2015 - Baseball schedule/results

26-18 overall, 8-12 GPAC - Season Stats


  Feb. 14 Bethany College (Kan.) (2) Lindsborg, Kan. L, 2-7
W, 6-1
  Feb. 24 Kansas Wesleyan University (2) Topeka, Kan. L, 5-8
W, 8-7
  Feb. 25 Sterling College (2) Sterling, Kan. L, 2-5
L, 3-7


  March 4 Grace University (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. CANCELED
Tucson Invitational: March 7 - 13 (all times are Mountain Standard Time)
  March 7 Grace College (Ind.) (2) Tucson, Ariz. W, 18-3
W, 7-0 
  March 8 University of Jamestown (N.D.) (2) Tucson, Ariz. L, 4-8
W, 22-6
  March 10 Central Methodist University (Mo.) (1x9) Tucson, Ariz. W, 7-5
  March 12 Presentation College (S.D.) (2) Tucson, Ariz. W, 5-0
W, 4-1
  March 13 Mayville State University (N.D.) (2) Tucson, Ariz. W, 6-3
W, 9-1
  March 21 Dakota State University (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. W, 9-1
W, 12-2
  March 22 Dakota State University (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. W, 4-2
W, 7-1 
  March 25 York College (1x9) Concordia webcast scheduled York, Neb. L, 8-10
  March 28 Dordt College* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 6-8 (8 inn.)
W, 4-0
  March 29 Mount Marty College* (2) Yankton, S.D. W, 7-4
L, 3-10
  March 31 Manhattan Christian College (Kan.) (2) Manhattan, Kan. W, 21-0
W, 21-0


  April 3 Nebraska Wesleyan University* (2) Lincoln, Neb. W, 6-0
L, 3-4 
  April 4 Hastings College* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. W, 5-4
L, 7-16
  April 8 Grace University (1x9) (at Millard North HS) Omaha, Neb. W, 6-4 (12 inn.)
  April 11 Briar Cliff University* (2) Sioux City, Iowa L, 2-7
L, 11-15 
  April 12 Dakota Wesleyan University* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Mitchell, S.D. L, 2-3
L, 4-14
  April 14 York College (1x9) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. W, 3-0
  April 20 Northwestern College* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. W, 8-6
W, 4-3 
  April 21 Morningside College* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 5-7
W, 2-0
  April 23 Doane College* (2) Concordia webcast scheduled Seward, Neb. L, 4-6
L, 3-18
  April 24 Midland University* (2) Fremont, Neb. W, 1-0
L, 3-4 (14 inn.)

*Indicates Great Plains Athletic Conference Games
% vs. GPAC Tournament

All Home Games in BOLD










Drew Ten Bensel





Seward, Neb.


Sean McCartney





Greeley, Colo.


Casey Berg





Manning, Iowa


Ryan Fesmire





Firestone, Colo.


Kaleb Geiger





Sedalia, Colo.


Taylor Bickel





Surprise, Ariz.


Cade Moring





Eagar, Ariz.


Cole Stuerke 





Lakewood, Colo.


Neil Ryan





Grand Junction, Colo.


Jonathan Vieira

R/R OF 5-10 So. Colorado Springs, Colo.


Heath Benker





Florence, Colo.


Zach Cambier 





Castle Rock, Colo. 


Ben Carr

R/R C 6-0 Fr. Omaha, Neb.


John Jay Silva





Thornton, Colo.


Daniel Wilkerson 





Santa Fe, Texas 


Josh Prater





Colorado Springs, Colo.


Mark Harris





Tucson, Ariz.


Jaydee Jurgensen





Lincoln, Neb.


Alex Cargin





Leawood, Kan.


Edwin Izumigawa





Pearl City, Hawaii


Schafer Thompson





Limon, Colo.


Alex Alstott R/R OF/RHP 6-2 Jr. Fort Dodge, Iowa

Wyatt Weller





Bennington, Neb.


Taylor Dudley





Longmont, Colo.


Tucker Epp





Blue Springs, Neb.


Taylor Bigandt





Littleton, Colo.


Tyler Nelson





LaPorte, Texas


Josh Mondt





Greeley, Colo.


Devin Bettmann R/R RHP 6-2 So. Cedar Rapids, Iowa


James Hall





Polk, Neb.


A.J. Peterson R/R IF 5-8 Jr. Tampa, Fla.


Erik Andrews R/R OF 6-1 Jr. Loveland, Colo.

Mike Buell

R/R OF 5-7 Fr. Bellevue, Neb.

Josh Castaneda

R/R C 5-7 Fr. Santa Fe, N.M.

Trenton Dooley

L/L OF 5-10 Jr.  


Aaron Hentges R/R OF 5-10 So. Concordia, Mo.

Tys Joseph





LaPorte, Texas


Mitch Kelly





Castle Rock, Colo.


Riley Kleven





Williston, N.D.


Zach Kollbaum





Cole Camp, Mo.


Jarrett McDonald





Colorado Springs, Colo.


Ethan Mirly L/L LHP 5-9 So. Jackson, Mo.

Scotty Patrick

R/R 2B/SS 6-0 So. Houston, Texas
  Jordan Radevski L/R 2B/SS 6-2 Fr.

Ontario, Canada


Danny Smith





Oyens, Iowa


Alec Suarez





Loveland, Colo.


Nathan Radic 





Parker, Colo.


Ryan Trueblood R/R C 5-5 So. Lenexa, Kan.


Titus Utecht





Valentine, Neb.


Matt White





Lakewood, Colo.


Cameron Yee





Berthoud, Colo.


Austin Zimmer





Douglas, Wyo.

Season preview: 2015 Concordia baseball

At a glance
2014 Record: 16-30 overall; 6-14 GPAC (T-9th)
Head Coach: Ryan Dupic (1st year)
Key Returners: 1B Zach Cambier, INF Alex Cargin, OF Taylor Dudley, RHP Will Holbrook, LHP Jaydee Jurgensen, C Sean McCartney, OF Daniel Wilkerson
Key Losses: OF Camaren Gause, RHP Jordan Stirtz
Key Newcomers: OF/P Alex Alstott, SS/3B Casey Berg, LHP Taylor Bickel, INF Kaleb Geiger, P Mark Harris, P Neil Ryan
2014 GPAC All-Conference: Camaren Gause (second team), Andrew Yerrell (second team), Taylor Dudley (honorable mention), Will Holbrook (honorable mention), Jordan Stirtz (honorable mention), Daniel Wilkerson (honorable mention)

For the first time since the 1999 season, the Concordia University baseball program welcomes a first-year head coach. Enter Ryan Dupic who spent seven seasons helping Buena Vista University become a power in NCAA Division III’s Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The Bulldog baseball program has ascended significantly from where it sat in the decade of the 1990s. Now Dupic and company hope to raise it another level. While still getting his feet wet and finding a feel for a roster that was mostly inherited, Concordia’s new skipper won’t put a ceiling on what 2015 might bring.

“My expectations are very high,” Dupic said. “I don’t want to put a limit on our guys because I feel like I’m still getting to know them. I don’t want to list any kind of win limit, because then it’s – where do you go after that? I don’t want to do it too low. I don’t want to do it too high. We’re really just trying to take things a day a time right now and focus on getting better.”

With Dupic’s arrival comes a new approach on how to get better. There has been little talk this offseason about winning and losing. Rather, a premium has been placed upon the processes that lead to success on and off the field. Everything is done with a specific purpose in mind.

“I’d say the biggest change would have to be our practices,” junior middle infielder Alex Cargin said. “A common theory is that the amount of practice is correlated to improvement. We found that’s not true. We shortened our practice times down in order ensure 100 percent focus and 100 percent effort in everything we do.”

A new coaching staff and a significant roster overhaul have signaled a reboot of Bulldog baseball. But there are plenty of familiar names back in the fold. Cargin (.408 on-base percentage in 2014) is expected to anchor the middle infield while other productive offensive contributors such as first baseman Zach Cambier (.295 BA) and outfielders Taylor Dudley (.344 BA) and Daniel Wilkerson (five home runs) provide middle-of-the-order punch.

As for the pitching staff, right-hander Will Holbrook (3-7, 4.28) and lefty Jaydee Jurgensen (2-5, 5.08) figure to be key components for Dupic, who helped Buena Vista’s Scott Harris develop into a MLB draft pick.

The first challenge for Dupic was getting his new group of players to buy in. Members of the pitching staff have already given the new Bulldog leader rave reviews for his expertise in that department. According to coaches and players, fruitful relationships have been built and are in the process of being strengthened.

“I think it takes players being willing to change,” Dupic said of building a winning program. “That’s a challenge for anyone, myself included. You have to be open to doing things a little bit differently, not necessarily banging our heads against the wall and trying the same old stuff. We have to get out there and consider ways we can do things better, but also work a little harder. As we think about this season that’s what we’re really trying to focus on and then in years to come it’s going to be combining that with being effective on the recruiting trail.”

Soon the focus will be on nailing down the positioning of personnel across the diamond. On the infield, Cargin projects as a likely second base option with the ability to shift over to short. Cambier started all 46 games at first base last season in a solid first full season as a starter. He is being pushed by sophomore Tyler Nelson, a lefty bat. Among holdovers, sophomore Josh Mondt (.226 BA) and junior AJ Peterson (.318 BA) should factor into the equation. Mondt saw extensive action at shortstop as a freshman.

Then there are newcomers such as sophomore Casey Berg (Manning, Iowa), freshman Kaleb Geiger (Sedalia, Colo.) and junior Drew ten Bensel (Seward, Neb.). Dupic says ten Bensel enjoyed an impressive fall season at second base. Meanwhile, Geiger is a hard-working rookie and Berg is an athletic player with potential to be “special,” according to Dupic.

In the outfield, Dupic could choose to go long on experience by throwing Dudley, Wilkerson and senior Cole Stuerke out there at the same time. Dudley broke loose with a big sophomore season after beginning the campaign as a reserve. On the other hand, Wilkerson possesses the team’s biggest power bat and Stuerke is making the transition from infield. Dupic mentions juniors Alex Alstott (Fort Dodge, Iowa) and Taylor Bigandt (Littleton, Colo.) as additional outfield possibilities. Alstott may even be the most athletic player on the roster.

The catching position will likely shared by senior Sean McCartney (.330 OBP) and Ryan Fesmire (.290 BA). Says Dupic, “I think ultimately it will be about who can be the most consistent between the two guys, but we’re going to need both of them without a doubt. You play some many games. I want to see who can be consistent and who can do the best offensively there.”

After posting a 6.36 team ERA last season, the pitching staff hopes to rebound with Holbrook and Jurgensen leading the way. Fellow seniors Heath Benker and John-Jay Silva represent experienced options out of the bullpen, but plenty of openings are there for the taking. First-year Bulldogs in the form of freshman lefty Taylor Bickel, junior righty Mark Harris and freshman righty Neil Ryan have the potential to make immediate impacts.

“We expect it to be very good,” Dupic said of the pitching staff. “We want to set the bar as high as we possibly can. That’s something that we’ve established from the beginning. We haven’t talked a tremendous amount about specific numbers. Right now we’re just focused on our habits and making sure we have a good culture within our pitching staff. I think it is going to start with the experienced guys. Will (Holbrook) needs to be a top-flight arm within our league.”

