|Feb. 13||Bethany College||Linsborg, Kan.||L, 0-5||0-1|
|Feb. 13||Bethany College||Lindsborg, Kan.||L, 4-5 (10 inn.)||0-2|
|Feb. 14||Bethany College||Linsborg, Kan.||W, 13-2||1-2|
|Feb. 14||Bethany College||Linsborg, Kan.||W, 6-3||2-2|
|Feb. 19||(20) Sterling College||Sterling, Kan.||L, 4-5 (14 inn.)||2-3|
|Feb. 19||(20) Sterling College||Sterling, Kan.||L, 3-22||2-4|
|Feb. 20||(20) Sterling College||Sterling, Kan.||L, 1-9||2-5|
|Feb. 20||(20) Sterling College||Sterling, Kan.||L, 4-6||2-6|
|Feb. 27||Ottawa University||Ottawa, Kan.||L, 4-5||2-7|
|Feb. 27||Ottawa University||Ottawa, Kan.||W, 15-8||3-7|
|Feb. 28||Ottawa University||Ottawa, Kan.||W, 17-7||4-7|
|Feb. 28||Ottawa University||Ottawa, Kan.||W, 19-2||5-7|
|March 5||William Penn University||Tucson, Ariz.||L, 3-7||5-8|
|March 5||William Penn University||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 9-3||6-8|
|March 6||University of Jamestown||Tucson, Ariz.||L, 1-9||6-9|
|March 6||University of Jamestown||Tucson, Ariz.||L, 1-8||6-10|
|March 7||Missouri Valley College||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 18-8 (7)||7-10|
|March 8||University of Winnipeg||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 19-0 (7)||8-10|
|March 10||Olivet Nazarene University||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 5-2||9-10|
|March 10||Waldorf College||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 8-2||10-10|
|March 11||Dakota State||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 7-4||11-10|
|March 11||Dakota State||Tucson, Ariz.||W, 7-2||12-10|
|March 15||(13) Tabor College||Hilsboro, Kan.||L, 3-15 (7)||12-11|
|March 15||(13) Tabor College||Hilsboro, Kan.||L, 2-4||12-12|
|March 19||Grace University||Seward, Neb.||W, 11-0||13-12|
|March 19||Grace University||Seward, Neb.||W, 21-4||14-12|
|March 22||(12 ) Tabor College||Seward, Neb.||L, 6-12||14-13|
|March 22||(12) Tabor College||Seward, Neb.||L, 5-16||14-14|
|April 2||Dakota Wesleyan University||Seward, Neb.||L, 0-3||14-15, 0-1|
|April 2||Dakota Wesleyan University||Seward, Neb.||W, 11-10||15-15, 1-1|
|April 3||Briar Cliff University||Seward, Neb.||L, 8-16||15-16, 1-2|
|April 3||Briar Cliff University||Seward, Neb.||W, 9-8||16-16, 2-2|
|April 5||(16) York College||Seward, Neb.||L, 1-13 (7)||16-17|
|April 9||Dordt College||Sioux Center, Iowa||W, 14-3||17-17, 3-2|
|April 9||Dordt College||Sioux Center, Iowa||W, 15-3 (7)||18-17, 4-2|
|April 10||Mount Marty College||Seward, Neb.||W, 1-0||19-17, 5-2|
|April 10||Mount Marty College||Seward, Neb.||W, 17-0 (7)||20-17, 6-2|
|April 16||Northwestern College||Orange City, Iowa||L, 1-15||20-18, 6-3|
|April 16||Northwestern College||Orange City, Iowa||W, 12-6||21-18, 7-3|
|April 17||Morningside College||Sioux City, Iowa||W, 8-4||22-18, 8-3|
|April 17||Morningside College||Sioux City, Iowa||L, 2-12 (7)||22-19, 8-4|
|April 19||(14) York College||York, Neb.||L, 5-13||22-20|
|April 23||Midland University||Seward, Neb.||L, 3-9||22-21, 8-5|
|April 23||Midland University||Seward, Neb.||L, 4-16 (7)||22-22, 8-6|
|April 24||Doane College||Crete, Neb.||L, 0-13||22-23, 8-7|
|April 24||Doane College||Crete, Neb.||W, 5-0 (7)||23-23, 9-7|
|April 25||Grace University||Omaha, Neb.||W, 17-0 (7)||24-23|
|April 28||Hastings College||Hastings, Neb.||W, 3-2 (12)||25-23, 10-7|
|April 28||Hastings College||Hastings, Neb.||L, 7-8||25-24, 10-8|
|April 29||Nebraska Wesleyan University||Seward, Neb.||W, 4-3||26-24, 11-8|
|April 29||Nebraska Wesleyan University||Seward, Neb.||L, 5-7||26-25, 11-9|
|GPAC Tournament (May 5-7, 10)|
|May 5||Northwestern College||Fremont, Neb.||W, 12-0||27-25|
