SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Despite picking up a makeup doubleheader on short notice, the Concordia University baseball team kept its early unbeaten run inside conference play alive. The Bulldogs held onto their top four starting pitchers for the weekend while calling upon some bullpen arms in victories by scores of 8-3 and 5-2 over Midland on Wednesday afternoon (March 27). The doubleheader was played at Lewis and Clark Park in Sioux City, Iowa, with both squads still unable to take to their home fields.
Four games in a row have come at neutral sites for fifth-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad. The six-game win streak puts his club at 12-10 overall and at 6-0 in conference play. This is the program’s first 6-0 start within the GPAC since the 2005 season.
“I was proud of our pitchers. We pitched the ball pretty well,” Dupic said. “We threw some guys who hadn’t typically pitched in the roles they were in today, but I thought they did a good job. They threw strikes for the most part and gave us a chance to win. We were pretty good offensively in game one. That first game wasn’t our best game with the mistakes we made defensively. The second one was a little more fun. They threw their ace who really battled well. We were able to scratch a few across and hang on.”
Just named the GPAC Player of the Week on Tuesday after a three-homer game over the weekend, freshman Jesse Garcia went deep again as part of win in game one. On the mound, junior Lukas Diehm got the start (first career) and gave up just a single hit and no earned runs over four innings of work. He also struck out three hitters.
Then in game two, sophomore Ryan Samuelson proved to be a saving grace out of the bullpen. He tossed 3.2 scoreless innings with only one hit allowed to go along with two strikeouts. The offensive support was supplied by four Bulldogs who each notched two hits: Evan Bohman, Wade Council, Christian Meza and Logan Ryan.
After an up-and-down run through a tough slate at the Tucson Invitational, Concordia has found a groove. These are the types of streak in conference play that the 2017 GPAC championship team put together.
“We certainly hoped so at the time,” said Dupic of how the tough early schedule may have better prepared his team for conference action. “I think we felt like we were playing some really good competition and hoped it would come to fruition here and so far it has. Hopefully that can continue. There’s a long ways to go.”
The Warriors have dropped to 7-14 overall (2-4 GPAC). Midland was coming off a four-game series split with defending GPAC champion Northwestern.
As of now, the Bulldogs are scheduled to be at home on Saturday to host Briar Cliff (16-11, 6-2 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. CT doubleheader. Concordia still has yet to get out for a practice or game on its home field of Plum Creek Park, which has been slow to respond from a wet end to the winter. Should the venue change, the announcement will appear on the web and via social media.