The development of Bulldog hurlers could have a lot to say about how year one unfolds under Dupic. Last season’s squad ranked fifth in the GPAC in runs per game (5.83), but finished 10th in both ERA (6.36) and fielding percentage (.925).

With an offseason focus on fundamentals and improving its infield defense, Concordia believes it will see immense progress in the run prevention department. It’s one of many reasons for optimism in 2015.

“We have a fresh start,” Cargin said. “We have a new coaching staff and new players. There’s a new mentality. There’s that saying, ‘it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose – it’s how you play.’ Honestly, that doesn’t apply to us anymore. We’re not scrappers anymore. We have a good team and I’m proud to take the field with those guys.

The new era of Concordia baseball is officially set to get started on Saturday (Feb. 14) when the Bulldogs play a pair of games at Bethany College.

“My expectations are that we compete hard and have great work habits and are very selfless in the way that we play,” Dupic said. “We haven’t talked much about winning quite frankly. I think that’s a byproduct of doing things the right way.”

Jurgensen hurls gem to lead Bulldogs in season-opening doubleheader

LINDSBORG, Kan. – Opening day under first-year head coach Ryan Dupic produced a doubleheader split for the Concordia University baseball team at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., on Saturday afternoon. After a 7-2 loss in game 1, the Bulldogs bounced back behind lefty starting pitcher Jaydee Jurgensen for a 6-1 victory over the host Swedes (6-3) in the capper.

Dupic, who spent the previous seven seasons as the top assistant at NCAA Division III Buena Vista University, earned his first career victory as a collegiate head coach. After a sloppy opening game, Concordia cleaned up its act in game 2.

“I’m very proud of the way we responded,” Dupic said. “The first game we didn’t defend the way we need to. I thought (starting pitcher) Will (Holbrook) and Taylor (Bickel) did a good job on the mound for us and we had some situations where we could have scored. We just didn’t get that big hit.

“I thought we had a much better rhythm in the second game. Jaydee really set the tone. He was outstanding mixing in a couple different pitches. Our relievers did a nice job and I’m proud of our offense for adding some runs on late.”

Jurgensen, a former Kansas University pitcher, battled injury last season – his first as a Bulldog. Now healthy, the Lincoln native scattered five hits and four walks while punching out four Bethany hitters in 6.2 scoreless innings of work. The trio of Neil Ryan, Josh Prater and Heath Benker navigated the final 2.1 innings out of the bullpen. The relievers combined on six strikeouts.

Offensively, Dupic unveiled a 2015 lineup that got some juice from newcomers such as outfielders Alex Alstott and Taylor Bigandt on Saturday. A native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, Alstott tripled once in both ends of the twin bill. Meanwhile, Bigandt went 3-for-7 out of the No. 5 spot in the lineup.

“Our middle of the order got a boost with some of those guys,” Dupic said. “Taylor is swung the bat well and Alstott was a dynamic player with two triples today. I thought (Kaleb) Geiger played a really good third base. I’m really happy with what those guys brought to the lineup.”

Game 2 went scoreless until the Bulldogs pushed across an unearned run in the top of the fifth. An inning later Sean McCartney followed a Bigandt triple with a sacrifice fly. Concordia then put up four insurance runs in the eighth. Two of those tallies came around on Tyler Nelson’s pinch hit two-run single.

The opening contest featured a seven-inning complete game by Swede pitcher Clayton Cozzitorto. Concordia fell despite outhitting Bethany, 9-8. Last season’s defensive issues resurfaced as the Bulldogs committed five errors that led to all seven runs being unearned.

Holbrook finished with a line of four innings, seven hits, seven runs (all unearned), three walks and three strikeouts. Bickel tossed up zeroes in his two frames in relief.

Saturday’s doubleheader was played in cool temperatures of around 40 degrees at first pitch. Wind gusted at roughly 20-25 miles per hour.

Due to chillier forecasted temperatures on Sunday, Concordia’s scheduled doubleheader at Bethany has been canceled. Up next for the Bulldogs is a Feb. 24 date with Kansas Wesleyan University. The twin bill is slated to get underway at 12 p.m.

Concordia rallies for game 2 win vs. Kansas Wesleyan

TOPEKA, Kan. – Returning to action 10 days following a season-opening doubleheader split at Bethany College, the Concordia University baseball salvaged another split by winning game two on Tuesday afternoon in twin bill with Kansas Wesleyan University. In a pair of contests that took place at a neutral field in Topeka, Kan., the Bulldogs dropped game 1, 8-5, before rallying for an 8-7 game 2 victory over the Coyotes (4-5).

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad sits at 2-2 following four games against foes from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“The first game was a little disappointing because we didn’t defend well,” Dupic said. “(Right-handed pitcher) Will (Holbrook) competed but we just didn’t support him. We fell behind and we tried to chip away. We just weren’t solid enough defensively.

“I was happy with the way we rebounded in the second game. We fell behind again but we were able to rally back. It was a good response and gave us a chance to leave on a positive.”

Leading 6-0, Kansas Wesleyan chased Concordia game 2 starting pitcher Jaydee Jurgensen in the third inning. With freshman lefty Taylor Bickel providing solid work out of the bullpen, the Bulldog offense came alive. Junior outfielder Taylor Bigandt crushed a home run to left center to ignite the rally. Junior middle infielder Alex Cargin added a much-needed double with the bases loaded.

On the day, sophomore Casey Berg and freshman Kaleb Geiger delivered three hits apiece. Senior Zach Cambier (two doubles) and sophomore Tyler Nelson notched a pair of hits apiece. Bickel earned his first career win on the mound and senior right-hander Heath Benker closed game 2 for his first save of 2015.

Now the trick for Dupic and company is to get the same production in the front end of doubleheaders.

“Unfortunately we started out slow today,” Dupic said. “We’ve had two doubleheaders now where we’ve gotten better as the day has gone on. We need to be better out of the gates. At the same time, we’re still playing a lot of different guys and getting a feel for who needs to be in the lineup, especially in the infield.”

Kansas Wesleyan, which went 22-30 overall and 11-17 in KCAC games in 2014, is a “good offensive team,” according to Dupic. The Coyotes have averaged 5.7 runs per contest through their opening nine games of 2015.

The Bulldogs will remain in The Sunflower State and take on Sterling College (9-3), a team receiving votes in the national poll, in Sterling, Kan., on Wednesday. The doubleheader will get underway at 1 p.m. Twin bills scheduled for Friday and Saturday (Feb. 27-28) at Oklahoma Wesleyan have been canceled.

Baseball drops two to 2014 national tournament qualifier

STERLING, Kan. – In its second doubleheader in as many days in the state of Kansas, the Concordia University baseball team dropped a pair of games on Wednesday afternoon to 2014 national tournament qualifier Sterling College. The Bulldogs relinquished a game 1 lead before falling by a 5-2 score. The Warriors completed the sweep with a 7-3 game 2 victory.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad fell to 2-4 on the young season. Sterling, knocking on the door of the NAIA top 25 rankings, moved to 11-3 overall.

Concordia threatened the Warriors in game 1 behind a solid collegiate debut from freshman right-hander Neil Ryan on the mound.

“The first game was a really well-played baseball game,” Dupic said. “We played well defensively and Neil Ryan was outstanding against a very good team that will probably make the national tournament again. Neil did a great job. Offensively we had opportunities to stretch the lead, but we just couldn’t push those runs across.”

At the plate, Dupic got good production from outfielder Taylor Dudley, who reached base in all four game 2 plate appearances. Junior Taylor Bigandt added a pair of hits in the capper while Alex Cargin cracked a single and walked twice. In game 1, both Alex Alstott and Kaleb Geiger reached base multiple times and earned mention from Dupic.

With the cancelation of the weekend series that had been scheduled with Oklahoma Wesleyan, the Bulldogs now look forward to their home-opening doubleheader slated for Wednesday, March 4. Grace University will serve as the opponent with first pitch set for 1 p.m.

“There are definitely some positives to take away moving forward,” Dupic said after Wednesday’s twin bill. “It was good to get out and play again. I’m looking forward to seeing if we can play at home next week, or it’s on to Arizona (for the team’s spring trip scheduled for March 7-13).”

Concordia bats heat up under Arizona sun

TUCSON, Ariz. – In its opening doubleheader of a nine-game swing in The Grand Canyon State, the Concordia University baseball team busted loose with a combined 25 runs in a doubleheader sweep of Grace College (Ind.) on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs took game 1, 18-3, before finishing the twin bill with a 7-0 victory in the capper.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad, now 4-4 overall, blitzed the Lancers (5-5) with nine first-inning runs in game 1. Freshman outfielder Kaleb Geiger, who entered the weekend with a team-leading .381 batting average, recorded three hits while senior right fielder Daniel Wilkerson crushed his 10th career homer and first of the 2015 season.

Then in game 2, freshman Neil Ryan (1-0) dazzled in his second career start at the collegiate level. The native of Grand Junction, Colo., fired a four-hit shutout in a seven-inning complete game. He struck out seven hitters and walked one. Ryan was aided by a solid defensive effort that turned a pair of double plays and committed just a single error.

All three Arizona natives on the Concordia roster made the trip to Tucson: freshman Taylor Bickel, junior Mark Harris and freshman Cade Moring.

Grace College, coached by Bill Barr, is a member of the NAIA’s Crossroads League. The institution is located in Winona Lake, Ind.

Concordia continues action from Tucson at 3 p.m. MST on Sunday with a doubleheader against the University of Jamestown (N.D.). The Jimmies, who went 36-10 overall in 2014, have yet to play a game in 2015.

Offense explodes for 22 runs in game 2 win over 2014 national qualifier

TUCSON, Ariz. – A day after sweeping a doubleheader from Grace College (Ind.), the Concordia University baseball team resumed its nine-game Arizona slate by drubbing national tournament qualifier University of Jamestown (N.D.), 22-5, in the second game of Sunday evening’s twin bill. The Jimmies (1-1), who are receiving votes in the national coaches’ poll, won the opening contest, 8-4.

Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad remains at .500 overall (5-5) with five games left on the current spring break trip.

Scalding at the plate since arriving in The Grand Canyon State, the Bulldogs have racked up a combined 51 runs over their first four games of the trip.

“There’s a lot of space in the outfield here and the ball is really traveling,” Dupic said. “And it’s hot. Hitters like getting out in those conditions. Obviously our guys are taking it to another level offensively. We’ve had a tendency to string some huge innings together. We had another nine runs in the third inning of the second game. Our guys are having really good at bats. It’s been fun sitting back and watching.”

Concordia pounded out 21 hits, including five doubles and two triples, in the second game. Every starter reached base at least once as part of the onslaught. Senior Cole Stuerke collected a pair of doubles, junior Taylor Dudley added two hits and sophomore shortstop Casey Berg was commended by Dupic for a solid offensive day and steadying presence in the middle of the infield.

Dupic hopes the eye-popping offensive production in game 2 will provide a boost for his squad, which thumped a Jamestown team he expects to compete for another national tournament berth.

“We were a little down after the first game,” Dupic said. “To respond like that is a great feeling. Our hitters were hungry and they kept tacking on runs. They didn’t just settle. It’s great to beat a team like that and we should gain a lot of confidence from it.”

On the mound, Dupic went with lefties Taylor Bickel and Josh Prater as his Sunday starters. Prater battled into the fourth inning of game 2 before giving way to righty Edwin Izumigawa with the bases loaded and one out. Izumigawa struck out the next two hitters and then worked a scoreless fifth in a key performance out of the bullpen.

