged with a tough-luck loss. Concordia was unable to cross home plate after the sixth inning of game 2, which it trailed 6-0 at one point.
The Bulldogs will take their act back on the road on Thursday when they visit Hastings (19-15, 8-6 GPAC) for a 5 p.m. CT doubleheader. The Broncos sit just two games behind Concordia in the race atop the league standings.