|May 6||Midland University||Fremont, Neb.||W, 6-4||28-25|
|May 7||Midland University||Fremont, Neb.||L, 4-7||28-26|
|May 7||Midland University||Fremont, Neb.||L, 5-6 (11)||28-27|
At a glance
Head coach: Ryan Dupic (26-18, 2nd year)
2015 record: 26-18 overall, 8-12 GPAC (9th place)
Key returners: Alex Alstott (OF); Casey Berg (IF); Taylor Bickel (LHP); Taylor Bigandt (OF); Alex Cargin (2B); Taylor Dudley (OF); Ryan Fesmire (C); Kaleb Geiger (IF); Mark Harris (RHP); Tyler Nelson (1B); Josh Prater (LHP); Neil Ryan (RHP)
Key losses: Zach Cambier (1B); Jaydee Jurgensen (LHP)
Key newcomers: Jacob Adams (OF); Cole Jackson (RHP); Christian Montero (C/1B); Todd Oberthien (RHP); Logan Ryan (SS)
2015 GPAC all-conference: Alex Alstott (first team); Jaydee Jurgensen (second team); Casey Berg (honorable mention); Alex Cargin (honorable mention)
While Concordia fell short of qualifying for GPAC postseason play in 2015, year one under head coach Ryan Dupic turned out to be an inarguable success. The Bulldogs ran off 10-straight victories during the month of March on the way to a program single-season record 26 victories. Offensively they broke school records for runs scored (289) and the pitching staff set a new standard with 270 strikeouts.
All of those things were achieved during a feeling-out campaign for a program that had been under the guidance of the same head coach for 16 years. Dupic brought in a star in center fielder Alex Alstott and he worked wonders with a pitching and defensive group that improved immensely.
“Within the construct of the whole year I think it was pretty good,” Dupic said. “We certainly had a lot of positives both in terms of wins and losses and building things within. We were pleased with the positive direction we took. We fell a little short of our goal of getting into the conference tournament and climbing the conference standings. That’s going to be a big goal this year. It was definitely a step in the right direction, but we’re hoping to speed this process up.”
Alstott returns to provide stellar defense and a high-impact bat at the top of the lineup. After bouncing around in his collegiate career, Alstott found a home at Concordia and blossomed. He broke the school record for triples in a season and topped the GPAC in on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He came out of nowhere to grab first team all-conference recognition.
His rise to stardom is one reason for optimism in 2016. There are many others. With the benefit of a full recruiting season, Dupic stocked his roster with talented newcomers, including several junior college transfers that will figure heavily into this year’s plans.
“The depth that we have is awesome,” Alstott said. “To be honest, we’re probably the most underrated talented team that I’ve ever been part of. It’s crazy to say, but the newcomers and transfers and the freshmen have already had a huge impact and the season hasn’t even started yet. It’s going to be a fun ride.”
Most of last season’s regulars are back in the fold. The infield is expected to feature plenty of familiar faces with some adjustments. Junior Casey Berg, who batted .314 with a .404 on-base percentage in 2015, shifts from shortstop to third while sophomore Kaleb Geiger (.317/.413/.393) moves across the diamond from third to first. A three-year starter, senior Alex Cargin (.317/.388/.437) provides steadiness and a wealth of experience at second base. Shortstop is a battle between freshman Logan Ryan (Johnston, Iowa) and junior Josh Mondt, who saw significant action as a freshman.