Jamestown, a member of the NAIA’s North Star Athletic Association, finished 2014 with a record of 36-10. The Jimmies, who opened up their 2015 season on Sunday, outscored last season’s opponents by 152 runs.

The Bulldogs take the day off on Monday before returning to the diamond on Tuesday for a single nine-inning game with Central Methodist University (7-5). First pitch is set for 9 a.m. MDT / 11 a.m. CST.

Bullpen keys fourth win of Arizona road trip

TUCSON, Ariz. – Strong work from the Bulldog bullpen and another solid offensive day allowed the Concordia University baseball team to win its fourth game in five tries during its current nine-game road trip in Tucson, Ariz. On Tuesday the Bulldogs topped Central Methodist University (Mo.), 7-5, in a single nine-inning contest.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad moved above .500 at 6-5 overall. The Eagles, a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, dropped to 9-6.

In a balanced lineup, second baseman Alex Cargin provided punch out of the nine hole. His two-run double in the top of the second put the Bulldogs up 2-0. Cargin (2-for-3), who added a sacrifice fly in the sixth, was one of three Bulldogs with two hits. The other two were left fielder Cole Stuerke (2-for-5, RBI) and catcher Ryan Fesmire (2-for-4, two runs).

After the Eagles put up two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead, Concordia responded with three runs in the top of the sixth to grab the advantage for good. The Bulldogs capitalized on an error to begin the inning and pushed runs across on Casey Berg’s bases-loaded walk, Cargin’s sac fly and Stuerke’s RBI single.

The Bulldogs picked up an insurance run in the seventh when center fielder Alex Alstott tripled with two outs and then scored on a wild pitch. Alstott scored three times and stole a pair of bases.

Dupic used six different arms out of the bullpen to navigate the final five innings. Right-hander Heath Benker pitched a scoreless eighth inning and righty Edwin Izumigawa worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his first save. Concordia’s six relievers, including winning pitcher Devin Bettmann, allowed just a single run.

In his first career collegiate start, Concordia lefty Cade Moring got the ball on the hill. Pitching in his home state, the Eagar native retired the first seven hitters he faced before running into trouble in the bottom of the third. Joba Ferrell got the Eagles on the board with a two-run blast with two outs in the third. Moring ended up working four innings, allowing four earned runs on three hits and two walks.

The red-hot Bulldog offense totaled nine hits against four Central Methodist hurlers. Over its first five games in Arizona, Concordia has piled up a combined 58 runs. It struck for 18 and 22 runs, respectively, in wins over Grace College and University of Jamestown.

Dupic also complimented the left side of the infield where Casey Berg (shortstop) and Kaleb Geiger (third base) lent a helping hand to the Concordia pitching staff.

The Bulldogs have another off day on Wednesday before returning to action in Tucson on Thursday when they take on Presentation College (S.D.) in a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 9 a.m. MST / 11 a.m. CDT. Concordia will close its nine-game Arizona trip with another twin bill on Friday.

Jurgensen, Ryan shut down Presentation in doubleheader sweep

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University baseball team continued a successful run in Tucson, Ariz., with two more victories on Thursday morning. The Bulldogs swept a doubleheader from Presentation College (S.D.), winning by scores of 5-0 and 4-1.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad improved to 8-5 overall, including a record of 6-1 on the current Arizona swing that will conclude with a twin bill on Friday morning.

The starting pitching combo of senior lefty Jaydee Jurgensen and righty Neil Ryan covered all but one third of an inning in masterful performances that took the heat off a hot Bulldog offense.

“We’ve been playing so well offensively, it was nice to have a day where our pitching carried us,” Dupic said. “Jaydee set the tone in the first game. He established his fastball and then got into his break stuff. He was able to really keep them off balance.”

Jurgensen (3-0) racked up nine strikeouts and allowed only two hits and a walk in his game 1 shutout of the Saints. Ryan nearly matched that performance in game 2. The native of Grand Junction, Colo., went 6.2 innings and scattered six hits and five walks. He allowed a single unearned run and struck out two.

Concordia gave Jurgensen all the support he needed with a three-run second inning. Alex Alstott got the Bulldogs on the board with an RBI triple. Ryan Fesmire and Alex Cargin followed with RBI singles. Then in the fifth, Kaleb Geiger and Tyler Nelson both recorded run-scoring singles.

In game 2, Alstott struck again with his first career homer as a Bulldog to lead off the first. Zach Cambier added an RBI single in the opening inning. All scoring was capped in the third inning when Sean McCartney and Casey Berg both singled in a run.

Edwin Izumigawa, the only reliever used on Thursday, entered game 2 with two outs in the seventh. He struck out the only hitter he faced to earn the save.

Dupic says his team came into the day with plenty of energy despite the early-morning start.

“There’s definitely a lot of energy and excitement,” Dupic said. “Our guys were really ready to play. We had a 9 a.m. start local time and I wasn’t concerned at all. Our guys were really excited to be here and they played with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”

The Bulldogs will finish their spring break trip Friday morning with a doubleheader against Mayville State University (N.D.). First pitch is slated for 8:30 a.m. MST / 10:30 a.m. CDT. The Comets are off to an 11-5 start following a 41-16 overall mark in 2014.

Baseball completes sterling 8-1 road trip

TUCSON, Ariz. – A new energy and winning vibe took hold of the Concordia University baseball team over a nine-game road trip that spanned seven days spent in the city of Tucson, Ariz. On Friday morning the Bulldogs completed their tremendous spring break roll with a pair of wins over Mayville State University (N.D.), a team receiving votes in the national poll. The Bulldogs defeated the Comets by scores of 6-3 and 9-1.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad lost only one time in nine contests in Arizona. Concordia has improved to 10-5 overall.

The recent run of success has come thanks to a variety of contributors.

“It was a nice cap to the week,” Dupic said. “Our guys are really swinging the bats well. Up and down the lineup we’re putting good at bats together. It’s not just one or two guys. That makes it tough on the opponent.”

The latest doubleheader sweep came against a Mayville State program that authored a 41-16 record in 2014 and entered Friday with a mark of 11-5 this season. Comet head coach Scott Berry came into 2015 ranked 11th among active NAIA head baseball coaches with 935 wins.

The confident group of Bulldogs got a quality five-inning game 1 start from freshman lefty Taylor Bickel, who allowed two runs and picked up the victory. In support of Bickel, five different Concordia hitters notched an RBI apiece and outfielder Cole Stuerke raked in three hits, including a double. In addition, Taylor Dudley and Tyler Nelson both chipped in a triple and Daniel Wilkerson cracked a two-bagger.

In game 2, John Jay Silva provided a big lift in relief. He covered 3.2 innings and struck out six while walking none to pick up the win. Five Bulldogs banked two hits each: Zach Cambier, Alex Cargin, Kaleb Geiger, Sean McCartney and Wilkerson. Four Concordia hitters had at least one RBI.

Following the conclusion of game 2, the Bulldogs hopped back on a bus bound for Seward. Concordia is scheduled to open up at home on Saturday, March 21 when Dakota State University visits Plum Creek Park for a 1 p.m. twin bill.

Dupic’s bunch will arrive in town riding a wave of positive momentum.

“When we focus on ourselves and what we need to do, we can be a really good team,” Dupic said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we keep pushing to try to get even better.”

Bulldogs run win streak to eight with home-opening sweep

SEWARD, Neb. – The GPAC leader in both runs scored per game and earned run average entering the weekend, the Concordia University baseball team opened the 2015 home schedule by twice drubbing Dakota State University on Saturday afternoon. A layoff of seven days without a game failed to cool off the Bulldogs, who extended their winning streak to eight. On Saturday Concordia won by scores of 9-1 and 12-2.

The picture-perfect March day saw first-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad author victories for the ninth and 10th times in 11 outings to improve to 12-5 overall. The Bulldogs packed the sunny weather along with their swagger from an impressive 8-1 road trip in Arizona (March 7-13).

“It was a great day to play the game and I thought the guys came out very excited, ready to go,” Dupic said. “Once again we had some really good at bats offensively. That put us in position to be very aggressive on the mound and defensively. Jaydee Jurgensen pitched really, really well the first game. It’s a good feeling for our club right now.”

Concordia racked up a combined 20 hits and got tremendous work again from top-of-the-rotation starters in lefty Jurgensen (4-0) and freshman righty Neil Ryan (3-0) to keep the winning vibes flowing. Jurgensen punched out 12 Trojan hitters and surrendered just one run on two hits and a walk as part of his seven-inning complete game. In game 2, Ryan worked around five walks and three hits in limiting Dakota State to a single run (earned) in his six frames.

Jurgensen and Ryan, 7-0 with a 1.84 ERA in 53.2 innings combined this season, are a major reason why Concordia ranks atop the conference in ERA.

“Jaydee’s got such good breaking stuff,” Dupic said. “He’s really spinning the ball well. He’s been able to keep guys off balance. His ability to go to a secondary pitch almost any time has been really key for him.

“With Neil it’s been interesting. His last couple (outings) he’s just really competed and battled. He hasn’t had his best stuff, but I’ve been really pleased to see him as a freshman going out and making pitches and continuing to compete.”

Scheduled to play nine innings in game 2, Concordia ended things in seven by thumping Dakota State (3-15) in a 10-run rule affair. Out of the cleanup spot, senior first baseman Zach Cambier stung the ball. He doubled and tripled in runs during his 3-for-4 performance in game 2. Cambier was one of 10 different Bulldogs to rap out at least one hit on Saturday.

“It’s awesome,” Cambier said. “It’s a team effort. Everybody’s really getting into it. There’s no real weak spot. One through nine in the order we’re really putting the bat to the ball. We’re playing good defense and our pitching has been unbelievable. Coach Dupic and the rest of the coaching staff are doing a really good job of helping us believe.”

Concordia set the tone in game 1 by putting up two runs in the second, three in the third and three more in the fourth. The fun began with second baseman Alex Cargin’s two-run double in the second. Right fielder Daniel Wilkerson followed it up with a three-run double in the third before third baseman Kaleb Geiger struck for a two-run single in the fourth.

The Bulldogs ran away with game 2 by throwing three runs on the board in the first followed by a six pot in the second. Concordia took advantage of three Trojan errors in the first and then got a two-run double apiece from Taylor Bigandt and Wilkerson as part of the monster second inning.

Cargin went 3-for-6 on the day out of the No. 9 spot in the lineup while Geiger, 2-for-4 in both contests, went 4-for-8, scored five times and drove in two runs from the No. 3 slot. Geiger is hitting .400 through 16 games.

Concordia will again host Dakota State on Sunday. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. A live webcast will be provided by the Concordia Sports Network.

Bickel, Dudley help push win streak to 10

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University baseball team continues to do no wrong. On Sunday the Bulldogs completed a four-game weekend series sweep of Dakota State University to run their winning streak to 10. Behind a stellar game 1 pitching performance from freshman lefty Taylor Bickel and a 5-for-5 day from junior Taylor Dudley, the Bulldogs won by scores of 4-2 and 7-1.

Just one win shy of the program record for lengthiest winning streak ever, head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad sits at 14-5 overall and 4-0 to begin its 2015 home schedule.

