SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University baseball team used a 10-run sixth inning and a masterful complete game effort from Jaydee Jurgensen to win game 1 of a doubleheader split with visiting Mount Marty on Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs took the first contest by a 13-2 score prior to falling, 9-5, in the night cap at Plum Creek Park.
Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s club sits at 13-19 overall and 3-5 in the GPAC after a going 1-3 at home over the weekend.
“It was really nice to see Jaydee get back into a starting role today and come out and respond the way he did,” Geidel said. “You’re in that fifth, sixth, seventh inning and you don’t know if he’s going to out there again or not, but then you put up a nice 10 spot and that helps. It allows him to gain confidence and finish strong.”
Because of an injury that occurred during the team’s spring trip to Arizona, Jurgensen had not started on the mound since March 8. Back to health in time for Sunday, the southpaw looked like the ace pitcher the Bulldogs expected to see when he arrived via Scottsdale Community College. The Lincoln native worked all seven innings and limited the Lancers to one earned run on five hits and one walk.
“Last week I ended up closing the last game of the weekend. This week wherever Coach needed me I was willing to go,” Jurgensen said. “My arm felt good today and I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes. The defense was great the first game behind me and we scored runs when we needed to.”
Jurgensen got plenty of support from his lineup. The Bulldogs busted open a 3-2 game by putting up 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth. During that frame Concordia collected eight of its 12 hits with both centerfielder Camaren Gause and left fielder Taylor Dudley pounding out two hits as 13 hitters came to the plate.
Gause and Dudley stood out on a day when several Bulldog hitters performed well. Gause continued his power surge with a two-run homer to left field to tie game 2 at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth. Gause, who went 3-for-9 on the day, has hit all six of his team-leading long balls over the past eight games.
Dudley enjoyed a stellar twin bill as he went 5-for-8 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs. Dudley knocked Gause in twice during the sixth-inning outburst in game 1. The Longmont, Colo., native improved his batting average to a team best .357.
Concordia had an opportunity to sweep Mount Marty in game 2. Sean McCartney (3-for-4 on the day) delivered a clutch pinch hit RBI single to tie the game at 5-5 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
“We battled today,” Geidel said. “Second game we’re tied 5-5 in the top of the ninth and that’s when you’ve got to have composure and be in the moment. That’s one thing we’re still learning as a young squad. Offensively we got ourselves in that situation to tie it up with McCartney’s pinch hit.”
The Lancers bounced back with a four-run ninth inning to tag reliever Schafer Thompson with the loss. First baseman Jared Miller (4-for-5 in game 2) broke the five-all tie with a run-scoring single to put Mount Marty in front for good.
The late inning binge made a winner of reliever Dustin Haffeman, who gave up only one run despite surrendering four hits in his two innings of work. Concordia racked up 14 hits for the game but left 11 men on base.
The Bulldogs will be idle until next Saturday when they start a weekend featuring four games in western Iowa. Up first will be Northwestern (22-7, 4-2 GPAC), which received votes in this week’s national poll, on April 12.