FREMONT, Neb. – The Concordia University baseball team has some cockroach-like qualities to it in that it takes a lot to put it to rest. In Tuesday evening (April 9)’s makeup doubleheader in Fremont, Neb., the Bulldogs narrowly missed out on yet another conference sweep. Concordia took game one from Midland, 5-3, and then lost in walk-off fashion, 5-4, in a wild finish to game two. The GPAC unbeaten run made it all the way to 15-0.
Now fifth-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s will have be tasked with bouncing back from an unfamiliar taste of defeat. The Bulldogs (21-11, 15-1 GPAC) had not lost a game since their final game of the Tucson Invitational back on March 9.
“We put ourselves in a position to win both games again,” Dupic said. “That last inning got away from us. We lost a ball in the lights and had some mistakes, but I’m proud of our players. Obviously it’s hard to swallow a loss and piece of all of us struggles with that. At the same time, we’re right there in every game. I like where we’re at.”
Concordia’s main four starters in the rotation were on the shelf after having pitched in the four-game weekend sweep of Doane. Midland had also played doubleheaders this past Saturday and Sunday. Despite those facts, both teams were competitive on the mound. Junior Lukas Diehm got the ball for the Bulldogs in game one and covered five innings (two earned runs on five hits and a walk) on his way to a win.
Dupic’s boys were suddenly one step away from a four-game sweep of the Warriors (15-18, 8-8 GPAC). A 16th win in a row began to seem likely when Wade Council singled in a run in the top of the seventh to cut Concordia’s deficit to 2-1. The bases were loaded with no one out. Midland’s Matt Abedlnour proceeded to strike out Christian Meza and Evan Bohman before Jesse Garcia (two-run single) and Luciano DePamphilis (RBI single) emerged in the clutch. They gave the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead.
Unfortunately, the night ended with the Warriors celebrating a walk-off victory. The game ended when Austin Hamilton’s fielder's choice coupled with an error brought home the tying and winning runs. It capped a frustrating bottom of the seventh that included a pair of Concordia errors and a walk.
Closer Dylan DuRee had been called upon to nail down the save in game two. He completed game one by getting the final six outs while facing the minimum. Jared Schipper (3.1 innings, two runs allowed), Ryan Samuelson (2.2 scoreless innings) and DuRee each pitched in game two.
The Bulldog offense broke out with 12 hits in game one, including two knocks apiece from Ben Berg, Bohman, Council and Teyt Johnson. DePamphilis enjoyed a four-hit, three-RBI night. DePamphilis and Meza contributed a two-run double apiece in game one.
It has been a decidedly up-and-down campaign for Midland, which dealt with the flooding of its home field early this season. The Warriors entered this season having qualified for the national tournament three years in a row.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to come back home and host the remaining five games on this week’s schedule. That stretch begins on Wednesday with a dip outside of league action with York College (18-14) making a visit to Plum Creek Park for a 5:30 p.m. CT first pitch. It will be a single nine-inning game.