“(Bickel) was outstanding,” Dupic said. “He threw the ball well, kept them off balance. We kind of rode him. Even when they were getting some hits, we didn’t really feel like they were hard hit. He just kept mixing pitches and changing speeds.

“We told the guys after the first game that we were actually more happy with the first win today than even the two wins yesterday because we know conference is coming and there are going to be a lot of tight games. It’s good for us to see that we can really play good baseball.”

A starting rotation headed up by senior Jaydee Jurgensen and a trio of freshmen kept the momentum rolling on Sunday. In a swift-moving game 1, Bickel worked an efficient seven-inning complete game. The native of Surprise, Ariz., allowed six hits, one walk and two runs (both earned) while striking out five.

Bickel (3-1) made his biggest pitches after allowing the first two hitters in the sixth to reach safely. He proceeded to retire the next three Trojans (3-18) to end the threat and maintain Concordia’s two-run lead.

The top two hitters in the Bulldog lineup provided the bulk of the game 1 offense. On-base machine Alex Alstott (reached base in four of six Sunday plate appearances) went 2-for-2 with his sixth triple of the season and scored three times out of the leadoff spot. No. 2 hitter Taylor Bigandt collected two hits, a run and an RBI in three at bats. Alstott got Concordia on the board immediately when he tripled and then came around on an errant throw to the cutoff in the first.

Dudley then starred in game 2. He singled in a run in the first, fifth and sixth innings and also doubled and scored in the fourth. Dudley, whose perfect day at the plate bumped his season average to .362, also notched a pinch-hit single in the opening contest.

“I think the key for my success today was just being patient at the plate and waiting for my pitch that’s up in the zone,” Dudley said. “That’s a pitch I can drive real well. It worked out today.”

Also in game 2, second baseman Alex Cargin went 2-for-2 with a walk and three Bulldogs drove in a run apiece: Alstott, Casey Berg and Sean McCartney. Concordia pounded out nine hits in the second game after putting up seven in game 1.

Another freshman left-hander took the hill for Concordia in game 2. After loading the bases to begin the second, left-hander Cade Moring induced a fielder’s choice and then an unconventional 6-3-2 double play that limited the damage to a single run. In relief Mark Harris (winning pitcher) and John-Jay Silva turned combined to get seven outs. Silva retired each of the four hitters he faced.

The foursome of Harris, Silva, Heath Benker and Edwin Izumigawa held Dakota State hitless over the final 3.1 innings to close out win No. 14.

By allowing just a combined six runs over four games with the Trojans, Concordia lowered its GPAC-leading ERA to 3.38. The quick adaptation of freshmen like Bickel has been crucial to the team’s winning streak.

“First of all they’re great kids,” Dupic said. “They’re very high character kids. They work extremely hard in practice every day. They really have a great sense of purpose with what they do and they’re super competitive kids. It’s hard to take the ball from Taylor Bickel. I love the way they compete. I love how great their character is and how hard they work.”

The Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday when they play at nearby York College for a single nine-inning contest. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

Ten-game win streak snapped by York

YORK, Neb. – On a chilly Nebraska evening, two rough innings prevented the Concordia University baseball team from extending the 10-game win streak it carried into Wednesday’s action. Neighboring York College snapped the streak by holding on for a nine-inning, 10-8 victory over the Bulldogs at Levitt Stadium in York, Neb.

Head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad, which had not lost in more than two weeks, now stands at 14-6 overall. The 10 runs by the Panthers were a season high for a Concordia opponent.

“It was disappointing defensively,” Dupic said. “They had two big innings on us where we had a chance to get out of it by making a play. Offensively it was a tough night with the cold, but both offenses had a lot of hits after errors. We have to pick it up defensively this weekend.”

Trailing 10-4 entering the ninth, the Bulldogs brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate in the form of left fielder Cole Stuerke, who grounded out with runners on first and second to end the game. The Panthers had left the door open a crack by committing three errors in the frame. Sean McCartney and Drew Ten Bensel, who entered the game in the eighth, both drove home runs with base hits to make it a tense finish.

In a game that turned into a high-scoring affair, Concordia actually took a 2-0 lead to the bottom of the fifth behind starting pitcher Josh Prater. The sophomore lefty retired 14 of the first 16 hitters he faced, including the first two Panthers that came to the plate in the fifth. The York offense suddenly came alive, aided by sloppy Bulldog defense, as the next six hitters reached base against Prater. Back-to-back two-run doubles by Michael Johnson and Jose Bueno provided a 5-2 Panther lead and chased Prater from the contest.

Concordia chipped a run off its deficit with Alex Alstott’s seventh-inning RBI grounder. York responded with another five-run frame on six hits, seemingly putting the game out of reach. Bueno added another run-scoring during the onslaught.

Taylor Dudley got the Bulldogs on the board first with his RBI ground out to second, allowing Concordia to cash in on a scoring opportunity set up by a Cole Stuerke walk and an Alex Alstott single to begin the third. Two innings later the lead increased to 2-0 when Kaleb Geiger’s blooper dropped into shallow center and scored Stuerke.

First baseman Zach Cambier (3-for-5, two runs) three hits apiece for Concordia. Alstott, McCartney and Ten Bensel each collected two hits as part of the Bulldogs’ 13-hit attack.

“Offensively I was pretty pleased,” Dupic said. “We had a couple bad at bats the first two innings, but other than that the guys swung it well. Cargin hit the ball well and Alstott hit the ball hard every time up.”

A victory on Wednesday would have equaled the program record of 11-straight wins by the 1974 Bulldog baseball team. Concordia last defeated York on April 5, 2011.

The Bulldogs open up conference play on Saturday when they host Dordt (6-8) for a doubleheader at Plum Creek Park. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. The Concordia Sports Network will provide a live webcast.

Ryan tosses second shutout on opening day of GPAC season

SEWARD, Neb. – There may not be a hotter collegiate pitcher in the nation than Concordia freshman Neil Ryan. On Saturday the rookie hurler continued his run of dominance by firing a three-hit shutout to help the Bulldog baseball team salvage a split in its GPAC-opening doubleheader with visiting Dordt (7-11, 1-3 GPAC) in Seward on Saturday evening. After letting a three-run lead slip away in an 8-6 game 1 loss, Concordia responded with a 4-0 victory to end the day.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad moved to 15-7 overall and 1-1 in conference action. The Bulldogs are 5-1 at Plum Creek Park.

“The first one didn’t finish the way we would have liked,” Dupic said. “I thought we played really, really well for about six innings. Then things got away from us a little bit. Neil really picked us up in the second game. He threw a good ballgame. He toughed it out there the last few innings. It’s a nice way for us to get some momentum heading into tomorrow.”

Ryan, who has allowed one earned run or fewer in each of his first five collegiate starts, mystified a Defender squad that entered the weekend leading the conference in both batting average and runs per game. Ryan expertly changed speeds and struck out nine compared to three walks. The native of Grand Junction, Colo., is 4-0 with a microscopic 0.83 ERA in 32.2 innings this season.

“I was really just trying to execute every single pitch and not really think about anything else,” Ryan said.

Concordia built its 4-0 lead by scored one run apiece in each of the first four innings. Left fielder Taylor Dudly (2-for-3 in game 2) got the Bulldogs on the board with an RBI single in the bottom of the first. Second baseman Alex Cargin and designated hitter Taylor Bigandt also added run-scoring hits in the victory. Cargin went 2-for-3 out of the No. 9 spot in the lineup.

Concordia dropped the opening game despite pounding out 11 hits and taking a 6-3 lead to the seventh inning. But for the first time all season, the Bulldogs failed to close out a game in which they had they advantage after six frames. The inning began with four-straight walks (one by starter Jaydee Jurgensen and three by closer Edwin Izumigawa).

Dordt’s Nate Forseth then singled in a run and another came in a grounder that was booted by a Bulldog infielder. Reliever Heath Benker preserved a 6-6 tie by inducing a 1-2-3 double play to close the top of the seventh. An inning later, Defender center fielder Jake Thayer struck for the game-winning two-run single. Concordia put two runners on in the eighth but failed to score.

In game 1, four different Bulldogs notched two hits apiece: Taylor Bigandt (2-for-4), Zach Cambier (2-for-4), Ryan Fesmire (2-for-4) and Alex Alstott (2-for-5). Jurgensen, who last week struck out 12 hitters in a complete game win, surrendered four runs (all earned) on six hits and three walks in his six-plus innings of work. Izumigawa was tagged with his first blown save.

The Bulldogs turn around quickly as they get set to head to Yankton, S.D., on Sunday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader with Mount Marty (17-10, 1-1 GPAC).

First GPAC road doubleheader results in split with Mount Marty

YANKTON, S.D. – Another freshman left-handed pitcher put forth a solid effort on the mound and the Concordia University baseball team earned a road split at Mount Marty in Sunday action in Yankton, S.D. Rookie hurler Taylor Bickel tossed his second-straight complete game to help lead a 7-4 game 1 victory. The Lancers won the capper, 10-3.

After the opening weekend of conference action, first-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad owns records of 16-8 overall and 2-2 in GPAC play. Concordia has already equaled its season win total from the 2014 campaign.

“I have to credit Bickel for his work in the first game,” Dupic said. “He really battled. He was on a short leash but he got hot and kept it rolling. He did a great job.

“And our hitters had really good at bats in the first game.”

The Lancers got all four of their game 1 runs in the second inning when they tagged Bickel for five hits. The southpaw from Surprise, Ariz., scattered 12 hits over his seven-inning complete game while tossing up doughnuts in each of his final five frames. He ran his record to 4-1 to go along with a 4.18 ERA.

The heart of the Concordia lineup generated the bulk of the offense in the victory. Dupic’s Nos. 3 through 6 hitters each collected two hits apiece. They helped the Bulldogs take the lead for good in the top of the fifth when Zach Cambier singled in Taylor Dudley (one-out double) and Ryan Fesmire scored Cambier on a ground out. Dudley also doubled and scored in the seventh as Concordia provided Bickel a pair of insurance tallies.

The Bulldogs piled up 20 hits on the day compared to 22 by Mount Marty (18-11, 2-2 GPAC). Kaleb Geiger, the Concordia’s No. 3 hitter, went 3-for-8 on the day and has at least one hit in 20 of his 23 games played.

Just as it did in the opening contest, Concordia dented the scoreboard first in game 2. Taylor Bigandt connected on a solo shot (second homer of the season) with one out in the top of the second. Mount Marty then scored eight-straight runs, including six runs on five hits and two errors in the bottom of the third.

Bulldog game 2 starting pitcher Cade Moring was pulled with one out in the third. He was charged with five earned runs on seven hits and three walks. John-Jay Silva, James Hall and AJ Peterson covered the final 5.2 innings in relief.

Dupic is preaching greater consistency as the Bulldogs move forward in the conference schedule.

“We played four games this weekend and gave ourselves the opportunity to win two of them,” Dupic said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance in the other two and we lost them. We need to play with more consistency and not beat ourselves. If we do that we’ll have a chance to have a nice season.”

Standouts for Mount Marty included game 2 pitcher Brandon Nickolite, who went 8.1 innings and allowed three earned runs in a winning effort. Left fielder Derek Blumenstock collected two hits in both games and first baseman Colin Peterson drove in three runs in the game 2 Lancer win.

The Bulldogs break from the GPAC slate on Tuesday when they travel to play National Christian College Athletic Association member Manhattan Christian College (0-19). The doubleheader is set to begin at 1 p.m. from Manhattan, Kan.