The infield options do not end there. Several others could see time at first base, such as junior Tyler Nelson, who was limited in 2015 by a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, transfer Christian Montero has worked at both first base and catcher this offseason. He’s drawn rave reviews for his power bat and could share time behind the plate with junior Ryan Fesmire, who’s developed into an outstanding backstop. He has complete trust of the pitching staff.
In the outfield, nothing has been written in permanent ink as far as the corner spots that surround Alstott. Senior Taylor Dudley is a leading candidate. He started 39 of 44 games last year and batted .324. Senior Taylor Bigandt made 26 starts and flashed some pop with three long balls. In addition, Nelson has tried his hand in the outfield and junior Jacob Adams (North Iowa Area CC) appears a safe bet to find his way into the mix
“It’s very intense,” Dupic said of the competition. “We’re getting close to our first game and there are multiple spots that I’m a little bit unclear on yet at this point. I think it’s been really healthy. The selflessness has been really good. There are spots where we’re still trying to figure out who the best guy is for us. I think we’ll need to get guys out there even in games before we can decide who the best options are. That’s something that definitely has improved. We have a lot more options and depth. That’s only going to help us get better.”
Having been a college pitcher himself, Dupic has made it a priority to collect quality arms. Discussion about this year’s starting rotation begins with sophomores in lefty Taylor Bickel and righty Neil Ryan. Combined they ate up nearly 100 innings as freshmen. Ryan, one of the staff’s hardest throwers, got on a roll early in the season and Bickel proved he could shoulder a heavy load when he went 9.1 innings in last season’s finale at Midland.
The young duo has the ability to head the rotation.
“They’re high-character guys,” Dupic said. “They have a very firm understanding about who they are. Their work habits are among the best on our pitching staff. Neil has very good stuff, spins the ball very well. As the end of the season hit he ran into a few bumps but competed well to finish. Taylor Bickel from beginning to end – he and Jaydee Jurgensen – were probably our most consistent starting pitchers the entire year. I just have so much respect for Bick. He’s a guy who really knows how to compete.”
Behind Bickel and Ryan, Dupic has no shortage of possibilities. Among other returnees, Mark Harris (3.00 ERA, 27 IP, 27 K) and Josh Prater (active streak of 18-straight scoreless innings) possess the most experience as Bulldogs. However, the pitching staff may be the area most affected by newcomers. Dupic is liable to rattle off the names of seven or eight new faces – including junior college transfers Cole Jackson and Todd Oberthien – that have a shot to log quality innings. It will take nonconference action for the puzzle to come together.
“Figuring out where everybody meshes together as a pitching staff is our biggest challenge,” Dupic said. “The thing we feel good about is that we have significantly greater depth than we did a year ago. I’m not exactly sure what we have in terms of starting pitchers and relief pitchers and how that’s going to mesh. We’ll figure that out as we go. There are a lot of guys in the mix right now.”
Though picked ninth in the GPAC preseason coaches’ poll after a ninth-place 2015 finish, things feel different within the Concordia baseball program. There’s more talent, more familiarity and a like-minded approach taking hold within a positive culture. Expectations are clearly growing.
“I want all of us teammates to have each other’s backs, on and off the field,” Alstott said. “We’ve been doing a really good job of that. Right now a conference championship is our goal. That would make it a successful year.”
Added Dupic, “You know our guys are going to show up and work hard and enjoy being around each other. Seeing those guys come together in that way is really exciting. It’s hard to put a number on that, but we hope it takes shape in the wins and losses. It’s time for us to climb in terms of the GPAC. That’s the next phase for us.”
LINDSBORG, Kan. – Temperatures below 30 degrees did not stop the Concordia University baseball team from opening up the 2016 season at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., on Saturday afternoon. The chilly weather limited both teams offensively during a doubleheader sweep for the host Swedes, who won by scores of 5-0 and 5-4 (10 innings).
It marked the start of year two under head coach Ryan Dupic, fresh off a season in which he guided the program to a school record 26 wins in 2015. During which, the Bulldogs also broke a school record for runs in a single season. On Saturday, the bats were afraid of the chilly temps.
