Bulldogs set to open season this Friday

The Concordia University baseball team is scheduled to open up the 2011 season on February 11.  The Bulldogs were 14-36 overall and 11-13 in conference play a year ago.  Concordia also made it to the GPAC Tournament in 2010.  The Bulldogs were picked to finish 11th in the 2011 GPAC preseason coaches’ poll. 

Concordia must find a way to replace a trio of All-Conference selections from a year ago.  Nate Schmoll and Jacob Shaffer were Second Team All-GPAC selections, while Brad Ramp was an honorable mention All-GPAC selection in 2010 for the Bulldogs.  Schmoll was one of the top offensive performers, while both Shaffer and Ramp were leaders on the mound in 2010 for Concordia.

The Bulldogs will look to junior Zak Goodrich (Lutz, Fla.) and senior Dustin Matlock (Colorado Springs, Colo.) for leadership.  Goodrich was a Second Team All-GPAC performer in 2010 after starting all 50 games for the Bulldogs.  He hit .375 and led the team in hits, runs scored, doubles, triples and stolen bases. 

Matlock had a team-high nine homers in 2010 and was second on the team with 28 RBI’s.  His .594 slugging percentage was tops on the team last season. 

Concordia will hope for improved pitching and defense in the 2011 season.  Last year, the Bulldog pitching staff finished with a 5.74 team ERA.  The Bulldog defense also totaled 109 errors last year which added pressure to the pitching staff. 

Josh Anderson (Westminster, Colo.), who appeared in a team-best 22 games last year, returns in his junior season for the Bulldogs.  Jacob Yurich (Aurora, Colo.) and Steven Ivanoff (Tucson, Ariz.) also return for the Bulldogs this season.  The duo combined to start 19 games for Concordia last year.  Ivanoff tossed three complete games and totaled a team-best 39 strikeouts on the season.

Concordia opens the season at Mid America Nazarene University in Kansas on February 11 and 12.  The Bulldogs will travel to Florida for their spring break trip this year, and the home opener is scheduled for March 20 against Peru State College.