Ryan reels in GPAC pitcher of the week laurels

GPAC release

SEWARD, Neb. – A tremendous start to his collegiate career has allowed Concordia freshman Neil Ryan to earn GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Pitcher of the Week, as announced by the league on Tuesday. Ryan is the first member of the Bulldog baseball program to receive a GPAC weekly award since outfielder Taylor Dudley on March 18, 2014.

In last week’s only outing, Ryan fired his second shutout of the season. The right-hander from Grand Junction, Colo., limited Dordt (.332 team batting average) to just three hits. Ryan struck out a career high nine hitters and walked three.

The 6-foot-2 rookie has not allowed more than a single earned run in any of the first five starts of his career. Ryan (4-0) leads the GPAC in ERA (0.83), opponent batting average (.183) and fewest hits allowed per game (5.79). He ranks second among conference hurlers in wins. He has recorded 28 punch outs in 32.2 innings of work. As a staff, Concordia ranks second in the GPAC in ERA (3.79).

Ryan and the Bulldogs (16-8) have already equaled last season’s win total. They were in action on Tuesday (March 31) in a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Manhattan Christian College (Kan.).

Concordia drubs Manhattan Christian by combined 42-0 score

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Concordia University baseball team improved to 16-6 outside of conference play by hanging a pair of lopsided decisions on host Manhattan Christian College in Manhattan, Kan., on Tuesday afternoon. The Bulldogs won by games by identical scores of 21-0 while piling up a combined 34 hits and 21 stolen bases in the road doubleheader.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad has already surpassed its win total from the 2014 win season when Concordia went 16-30 overall. The 2015 Bulldogs are off to an 18-8 start.

“We took care of business,” Dupic said. “We felt like it was a doubleheader where we had a little more talent than the other team. We wanted to focus on ourselves and play good baseball. We played well defensively, threw strikes and obviously created a lot of runs. Our main focus was to be better defensively and we did that.”

In the game 1 victory, Concordia notched 13 hits. Sophomore catcher Ryan Fesmire and senior outfielder Daniel Wilkerson belted a home run apiece as part of the blowout. Wilkerson was also one of five Bulldogs with three hits or more in the second game. The others were Kaleb Geiger (four hits), Casey Berg (three hits), Sean McCartney (three hits) and AJ Peterson (three hits).

On the mound, game 1 starter Josh Prater covered four shutout frames. Dupic then went to senior Heath Benker for two innings and senior Edwin Izumigawa for one. In the second contest, freshman Wyatt Weller made his first career start on the hill and worked two innings. Dupic used five different relievers for an inning each to span the last five innings.

The Thunder, a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association, fell to 0-26.

The Bulldogs jump back into GPAC play on Friday when they head east to play rival Nebraska Wesleyan (6-13, 2-2 GPAC). The twin bill is set for 1 p.m. from Lincoln, Neb. The next day Concordia will host Hastings (13-11, 2-2 GPAC) in another 1 p.m. doubleheader.

Jurgensen muzzles Prairie Wolf bats in game 1 victory

LINCOLN, Neb. – A near-perfect outing from starting pitcher Jaydee Jurgensen paved the way for a 6-0 blanking of host Nebraska Wesleyan in game 1 of Friday afternoon’s GPAC doubleheader in Lincoln, Neb. The Prairie Wolves then nipped Concordia, 4-3, in game 2 as part of a snappy pair of games played in windy, brisk conditions.

The Bulldogs have now split each of their first three conference doubleheaders. First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad sits at 19-9 overall and 3-3 in GPAC action.

Jurgensen mesmerized Nebraska Wesleyan (7-14, 3-3 GPAC) on the way to recording his second shutout (team’s fourth) of the season. The Prairie Wolves managed only two hits and one walk while striking out nine times against the senior left-hander. After loading the bases in the second inning, Jurgensen maneuvered out of the jam with a strikeout and proceeded to dominate the rest of the way.

“He was great,” Dupic said. “I thought he came out pretty good. He had a couple tough situations early on in the ball game, but he just really settled in and looked really comfortable out there. He was mixing all of his pitches. I’m really proud of the way he set the tone for us today.”

Jurgensen (5-0) remains unbeaten over seven starts. He lowered his ERA to 2.63 and tallied his third complete game of the 2015 campaign.

“Early on I didn’t have great stuff as far as commanding the off-speed pitches,” Jurgensen said. “I got out of one jam in the second inning. As soon as I was able to start locating the slider and curveball, I was pretty successful. They hit a lot of soft ground balls in the infield that (Alex) Cargin, (Casey) Berg and (Kaleb) Geiger made some really good plays on.”

Concordia got out on top with a pair of runs in the second inning of game 1. Catcher Ryan Fesmire got the Bulldogs going with an RBI single to center. Cargin then drove a sacrifice fly to right. Four innings later, Concordia distanced itself from Wesleyan with three more runs (RBI singles by Zach Cambier and Berg). Jurgensen made it an anticlimactic 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to close out the win.

Cambier went 4-for-7 with a pair of RBIs on the day. Leadoff hitter and center fielder Alex Alstott recorded a 3-for-7 afternoon that included his ninth triple of the season (tied for most among all NAIA players). Alstott (2-for-4), Cambier (2-for-3), Taylor Dudley (2-for-4) and Fesmire (2-for-3) each had two hits in the opener.

Game 2 marked the first loss of the season for freshman righty Neil Ryan (4-1), the reigning GPAC pitcher of the week. The Grand Junction, Colo., native surrendered three earned runs over 5.2 innings, doubling his number of season earned runs allowed to six. It was the first time this season Ryan gave up more than a single earned run in an outing.

At the plate, Concordia managed seven hits in game 2. Geiger knocked in two runs in the nine-inning loss. Prairie Wolf starter Jordan Haas was credited with the win. He worked around five walks over five frames. Shane Watteyne covered the final four innings and earned the save.

Though the Bulldogs failed to come up with one more key hit that may have enabled them to leave Lincoln with a sweep, Dupic liked the way his team swung the bats.

“I’m really happy with their approach,” Dupic said. “We talked a lot about the way they were going to be pitched in the first game. I thought they did a nice job letting the ball travel a little bit and mixing things up. We were able to bunt at times and hit and run at times. We made some things happen on the bases. It was really one of our more complete offensive games in the first one.”

Before celebrating the Easter break, the Bulldogs host Hastings (14-13, 2-4 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Plum Creek Park on Saturday. Concordia has won five of its first six home contests of the season.

Cambier walk-off keys fourth-straight GPAC split

SEWARD, Neb. – For the fourth-straight doubleheader to begin the conference season, the Concordia University baseball team settled for a split. First baseman Zach Cambier’s walk-off RBI single lifted the Bulldogs to a 5-4 game 1 victory before an ugly sixth inning of game 2 resulted in a 16-7 blowout loss to visiting Hastings (15-14, 3-5 GPAC) on Saturday afternoon.

The victory to begin the day gave first-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad its 20th of the season, marking the third time the program has reached 20 or more wins in a season. Concordia is 20-10 overall and 4-4 in league play.

“It was a great first game, really well played by both teams,” Dupic said. “I was very proud of the way that we played. We didn’t end on a great note yesterday and I thought it was really nice the way we came out and competed in the first game today. We chipped away and scored here and there and made some big pitches at times. I thought Taylor Bickel was really good.”

Concordia relinquished three different leads as part of game 1 before Cambier surfaced with the game winner in the bottom of the seventh. An inning earlier Cole Stuerke provided a 4-3 Bulldog advantage by singling in the go-ahead tally with two outs. Hastings then extended the game with Jake Steese’s RBI base hit in the top of the seventh off reliever Mark Harris to knot the score at 4-4.

Harris wound up earning the win after Alex Alstott, who led off the seventh with a single, came around for the winning tally. Alstott also tripled twice on the day, allowing him to eclipse the former program single-season record of nine three-baggers by Zak Goodrich in 2011. Alstott currently leads all NAIA players with 11 triples.

Making his fifth start of the season, Concordia freshman left-hander Taylor Bickel held Hastings to three runs (all earned) on six hits and a walk in 5.1 innings.

Behind a solid outing from freshman lefty Cade Moring, the Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead into the top of the sixth. After Moring was lifted, four different relievers failed to record an out as part a nightmare 13-run frame for the Broncos. Hastings ended up with 13 hits in the game despite waiting until the fifth inning to record their first knock off of Moring.

Junior Taylor Bigandt provided the biggest highlight of the second contest when he crushed a pinch-hit grand slam to deep center off of Bronco reliever Nolan Whittlesey. Bigandt’s team-leading third homer of the season was simply not enough to dig out of a 12-run hole.

Shortstop Casey Berg led the way for the Bulldog offensive by pounding out five hits on the day. In addition, Alstott went 3-for-7 out of the leadoff spot.

Berg, a sophomore from Manning, Iowa, has stabilized the shortstop position. He’s 12-for-20 at the plate over his last six games.

“It’s a big position for us. I was really proud of the way he played,” Dupic said. “It’s nice to get him going because he’s a very dynamic player when he gets going right. He can make things happen on the bases and he got things going defensively. That confidence fed into his offensive game as well.”

On the opposing side, first baseman Micah Lockerby doubled twice and drove in five runs as part of the Bronco onslaught in game 2. Lockerby and company took advantage of 10 walks and two hit batters issued by Concordia pitchers.

The Bulldogs break from conference play on Wednesday when they play a single nine-inning game at Grace University (10-13) in Omaha, Neb. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

Jurgensen honor gives Bulldogs back-to-back GPAC pitchers of the week

GPAC release

SEWARD, Neb. – For the second-straight week, a Concordia University baseball hurler has been named the GPAC/Hauff-Mid America Sports Pitcher of the Week, as announced by the league on Tuesday. This week’s award goes to Bulldog senior Jaydee Jurgensen. One week ago freshman righty Neil Ryan received the same accolade.

One of the GPAC’s top pitchers so far this season, Jurgensen tossed a two-hit shutout in Concordia’s 6-0 blanking of Nebraska Wesleyan on April 3. The 6-foot-4 lefty walked only one Prairie Wolf hitter while striking out nine in the process of improving his record to 5-0. The performance marked Jurgensen’s second shutout and third complete game of the 2015 season.

Among GPAC pitchers, the Lincoln native ranks first in lowest opponent batting average (.184), second in wins (five), fourth in strikeouts (45) and fifth in ERA (2.63). Jurgensen has logged 41 innings over seven starts on the mound.

Jurgensen and the Bulldogs (20-10) are scheduled to return to action on Wednesday with a single nine-inning game at Grace University (10-13) in Omaha. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.

Fesmire two-run single completes 12-inning, come-from-behind win

OMAHA, Neb. – A two-out, two-run single by catcher Ryan Fesmire in the top of the 12th propelled the Concordia University baseball team to a 6-4 victory over Grace University late on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs rallied back from a 4-0 deficit after seven innings in a contest that was moved to Millard North High School in Omaha, Neb.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad is now 17-6 in nonconference play and 21-10 overall.

The fine work of five different Concordia relief pitchers helped keep the game close. Sophomore right-hander Mark Harris threw 3.2 innings out of the bullpen and picked up his third win of the season. Edwin Izumigawa then worked around a two-out single in the bottom of the 12th on the way to his fourth save.