“They were better than us today,” Dupic said. “We’ve got some work to do but it was good to go outside and play. We’re looking forward to going out again and playing tomorrow.”
Bethany (3-3) game 1 starter Eduardo Jiminez, who touched 90-plus miles per hour, fired six innings of one-hit ball. He struck out 13 Bulldogs and walked only one. Catcher Ryan Fesmire delivered the lone hit of the game for Concordia in the seven-inning opener.
The Bulldogs went scoreless for the first 14 innings of play on Saturday before breaking loose with four runs in the top of the eighth of game 2. Second baseman Alex Cargin finally ended the dry spell with an RBI single. Taylor Dudley and Logan Ryan followed with run-scoring singles of their own to knot the score at four apiece.
In the 10th inning, Joel Quinones tripled with one out and then scored two pitches later when reliever Mark Harris uncorked a walk-off wild pitch. The Swedes claimed victory despite being outhit, 11-7, in game 2.
Freshman Jared Schipper kept the Bulldogs in it in game 2 by dealing 5.2 shutout innings after spelling starter Casey Hall. Schipper wiggled out of a bases-loaded situation left behind by Hall in the second and worked into the eighth. After Schipper allowed a double to begin the bottom of the eighth, Harris got out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out.
Eight different players made their debuts in Bulldog blue. Among that group were both starting pitchers – Cole Jackson and Hall. Jackson, a right-handed hurler who transferred from Des Moines Area Community College, lasted four innings before giving way to John Mellen. Jackson was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks.
In game 2, four Bulldogs registered two or more hits: Dudley (3-for-5), Fesmire (2-for-2), Bigandt (2-for-3) and Logan Ryan (2-for-4). Fesmire went 3-for-4 on the day. Dupic inserted transfer Christian Montero into the No. 3 slot. He started at both designated hitter and catcher on Saturday. On the opposing side, DH Chase Phillips cracked two hits in both games.
Star Concordia center fielder Alex Alstott had to leave game 2 after being hit by a pitch on the hand. His status for Sunday is uncertain.
The Bulldogs will complete a four-game series with Bethany on Sunday. The twin bill will again get started at 12 p.m. from Lindsborg, Kan.
LINDSBORG, Kan. – A day after struggling to score in the midst of Saturday’s chilly temperatures, the Concordia University baseball team responded with a combined 19 runs. The enhanced offensive production made winners out of starting pitchers Neil Ryan and Taylor Bickel as the Bulldogs swept a doubleheader from host Bethany College (Kan.) by scores of 13-2 and 6-3 on Sunday afternoon.
Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad salvaged a split of the season-opening four-game series with the Swedes (3-5), a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“We definitely feel like today was a better example of who we are than yesterday,” Dupic said. “Looking back, yesterday we faced a really good arm in game 1 and in game 2 got beat in 10 innings. It’s not much to look at but I’m not sure we were as bad as maybe we felt. I thought we transitioned really well today. Our batting practice and our pregame was really good. We just had a much better mindset.”
Making his first start of 2016, Ryan looked sharp while mowing down the Swedes through the first four innings of game 1. Ryan did not allow a hit until Weston Jacobs singled in an unearned run with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. A bout of wildness (four walks) and an error helped chase Ryan from the game before he could navigate the fifth. Relievers Nic Seaman and Schafer Thompson covered the final 2.1 innings in scoreless fashion.
The combined work of the pitching staff was plenty good enough in conjunction with an offense that piled up five runs in the third and four in the sixth to blow open game 1. Right fielder Taylor Bigandt went 3-for-4 with an RBI out of the No. 2 slot. Taylor Dudley and Ryan Fesmire surfaced with a run-scoring single apiece during the five-run third inning outburst. Then in the sixth, Logan Ryan drew a bases-loaded walk and Casey Berg singled in a pair of runs to make it a Bulldog runaway.
Dependable as a freshman in 2015, the southpaw Bickel also made his sophomore debut on the bump. He limited the damage to two runs over five innings by effectively scattering seven hits in game 2. Once again, the bullpen did a fine job as Dupic mixed and matched with the likes of Tanner Wauhob, Josh Prater, Todd Oberthien, Cole Thomas and Josue Melchor to eat up the final four innings.
