Second half of GPAC schedule yet to come for first-place Bulldogs

By Jacob Knabel on Apr. 8, 2019 in Baseball

SEWARD, Neb. – It’s been an incredible ride through the first half of the conference season for the Concordia University baseball team, which owns a spotless 14-0 GPAC record. The Bulldogs survived all threats last week to that sparkling mark while sweeping a doubleheader at Briar Cliff and then a four-game series from Doane. The Bulldogs finally made their first home appearance on Sunday when Doane visited Plum Creek Park.

This Week

Tuesday, April 9 at Midland (14-17, 7-7) – DH
4 p.m. | Moeller Field | Fremont, Neb.
Links: Webcast

Wednesday, April 10 vs. York College (18-13) – 1x9
5:30 p.m. | Plum Creek Park | Seward, Neb.
Links: Webcast | Stats

Friday, April 12 vs. Morningside (19-10, 9-6) – DH
4 p.m. | Plum Creek Park | Seward, Neb.
Links: Webcast | Stats

Saturday, April 13 vs. Jamestown (22-10, 12-4) – DH
1 p.m. | Plum Creek Park | Seward, Neb.
Links: Webcast | Stats

The 14-game win streak within conference play is the longest in program history. Things have gotten serious for a squad led by head coach Ryan Dupic, who also steered Concordia to a GPAC regular season title in 2017. According to available data, the 2019 Bulldogs are just the second team in GPAC baseball history (2000-present) to start out 14-0 in conference play. The only other squad to accomplish that feat was the 2014 Doane squad that finished at a perfect 20-0 in the GPAC. Based upon the current league standings, the biggest threats to Concordia’s championship bid are Jamestown (12-4), Briar Cliff (10-6) and Morningside (9-6).

Pitching has been the major reason behind the success of the Bulldogs, who sport a 1.47 team ERA in GPAC games only. The bulk of the innings during this run during GPAC play have been covered by the team’s main four starters: Jake Fosgett, Sasha Jabusch, Jason Munsch and Tanner Wauhob. All four own 3-0 records in conference action. Fosgett has been especially filthy, using his fastball-curveball combo to strike out 40 hitters over his last four starts (28 innings, four runs allowed). In his latest outing, Wauhob fired a nine-inning complete game in the fourth victory over Doane.

The Concordia lineup was held to a combined 20 runs over last week’s six games, but the hits came at opportune times. Just when it looked like the Bulldogs may finally drop a GPAC game, the Bulldogs staged a two-run rally in the eighth inning of the finale against Doane. Jesse Garcia’s two-out RBI single proved to be the game winner. Christian Meza also belted a key three-run homer in the first game of the series. On the program all-time lists, Meza currently ranks No. 1 in doubles (46), third in hits (191), third in RBIs (129) and eighth in runs scored (106).

Concordia also hopes to complete a four-game sweep of Midland, an opponent that the Bulldogs defeated in neutral site games in Sioux City, Iowa, 8-3 and 5-2, on March 27. The Warriors have won three games in a row, including two over Hastings. Midland reached the national tournament last season via a GPAC tournament runner up claim. The Warriors offense has not been as potent as recent seasons (currently averaging 5.1 runs per game), but Matt Abdelnour (nine doubles, four home runs) can put a charge into the ball.

After dipping outside of conference play on Wednesday (versus York), the Bulldogs will see Morningside on Friday. The Mustangs have been fairly balanced in terms of their hitting (6.1 runs per game) and pitching (team 4.82 ERA). Morningside has gotten good work out of a trio of bullpen arms: Wyatt Spencer (2.25 ERA, 16 IP), Camden Parks (3.05 ERA, 20.2 IP) and Elliott Conover (3.18 ERA, 17 IP).

Jamestown entered its first season in the GPAC as the conference’s preseason favorite. The Jimmies went 45-11 in 2018 and just missed out reaching the NAIA World Series. Concordia and Jamestown met in the opening round of the 2017 national tournament with the result being an 8-7 Bulldog win. The Jimmies have been on a roll themselves having won seven GPAC games in a row. They like to force the action by stealing bases Tanner Roundy has swiped 25 of the team’s 88 stolen bases. Roundy is also one of the top pitchers for a staff with a 4.23 ERA.

Next week Concordia is scheduled to play at York next Tuesday (April 16) before a four-game weekend series at Northwestern (April 18-19).