The Bulldogs did all of their 12th-inning damage with two outs. Back-to-back singles by Taylor Bigandt and Zach Cambier and a wild pitch set the stage for Fesmire, whose base hit to center knocked in both baserunners.

In a game that featured a combined 20 walks, Concordia took advantage of seven bases on balls issued by Royal pitchers during a four-run top of the eighth. The Bulldogs forced in runs with bases-loaded walks by Taylor Dudley, Bigandt and Daniel Wilkerson. Concordia knotted the score without the benefit of a single eighth-inning hit.

The Grace bullpen failed to piggy back off the work of starting pitcher Agustin Lopez, who struck out 13 Bulldog hitters through 7.1 innings. Lopez was pulled from the game after walking two of the first three batters he faced in the eighth.

Sophomore lefty Josh Prater started on the mound for Concordia. He allowed five walks and three hits, but limited the Royals to a single run in his three innings. Dupic then used Wyatt Weller, John-Jay Silva, AJ Peterson, Harris and Izumigawa (in that order) out of the bullpen.

Fesmire (2-for-6, two RBIs) was one of three Bulldogs with two hits each. The others were shortstop Casey Berg (2-for-3) and third baseman Kaleb Geiger (2-for-4, run).

The Bulldogs hit the road for four games within the GPAC this weekend. Next up is a doubleheader with Briar Cliff (21-13-1, 7-1 GPAC) at 1 p.m. in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday. A day later Concordia will take on Dakota Wesleyan (11-17, 1-7 GPAC) at 1 p.m. in Mitchell, S.D.

Alstott shines in pair of losses at first-place Briar Cliff

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – One of four Concordia baseball teams ever to reach the 20-win mark, the 2015 Bulldogs found out why Briar Cliff (23-13-1, 9-1 GPAC) sits atop the GPAC standings. On Saturday afternoon the Chargers tagged Concordia’s Nos. 1 and 2 starting pitchers for a combined 10 earned runs in a doubleheader sweep in Sioux City. Briar Cliff won by scores of 7-2 and 15-11.

For the first time in conference play, a Concordia doubleheader resulted in something other than a split. First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad is now 21-12 overall and 4-6 in GPAC contests.

“In the first game their pitcher kept us off balance,” Dupic said. “We really struggled to get anything going. I was proud of how we came back in the second game. Our guys had some really nice at bats. Alex Alstott was really good today and Alex Cargin was outstanding. Those guys did a really nice job.”

Lefty starting pitcher Jaydee Jurgensen, the reigning GPAC pitcher of the week, navigated 4.2 innings but allowed seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in the opening contest. The Chargers were on him early with four first-inning runs. Darrell Wilson provided the big blow with a grand slam that cashed in a pair of runners who reached on hit by pitches.

Concordia’s game 1 tallies came on run-scoring singles by Alstott and shortstop Casey Berg. Alstott was just getting started. He went 4-for-8 on the day with a home run and a double while boosting his team high slugging percentage to .650.

Cargin enjoyed a monster game 2 at the plate in helping Concordia come all the way back from a 7-1 deficit to take a 9-7 lead in the top of the seventh. Cargin’s two-run homer in the sixth put the Bulldogs within a run. He then doubled in a pair of runs an inning later to give Concordia a two-run advantage. He finished 3-fo-4 with two runs and five RBIs in game 2.

However, the Bulldogs were plagued by three errors and the first rough outing of the season for freshman starting pitcher Neil Ryan in the capper. Ryan surrendered seven runs (four earned) and was pulled with one out in the bottom of the second. AJ Peterson relieved Ryan and held the Chargers scoreless for 3.1 innings, giving the Concordia offense a window to rally back.

“I tip my cap to AJ Peterson and John-Jay Silva,” Dupic said. “They kept us in the ballgame and really competed hard. We just didn’t make enough plays down the stretch defensively or make enough big pitches.”

Daniel Wilkerson (2-for-5, double, RBI) and Berg (2-for-3, two doubles, three runs, RBI) also collected two hits apiece in game 2. Berg has gone 17-for-29 during his current nine-game hitting streak. He was a key part of Concordia’s 12-hit attack in game 2.

Wilson also burned Concordia in game 2. He went a combined 5-for-9 with a home run, two doubles and eight RBIs on Saturday. Briar Cliff game 1 starter Adam Alexander hurled a seven-inning complete game, limiting the Bulldogs to five hits and two walks.

Concordia will hit the road for another GPAC doubleheader on Sunday when it takes on Dakota Wesleyan (12-18, 2-8 GPAC) in Mitchell, S.D. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

Alstott adds three more extra base hits in defeats at Dakota Wesleyan

MITCHELL, S.D. – The Concordia University baseball team came up empty in its trip north for four weekend games within the conference. On Sunday afternoon host Dakota Wesleyan handed the Bulldogs losses by scores of 3-2 and 14-4 in Mitchell, S.D.

Now 2-6 in GPAC road games, first-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad fell to 21-14 overall and 4-8 in conference play.

On the bright side, junior center fielder Alex Alstott continues to rack up extra base hits. For the second-straight game, the Fort Dodge, Iowa, native led off the top of the first with a home run, putting the Bulldogs on top in game 1. Alstott went 4-for-6 on the day with a homer and a double while extending his school single-season record triple total to 12.

Alstott has recorded nine multi-hit games over his last 18 contests. During that stretch he has gone 27-for-62 (.435) with four doubles, seven triples and three home runs.

“Alex Alstott played really well,” Dupic said. “The first game was pretty clean. They just had more quality at bats with runners in scoring position. They outplayed us in every facet in the second game.”

Concordia dropped a one-run decision in game 1 despite a quality start from freshman lefty Taylor Bickel (4-2). The native of Surprise, Ariz., covered all six innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on eight hits. He struck out six. Bickel surrendered the go-ahead RBI double to Hartman Katz in the bottom of the fourth for the game’s final tally.

Alstott and company never led in game 2. The Tigers (14-18, 4-8 GPAC) pounded out 15 hits and put up at least one run in each of the final six innings of the seven-inning, run-rule shortened affair. Right fielder Jared Neilan cracked a bases-clearing triple and a two-run single as part of his 3-for-6, six-RBI performance in game 2.

Alstott drove in three of Concordia’s six runs on the day. Left fielder Cole Stuerke knocked in two runs with a pair of RBI singles in the second contest. In addition, second baseman Alex Cargin and catcher Ryan Fesmire both went 2-for-3 in game 1.

Freshman lefty Cade Moring started game 2 for the Bulldogs. Dupic then used two relievers. All three Concordia hurlers allowed three earned runs or more.

In Saturday’s weekend-opening twin bill, the Bulldogs were swept by first-place Briar Cliff in Sioux City, Iowa. Concordia had entered Saturday with splits in each of its first four GPAC doubleheaders.

The Bulldogs will dip outside of conference play for the final time this regular season when they host York College (27-14) at Plum Creek Park on Tuesday. The single nine-inning game is set to get underway at 5 p.m.

Prater strikes out 10 in blanking of York

SEWARD, Neb. – Josh Prater fired seven shutout innings and the Concordia University baseball team ended a nine-game series losing streak with in-state neighbor York College in a single nine-inning contest in Seward on Tuesday evening. Three different Bulldog pitchers combined on a 3-0 shutout of the visiting Panthers, who received votes in this week’s national coaches’ poll.

The victory ended a four-game skid and bumped first-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad to 22-14 overall and 7-2 at home.

“I knew it had been a while since we had a chance to beat those guys. They have a really good ball club,” Dupic said. “They swing it very well, pitch very well and are very well-coached. We played really well today and got a good pitching performance. It was a nice win for our guys.”

Prater needed little offensive support in the best outing of his young career. The sophomore from Colorado Springs, Colo., racked up a career high 10 strikeouts to go up against four hits and no walks allowed. The southpaw worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the second and also struck out the side in the third as part of his gem.

“I was just spotting up well,” Prater said. “My fastball felt good and I was able to go to my off speed when I needed it.”

Concordia pushed across the game’s first run courtesy of designated hitter Drew Ten Bensel’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second off York starter Rodolfo Gutierrez. The Bulldogs added some breathing room in the seventh when Alex Cargin laced a two-run single to center, pushing his team high season RBI total to 23.

Prater gave way in the eight to senior righty Edwin Izumigawa, who gave up two hits and a walk over 1.2 innings. Junior right-hander Mark Harris then struck out Jordan Pella with a runners on first and second to end the game and notch his first save as a Bulldog.

Third baseman Kaleb Geiger went 2-for-4 with a run for Concordia. The Panther pitching staff held red-hot Alex Alstott to an 0-for-4 performance.

York’s Rudy Perez and Garret Anctil both went 2-for-4. Gutierrez (4-1) was tagged with his first loss of the season.

After dropping all four of its GPAC games over the weekend, Concordia’s response on Tuesday was significant.

“It was huge. We talked about that afterwards,” Dupic said. “Sometimes guys aren’t always ready to go in nonconference games, but they were ready to go today. This was a good ball club. It’s nice to get a win and get a little bit of momentum heading into the weekend.”

The Bulldogs will now play GPAC competition for the remainder of the regular season. Concordia is slated to complete its 2015 home schedule this weekend when it hosts Northwestern (17-22, 7-5 GPAC) on Saturday and Morningside (29-12, 7-5 GPAC) on Sunday. Both doubleheaders are set to begin at 1 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. The Bulldogs will honor their group of seniors on Sunday.

Alstott finds comfort, wild success at third college destination

By Jake Knabel, Director of Athletic Communications

Alex Alstott had already gone through two colleges and had little idea of the road ahead. As late as early August of last summer, he continued to seek a home where he could play the sport he loved and that harbored a welcoming atmosphere.

The story of the Fort Dodge, Iowa, native involves several plot twists and turns. His winding path has led him near and far and has tested him with curveballs more challenging than the ones uncorked by GPAC pitchers. His battle has included significant injury, bouts of home sickness and a struggle to find the right place to settle.

“It’s been a long journey,” the Concordia center fielder admitted.

Now Alstott is confident he’s found his home. As the outfield anchor and leadoff man, the long and lean Alstott has glided his way to a program single-season record 12 triples as the most dynamic offensive player for head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad. And in just his first season at Concordia, Alstott has already emerged as a team leader and one of its most respected personalities.

Both with western Iowa roots, Dupic and Alstott immediately meshed in the recruiting process. With connections to coaching staffs at both Fort Dodge High School and Iowa Central Community College (Alstott’s first college stop), Dupic seized an opportunity to bring in someone he knew to be a tremendous athlete. The first-year head coach could not have predicted just how big of a difference Alstott would make out of the gates.

“He’s really found his niche here,” Dupic said. “He’s become a great leader. He always comes to the field with a smile on his face. He expects everyone to play at a high level. More than anything, it’s been great to see his growth as a man.

“When you come to a ball game, he’s the type of player you’re drawn to. He’ll make something happen.”

Alstott struggled to make much happen his first three seasons on a college campus. Following a year of playing sparingly at Iowa Central, he decided he was ready to venture out of his hometown. After emailing coaches around the country, Alstott eventually ended up at NCAA Division II Southern New Hampshire University, a 24-hour car ride from home.

But his baseball career at Southern New Hampshire never got off the ground. An ankle injury and rib fracture kept him out of the 2013 season. In preparation for an increased role as a pitcher the proceeding campaign, Alstott suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament to his throwing arm and had to undergo Tommy John surgery. He missed all of 2014 and made the decision to head back home.