At the plate, Concordia did the bulk of its game 2 damage in the fourth inning when it threw up five runs while taking advantage of three Bethany errors in the frame. Jacob Adams got things going with a double. Christian Meza and Ryan chipped in RBI singles and a Berg fielder’s choice plated two runs, one via a throwing error.
A patient approach in the dish yielded a combined 21 walks for Bulldog hitters against a wild Bethany staff. Cleanup hitter Tyler Nelson worked five free passes on the day and Ryan drew four as part of a well-rounded team effort.
“I thought we had a lot better at bats. We drew a lot of walks,” Dupic said. “We were very patient and got two good starts and that allowed us to use our bullpen guys in the right spots. They were very good. We had a couple hiccups defensively, but all-in-all it was pretty good.”
Alex Alstott was relegated to pinch running duties on Sunday after being hit in the hand by a pitch on Saturday. Dupic is hopeful his first team all-conference center fielder can make a return to the lineup next week.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to venture back into the state of Kansas this coming week with doubleheaders at No. 20 Sterling College (6-0) on both Friday (1 p.m.) and Saturday (12 p.m.). The Warriors will provide a big early-season test a year removed from a 47-15 overall record and berth in the national tournament.
STERLING, Kan. – The Concordia baseball team dropped a pair of contests to the 20th-ranked Sterling Warriors on Friday afternoon. The first half of the day went into a lengthy 14 innings where Sterling eventually scored the winning run to take the first game 5-4. In the second game, the Bulldogs were outscored 22-3.
The Bulldogs move to 2-4 on the season. The Warriors are now 8-0 this year.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “I thought we played really well the first game. It was good to see Cole (Jackson) do well to start off and then Mark (Harris) did really well in the relief spot. Those two played really well defensively.”
Cole Jackson started on the mound and pitched through six innings for Concordia. Jackson struck out three batters. Also pitching six frames was Mark Harris who provided a defensive spark to keep the Bulldogs in the game. The senior struck out seven and walked three batters while allowing just one hit through the majority of the extra innings.
Despite an explosive eighth inning, the Bulldogs were not able to come out ahead in the 14 inning battle. During the eighth frame, Concordia tied the game at four. The scoring sequence was started with Ryan Fesmire sending the ball to right field for a single. After Josh Mondt came into pinch run for Fesmire, Taylor Dudley batted Mondt home for the Bulldogs’ first run. Later in the lineup, Christian Montero hit a deep double to right field to bring in two runs, tying the score at four. The score remained tied until the bottom of the 14th until Sterling’s Aaron Stubblefield batted in the winning run.
“We just couldn’t get it going offensively soon enough in the first game,” Dupic said. “It was a very well-played college baseball game and the guys played really well defensively but unfortunately couldn’t get that big hit at the end.”
The second game of the double header again went in favor of the Warriors. Sterling got out to a 2-0 lead in the first and scored at least one run in every inning to grab a 22-3 victory. Kaleb Geiger, hitting in the five spot, shot a solo homerun in the seventh to start a three run inning. Dudley and Jacob Adams each crossed the plate for the Bulldogs.
Dupic said, “They (Sterling) played way better in the second game. We just did not execute like we needed to. Once Sterling gets hot and comfortable offensively there’s no stopping them. Christian Meza played well offensively in the game. It was good to see Kaleb (Geiger) back in the lineup and see him get a homerun as well.”
The Concordia baseball team will be back on the field tomorrow to wrap up a four-game series with Sterling. The first game of the twin bill is set to begin at Noon.
STERLING, Kan. – The Concordia University baseball team fell to the 20th-ranked Sterling College Warriors on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs were outscored 9-1 in the first game and 6-4 in the second.
The Bulldogs now own a 2-6 record on the year while the Warriors move to 10-0.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “In the first game they got out to a quick start and we stayed with them after that, the first inning just set us behind. The second game was a good ballgame. We fought back and forth and we got the lead, then they got the lead back. We got a chance to win at the end but just didn’t execute.”
