HASTINGS, Neb. – The 2019 Concordia University baseball team has broken new ground for the program. Never before had a Bulldog baseball squad jetted out to an 8-0 record within GPAC play. Behind two shutout pitching performances, Concordia made another statement on Sunday afternoon (March 31), sweeping a doubleheader at Hastings with wins by scores of 11-0 and 10-0.
In most cases, fifth-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad hasn’t just squeaked by in conference play, it has dominated. The Bulldogs are now 8-0 in league action (14-10 overall) with seven of those victories coming by margins of three runs or more.
“It’s been really fun,” Dupic said. “I’m just pleased with how the guys have really stayed focused so far. There’s a nice demeanor about the team right now. When you play baseball well there’s kind of that mix of needing to be focused but also being loose and having fun. Our guys have found a nice balance with that right now. We have a bunch of guys who are very accepting of their roles and are playing good baseball.”
In both ends of the twin bill, the Bulldogs got on top within the first three innings and then kept tacking on runs while coming up with the key hits with runners in scoring position and taking advantage of Bronco miscues. The offensive support was much more than either lefty starting pitcher Jason Munsch or Sasha Jabusch needed. Munsch issued his only two walks in the first inning and then went on to completely stifle Hastings in a seven-inning complete game, three-hit shutout. Munsch baffled the Broncos to the tune of a career high 13 strikeouts.
Jabusch was similarly good in game two. He covered six innings, allowed three hits and two walks and fanned 10. Like Munsch, Jabusch worked around trouble in the first inning when he allowed a walk and a single. He managed to strand runners on second and third to keep the pitching staff’s scoreless innings streak intact. Out of the bullpen, Thomas Otte and Treyton Nixon combined to get the final three outs. Concordia pitchers totaled 25 strikeouts for the day.
“They were both pretty dominant today,” Dupic said of Munsch and Jabusch. “They threw the ball well. Jason pitched off of his fastball and was able to get some secondary pitches working. Sasha’s stuff was really crisp today. You could tell out of the gates that both of them had pretty good stuff. They got themselves out of jams early and pitched very well. We made some great plays behind them too.”
The Bulldog offense also put together some fine performances. Concordia had a trail of baserunners in game one when it collected nine hits (each from different players) and 10 walks. In that contest, Wade Council and Jesse Garcia both knocked in two runs. The big outbursts were frames of five runs in the fourth and four runs in the seventh.
In game two, Concordia racked up another nine hits, drew five walks and capitalized on four Hastings errors. Big swings were delivered by Council and Luciano DePamphilis, who both recorded a three-run double. Shortstop Logan Ryan reached base all four times thanks to a pair of singles and two hit-by-pitches. He also scored three runs. Standout second baseman Christian Meza provided some cushion in the fourth inning when he doubled home two runs. That double made Meza the program’s career leader with 45 two-baggers.
Hastings has slipped to 5-17 overall (2-8 GPAC). The Broncos continue to search for answers offensively. They have been limited to 77 runs scored in their 22 games this season.
Up next is a makeup doubleheader with Briar Cliff (18-11, 8-2 GPAC) on Tuesday. First pitch from Bishop Mueller Field in Sioux City, Iowa, is set for 1 p.m. CT. In the most recent GPAC poll (March 18), the Chargers were rated No. 2. Briar Cliff took two games from Doane in a Sunday doubleheader in Crete.