“I was in the arm sleeve for two to three months so I needed help with a lot of things,” Alstott said. “I moved back with my mom and I didn’t go back out there (to New Hampshire) because it’s really far from home. I only got to see my mom and dad at Christmas time. That was about it. It was really tough.”

Because of the injuries, Alstott went essentially two-and-a-half years without seeing live game action. He arrived at Concordia this past fall still in the process of making his way back from arm surgery. He came without the promise of stardom – or even the promise of a starting role.

He had to earn it and prove he could stay on the field.

“I can’t say that I expected him to jump out to this kind of success so fast,” Dupic said. “I thought he was a varsity player who would impact the team in some fashion. I knew his skills defensively and his arm strength would play right away. It was going to come down to how well he could hit. He’s worked hard and Coach (Jake) Waddle has done a great job with him, but I can’t say that I saw this type of immediate impact coming.”

Alstott’s been so valuable that Dupic can’t see to put him anywhere other than the No. 1 spot in the lineup where he can get him as many at bats as possible. Alstott has responded with 20 extra base hits and an other worldly 1.138 on-base plus slugging percentage.

As good of a fit as he is at the top of the lineup, Alstott has fit in just as well with the Christian culture fostered by Concordia. Alstott has adjusted well to the social and spiritual aspects of his third college landing spot.

“It’s been a great fit,” Alstott said. “I’ve really connected with God and my faith has gone sky high coming to Concordia. In the fall, when you’re a new guy, it’s kind of hard to get to know everyone. The fall is a little tough but I’ve gotten connected with the team and the people on campus. It’s coming together and I have a lot of people here that I’m friends with now. It’s a great experience.”

Increasingly comfortable with his current surroundings, which now allow him to see his family more frequently, Alstott has torn up GPAC pitching to the tune of an .864 slugging percentage in conference games. It took him only 28 games to break the school record for three-baggers in a season.

“I didn’t find out until after the game that I got the school record and I was the national leader in the NAIA for triples as well,” Alstott said. “I had no idea. My dad and my mom were there to see that too. That was truly amazing. I can’t even explain it. It was awesome.”

Alstott’s arrival in Seward has helped energize a baseball program that got off to a 14-5 start and enjoyed an early 10-game winning streak. He’s a big reason for it. He’s still working on cutting back on the strikeouts, but no one’s complaining about the results, or the trying journey that led him to Concordia.

Says Alstott of his impressive growth, “It’s a process and I’m just sticking to it.”

NOTE: Alstott is listed as junior, though he could potentially play two additional seasons due to redshirt seasons at previous colleges.

Alstott, stellar bullpen clinch program’s first winning season in 36 years

SEWARD, Neb. – Center fielder Alex Alstott reached base all nine times and the Bulldog bullpen hurled a combined seven scoreless innings as the Concordia University baseball team swept a doubleheader from visiting Northwestern on Monday at Plum Creek Park. The pair of wins allowed the Bulldogs to clinch their first overall winning season since the 1979 team went 15-9-1.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad, which triumphed in both ends of a conference doubleheader for the first time this season, improved to 24-14 overall and 6-8 in GPAC action. Concordia is now 9-2 at home.

“It’s huge for us,” Dupic said. “We have a lot of games in a very short period of time down the stretch. It’s big to come out and start the week on a good note and create some momentum for the rest of the week.”

Even for the sizzling Alstott, Monday’s twin bill was exceptional. The Fort Dodge, Iowa, native ignited the offense by going 5-for-5 with a triple, a home run, three walks, a hit by pitch, four runs and seven RBIs on the day. In the second inning of game 1, Alstott lifted a fly ball into the jet stream that carried it over the right field wall for a grand slam and a 5-2 Bulldog lead.

Alstott then burned the Red Raiders again in the seventh. After a Northwestern rally knotted the score at 6-6, the impossibly hot Concordia leadoff man tripled in his sixth and seventh RBIs of the game to provide an 8-6 lead. Right-handed reliever Mark Harris protected the advantage by retiring the final three hitters of the seventh following a leadoff walk.

Now 32-for-71 (.451) with an .859 slugging percentage since March 21, Alstott is seeing the ball as if it were the size of a watermelon.

“Today was definitely a good day,” Alstott said. “I was seeing the ball great. Today was the best baseball day I’ve had in a while.”

The Bulldogs had to claw back from a 3-0 deficit in the nine-inning night capper. After allowing three runs in the first inning, freshman lefty Taylor Bickel settled in and worked four-straight scoreless frames. He then gave way to senior Heath Benker, who picked up the win by throwing up donuts in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Harris then made another appearance and notched his second save.

In sum, three different Bulldog relievers – Benker, Harris and Edwin Izumigawa – combined to throw seven innings without surrendering a single run (five hits, three walks) on Monday.

“It’s really been a story of our success,” Dupic said. “When we’ve been good our bullpen’s been good. When we got on a hot streak in Arizona our bullpen was really, really effective. It was the same thing today.”

In game 2, Alstott walked his first three times at bat before adding a pair of singles. He scored the game’s winning tally in the bottom of the eighth when Kaleb Geiger plated him with a ringing double to center. Geiger finished 1-for-6 on the day, but drove in four runs.

Shortstop Casey Berg, now batting .359 this season, also played a hand in the game 2 rally. He crushed a no-doubter over the right field wall in the bottom of the third for his first career home run. Berg went 3-for-5 and scored four times on Monday. In addition, senior Daniel Wilkerson went 2-for-4 in the second contest.

Bulldog left fielder Cole Stuerke turned in the day’s most significant defensive play when he ended game 2 with a diving catch to rob Grant Lang of what would have been a game-tying hit in the top of the ninth. Alstott also showed off his strong arm by nailing a Red Raider baserunner attempting to tag from second to third late in game 1.

The Northwestern offense was led by Zach Cortese and Skyler Wheeler, who had two hits apiece in both games.

The Bulldogs continue their stretch of four doubleheaders in five days when they host Morningside (31-13, 8-6 GPAC) on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. from Plum Creek Park in a twin bill that was originally scheduled to take place over the weekend.

Career game lands GPAC weekly honors for Prater

GPAC release

SEWARD, Neb. – For the third time this season, a Concordia University hurler has been named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Pitcher of the Week. As announced by the conference on Tuesday, Bulldog sophomore Josh Prater is the latest honoree. The other GPAC pitchers of the week to represent Concordia were Jaydee Jurgensen (April 7) and Neil Ryan (March 31).

In last week’s 3-0 blanking of York College, Prater fired seven shutout innings and struck out a career high 10 hitters. He limited the Panthers to four hits and no walks. On the season, the native of Colorado Springs, Colo., is 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 26.2 innings (seven starts).

Among GPAC pitching staffs, Concordia ranks second in ERA (4.12) and opponent batting average (.264) and fifth in strikeouts (245).

The Bulldogs began action on Tuesday versus Morningside (31-13, 8-6 GPAC) at 2 p.m. from Plum Creek Park.

Prater continues dominance; baseball ties program record for wins

SEWARD, Neb. – GPAC pitcher of the week Josh Prater continued his masterful work in leading the Concordia University baseball team to a 2-0 blanking of Morningside in game 2 of Tuesday’s GPAC doubleheader at Plum Creek Park in Seward, Neb. That performance relieved some of the sting of the 7-5 game 1 loss that saw the Mustangs rally back from a 4-1 deficit.

The split allowed first-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad to equal the school record for wins in a season set by the 2012 squad. The Bulldogs stand at 25-15 overall and 7-9 in conference play.

“It’s going to be a really neat thing for us to talk about after the year’s over,” Dupic said. “It’s something that can build some confidence and show short term and long term that we’re headed in the right direction. I can’t wait to talk to our guys about it after the year. Nonetheless, it’s still something for the guys to feel really good about, especially for that senior class.”

Coming off a career high 10-strikeout performance over seven shutout innings in last week’s win over York, Prater again dominated. He changed speeds effectively, and although he allowed eight hits, he surrendered more than one hit in an inning just once.

The native of Colorado Springs, Colo., has now fired 18-straight scoreless innings going back to April 8. Over that stretch he has given up 13 hits and walked only three while striking out 15. Few Bulldogs are performing with the confidence level of Prater.

“I tip my cap,” Dupic said. “He’s been doing outstanding. I’m really happy for him just to see how well things have been going. The wind shifted a little bit in the second game and was blowing in. It made it really tough on both offenses. He did a great job taking advantage of it, pounding the strike zone and mixing his pitches. He’s just really settled in.”

Offensively, red hot Alex Alstott picked up where left off on Monday by hammering the first pitch he saw well over the right field wall in the bottom of the first of game 1. Mustang pitcher Lance Spongberg then retired the Bulldog center fielder the next three times he faced him, ending a stretch of 10-straight plate appearances in which Alstott reached base.

Designated hitter Taylor Dudley picked up the slack. He drilled a two-run double into the left center gap in the fourth inning to push the Concordia lead to 4-1 in game 1. Dudley ended up 2-for-3 in the contest and 3-for-7 on the day.

The Mustangs roared back with a pair of unearned runs off Concordia righty Neil Ryan in the top of the fifth. Trailing 4-3 to begin the seventh and final inning, Morningside exploded for four runs and chased Ryan from the game. Nate Clark pushed across the go-ahead run with an RBI double. Two batters later, Nathan DeChaine singled in two more runs off reliever Edwin Izumigawa.

Kaleb Geiger followed an Alex Cargin triple with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, but Spongberg struck out the final two Bulldog hitters to end the game.

Concordia earned the game 2 victory despite totaling only three hits. It got all the runs it needed on a Zach Cambier RBI infield single in the first and a botched run down that let Casey Berg cross the plate in the seventh.

After going 5-for-5 with a grand slam and three walks in Monday’s doubleheader sweep of Northwestern, Alstott managed only a 1-for-6 twin bill with a pair of walks against Mustang hurlers.

The Bulldogs conclude their 2015 home schedule on Thursday when Doane (30-12, 9-7 GPAC) visits for a doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 5:30 p.m. from Plum Creek Park.

Bulldogs drop two to rival Tigers

SEWARD, Neb. – With a chance to break a program record for wins in a season, the Concordia University baseball team fell twice at home to rival Doane on Thursday night. The Bulldogs’ final 2015 home appearance saw losses come by scores of 6-4 and 18-3 in a run-rule shortened night cap.

First-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad remained stuck on 25 wins (25-17 overall). At 7-11 in conference play, the Bulldogs are in a dog fight to secure one of the final berth to the upcoming eight-team GPAC tournament with two league games left to on the slate.

Due to postponements over the weekend, Concordia played its third doubleheader in four days and began Thursday with several of its top pitchers unavailable. That gave junior righty AJ Peterson a chance to make his first career start on the mound. He was one of five Bulldog pitchers used in a competitive first game.

Concordia brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh after Doane (32-12, 11-7 GPAC) led by as many as four runs. The Bulldogs tightened the score with two seventh-inning runs with the help of a Tiger error and a wild pitch that made it a 6-4 ballgame. After Taylor Dudley singled through the left side, pinch hitter Daniel Wilkerson flew out to right for the final out of the contest.

Game 2 quickly got out of hand. Doane piled up four runs in both the first and third innings and the five more in the fourth to make for an anticlimactic night. Tigers Kevin Clausen (3-for-4, four runs, two RBIs), Nick Studer (4-for-4, four runs, five RBIs) and Jake Smith (3-for-4, two runs, three RBIs) went a combined 10-for-12 as part of a 19-hit attack. Doane ended the evening with a combined 27 hits.

The Tigers got a seven-inning complete game performance from starting pitcher Ryan Bergstrom in game 2. He allowed just one hit – a two-run Ryan Fesmire single – the entire night. He struck out eight and walked three while surrendering just one earned run.

Concordia game 2 starting pitcher Cade Moring was tagged with 11 earned runs on 10 hits and three walks in three innings. Wyatt Weller and James Hall also entered the contest in relief.

Dudley went 3-for-4 with a run in the opening game to highlight Concordia’s offensive output. Kaleb Geiger struck for his first career home run in the bottom of the fourth inning of game 1.

The Bulldogs conclude the regular season on Friday with a trip to Midland (23-28, 7-9 GPAC) for a Friday doubleheader. First pitch from Fremont is set for 5 p.m. It will mark the end of a stretch of eight games in five days for Concordia, which hopes to extend its season to GPAC postseason play beginning on April 30.

Jurgensen blanks Midland; Bulldogs break program record for wins

FREMONT, Neb. – Ace pitcher Jaydee Jurgensen tossed a five-hit shutout to fuel a 1-0 game 1 victory that bumped the Concordia University baseball team’s season win total to 26, breaking the program single-season record as part of the team’s final twin bill of the regular season. Then in a 14-inning affair, host Midland clipped the Bulldogs, 4-3, on Friday night in Fremont, Neb.

The doubleheader split leaves first-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad at 26-18 overall and 8-12 in conference play. Currently in ninth-place in the league standings, Concordia will need help to qualify for next week’s eight-team GPAC tournament. But on this night, Dupic marveled at the way the team’s pitching and defense came together – two distinct weaknesses of the 2014 team.

“I could not be more proud,” Dupic said. “Our guys competed so hard and we had two pitchers going on short rest. Jaydee was totally dominant and Taylor (Bickel) competed incredibly into the 10th inning. This was about as well as we’ve played all year, pitching and defense. I couldn’t believe some of the defensive plays we made.”

Working on three days rest for the first time this season, Jurgensen escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first and then dominated the rest of the way. He posted his third shutout of the season in a must-win game in regard to Concordia’s postseason hopes. The lefty from Lincoln walked two and struck out two while moving to 6-1 on the year.

Concordia pushed across game one’s lone run on a Ryan Fesmire RBI single that scored Taylor Dudley in the top of the sixth off Midland pitcher Kiefer Musiel. The Warrior right-hander was tagged with the loss despite holding the Bulldogs to six hits and one walk over seven frames.

The victory surpassed the 25 wins posted by the 2012 Concordia baseball team.

“Obviously it was nice setting the school record,” Dupic said. “We honestly didn’t think much of it at the time. We were just focused on that second game.”

Game 2 looked to be a slugfest with the scored knotted at 3-3 after two innings. That’s when both Bickel and Midland’s Seth Heckel settled in. Like Jurgensen, Bickel started also started on Monday in the doubleheader sweep of Northwestern. The lefty from Surprise, Ariz., worked 9.1 innings and surrendered three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out seven. He emptied the tank by throwing more than 130 pitches.

“I can’t say enough about Taylor,” Dupic said. “I’ve never seen a freshman do that on three days rest.”

He finally gave way to Mark Harris with one out in the 10th. Harris held the Warriors (24-29, 8-10 GPAC) off the scoreboard until the deciding 14th inning when an infield single by Jake Loftus with the bases loaded plated the walk-off, game-winning run.

Dudley went 5-for-9 on the night to pace the Concordia offensive attack. Alex Cargin went 3-for-5 with an RBI in game 2. Leadoff hitter Alex Alstott produced a 3-for-8 evening that included a double.

Loftus, the game 2 hero, went 4-for-6 with a run and an RBI in the capper. Cody Pollack worked four scoreless innings in relief and was credited with the win.

Should the Bulldogs sneak into the GPAC tournament, they will play again on Thursday, April 30 at a site to be determined. Said Dupic, “We need some help. We’ll just wait and see now.”

Alstott, Jurgensen tabbed All-GPAC

SEWARD, Neb. – Following a school record win total in 2015, the Concordia University baseball team placed outfielder Alex Alstott and pitcher Jaydee Jurgensen on GPAC all-conference teams announced by the league on Wednesday. Alstott garnered first team honors while Jurgensen received second team accolades. In addition, shortstop Casey Berg and second baseman Alex Cargin were named honorable mention.

Alstott, a first-year Bulldog from Fort Dodge, Iowa, is the program’s first selection on the GPAC’s first team since Zak Goodrich in 2012. Concordia’s leadoff man and center fielder topped all conference performers in on-base percentage (.488), slugging percentage (.712) and triples (13). He led all NAIA players in triples and also paced the Bulldogs in batting average (.356), runs (43), hits (47), home runs (five), total bases (94) and walks (26).

Jurgensen, a lefty from Lincoln, Neb., served as Concordia’s ace for first-year head coach Ryan Dupic. Jurgensen among the top 10 GPAC pitchers in opponent batting average (second, .224), wins (sixth, six), ERA (sixth, 3.49) and strikeouts (seventh, 54). His 10 starts and 56.2 innings pitched were most among Bulldog hurlers.

Cargin, who hails from Leawood, Kan., batted .317 with a home run and 26 RBIs in 43 games while hitting mostly in the No. 9 spot in the order. In his first season with Concordia, Berg (Manning, Iowa) hit .314 and produced a .404 on-base percentage. He posted a fielding percentage of .942.

As a team, Concordia went 26-18 and broke a program record with 289 runs scored in 2015.

Jurgensen named to academic all-district first team

SEWARD, Neb. – A day after being honored by the GPAC as a second team all-conference choice, Concordia University baseball senior Jaydee Jurgensen has been named to the 2015 Capital One Academic All-District® 3 Baseball College Division first team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday.

CoSIDA: “The Capital One Academic All-District® Baseball Teams have been released to recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. Capital One has been the entitlement rights holder to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America teams programs since 2011.”

Other Concordia All-District selections in 2014-15 include Brendan Buchanan (soccer), Chandler Folkerts (basketball), Adam Meirose (football), Bailey Morris (basketball), Rachel Mussell (soccer) and Melissa Stine (soccer). Folkerts was also named a second team academic All-American. Jurgensen, the seventh Concordia all-district pick this athletic season, has earned the award for the first time in his career.

Jurgensen, a lefty from Lincoln, Neb., served as Concordia’s ace for first-year head coach Ryan Dupic. Jurgensen among the top 10 GPAC pitchers in opponent batting average (second, .224), wins (sixth, six), ERA (sixth, 3.49) and strikeouts (seventh, 54). His 10 starts and 56.2 innings pitched were most among Bulldog hurlers. He served as a significant factor in the team’s program single-season record win total of 26 in 2015.

Jurgensen is one of three GPAC players to be placed on the 11-member academic all-district team of the College Division. Jurgensen is a business administration major.

District 3 of the College Division covers institutions in the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Academic All-District® honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected and then released on May 20.

Four baseball student-athletes garner NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition

SEWARD, Neb. – A group of four Concordia University baseball players have been tabbed 2015 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, as announced by the NAIA on Thursday. Senior Cole Stuerke is a repeat Scholar-Athlete. Meanwhile, seniors Edwin Izumigawa, Jaydee Jurgensen and Titus Utecht are first-time honorees.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status. A total of 354 baseball student-athletes across the nation were named scholar-athletes by the NAIA.

Concordia University ranks as the NAIA’s all-time leader in number of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes with 1,114 and counting. The 2014-15 season has culminated with 94 Bulldog scholar-athletes. During the 2013-14 academic year, Concordia garnered 101 Scholar-Athlete honorees (most in the NAIA) and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams (tied for fourth nationally).

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Neb., that currently serves over 2,200 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world.

2015 Concordia baseball Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes

  • Edwin Izumigawa, Sr. | Pearl City, Hawaii | Business Administration
  • Jaydee Jurgensen, Sr. | Lincoln, Neb. | Business Administration (Finance)
  • Cole Stuerke, Sr. | Lakewood, Colo. | Exercise Science
  • Titus Utecht, Sr. | Lakeview, S.D. | Chemistry; Pre-Seminary

Alstott picked for Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska team

SEWARD, Neb. – A stellar first season as a Bulldog landed center fielder Alex Alstott a spot on the Omaha World-Herald’s All-Nebraska NAIA Baseball Team. Meanwhile, teammates in pitchers Mark Harris and Jaydee Jurgensen garnered honorable mention recognition from the Omaha news outlet.

Alstott enjoyed one of the greatest seasons for any Concordia position player in program history in 2015. The first team all-conference choice led the nation in triples with a school record 13 three-baggers. He also produced GPAC bests for the categories of on-base percentage (.488) and slugging percentage (.712). He batted .356 (47-for-132) with five home runs, 25 RBIs, 43 runs and 11 stolen bases.

On the mound, Jurgensen flourished as a senior. He went 6-1 with a 3.49 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. Opposing batters hit just .224 off the lefty ace. Harris, a junior from Tucson, Ariz., topped the team with 17 pitching appearances. He posted a 4-2 record to go along with a 3.00 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 27 innings.

Under first-year head coach Ryan Dupic, Alstott and the Bulldogs broke a program record for wins in a season by going 26-18 in 2015.

2015 All-Nebraska NAIA Baseball Teams
C: Osvaldo Gonzalez, Bellevue, Sr., .418
1B: Dylan Matthews, Doane, Jr., .372
2B: Jed Derr, Doane, Sr., .326
3B: Tyler Blood, Bellevue, Sr., .324
SS: Tommy Anderson, Doane, Fr., .365
U: Randy Santiesteban, Peru State, Sr., .431
EH: Liam Bedford, Doane, Jr., .412
OF: Rudy Perez, York, Sr., .352
OF: Alex Alstott, Concordia, Jr., .356
OF: Dylan Steyer, Midland, Jr., .344
OF: Seth Walston, Peru State, Sr., .378
P: Steve Sarcone, Bellevue, Sr., 10-1
P: Brad Lindsley, York, Sr., 9-5
P: Adam Quintana, Peru State, Sr., 8-0
P: Stephan Meyer, Bellevue, So., 11-2
P: P.J. Matha, York, Jr., 2-1, 9 saves

Honorary captains: Randy Santiesteban, Peru State; Osvaldo Gonzalez, Bellevue

Honorable mention: Aaron Brasher, Gabriel De La Rosa, Sean McManus, Colton Nash, Bellevue; Mark Harris, Jaydee Jurgensen, Concordia; Tony Pins, Brandon Stennis, Nick Studer, Adam Touhey, Doane; Will Reynolds, Micah Lockerby, Ryan Schrad, Nicholas Schuman, Hastings; Cole Gray, Zach Kinsella, Jake Lofthus, Cody Pollack, Midland; Sam Ayars, Jordyn Johnson, Matt Schommer, Nebraska Wesleyan; Manny Arciniega, Joshua Alonzo, Kyle Killen, Luke Schneider, Peru State; Cody Baack, Anthony Enriquez, Ivan Perez, York.