During the first contest of the day, the Bulldogs were outscored, 9-1. Scoring the lone run for the Bulldogs was Taylor Dudley. Dudley got on base with a single to left and worked his way around the diamond by stealing second. Alex Cargin came up to the plate and recorded an infield single. Dudley then scored on the play from second.
On the mound to start the tilt was Neil Ryan who pitched five innings. Ryan struck out two batters. Taking over after the five frames was Cole Thomas.
The Warriors took the second game 6-4. The Bulldogs scored all four runs in the fifth inning. The first Bulldog to cross the plate was Cargin who was batted in by Taylor Bigandt. Alex Allstott and Ryan Fesmire scored on a single from Dudley. The four runs gave Concordia a 4-3 lead over the Warriors going into the bottom of the fifth inning. Sterling answered back with three more tallies to set the final score.
Taylor Bickel was the starting pitcher for the second game. He threw three innings and struck out two batters. Josue Melchor also struck out two batters in one inning.
“It was a pretty good ballgame they just played a little bit better than we did. It was a weekend where hopefully they guys learned a lot to get ready for next week,” Dupic said.
Next weekend the Bulldogs will return to action as they travel to Ottawa University. On Saturday, Feb. 27 Concordia and Ottawa will begin a double header at 1 p.m. Then on Sunday, the third and fourth games of the series will begin at Noon.
OTTAWA, Kan. – The Concordia baseball team split a double header with Ottawa University Saturday afternoon. The Braves took the first game, 5-4 while the Bulldogs won the second, 15-8. The victory was fueled by a combined 10 runs in back-to-back innings early in the game including two homeruns for Taylor Bigandt
The Bulldogs move to 3-7 on the season while the Braves now hold a 4-9 record.
Second year head coach Ryan Dupic said, “It was good to go out and get a win today. We didn’t play as clean as we would’ve liked during the first game. We gave up a couple errors which led to runs for Ottawa. We just weren’t able to come back to get the win. The second game, again, wasn’t as clean as it could’ve been. We have some things to work on, but the win was nice. Taylor Bigandt, Christian Montero and Alex Alstott had nice games offensively. It’s good to see the guys at the top of the lineup have those flashes of good things happening.”
In the second contest of the double header, Concordia led off the first inning with a homerun from Bigandt. The Braves answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. Bigandt came up to the plate with one runner on and blasted another one over the fence. Three runners had crossed the plate previously, giving the Bulldogs a 6-2 lead in the second frame. In the third inning, Concordia tacked on five more runs. Tyler Nelson was the first to score after getting on base with a double to left field. Casey Berg followed with a double of his own. Alex Cargin then came up to the plate and batted in two more. Alex Alstott was the third Bulldog to get a double in the inning and recorded one RBI. Concordia scored one more run in the fourth and three more in the final inning to seal the victory.
Concordia never led during the first half of the double header with Ottawa but came close on a couple occasions. Jacob Adams scored off a sacrifice fly from Cargin in the second to tie the score up at one. The Bulldogs committed errors in the bottom of the frame to allow the Braves to send three more runs in. Then in the fifth inning, Alstott and Bigandt each scored to bring the deficit within one. Again, the Braves answered in the same inning. Concordia scored one more run in the eighth inning but it was not enough to come up with a win.
The Concordia baseball team will return to the diamond tomorrow to finish up a four game series with the Ottawa Braves. First pitch is slated for Noon.
OTTAWA, Kan. – The bats have come alive for the Concordia University baseball team. On Sunday the Bulldogs totaled 36 runs on 42 hits in sweeping a doubleheader from host Ottawa University (Kan.). Sophomore first baseman Kaleb Geiger went 7-for-10 with a homer as part of the offensive onslaught that allowed Concordia to take the last three contests of the weekend’s four-game set. It won Sunday’s affairs by finals of 17-7 and 19-2.
Three-straight wins have bumped second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad to 5-7 overall. Each of its first 12 games have been played on the home fields of Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference opponents.
There were no complaints from Dupic after Sunday’s drama-free sweep.
“I just thought we had much better habits in our approach and our processes. We came ready from the beginning of the day,” Dupic said. “We had a lot of discussion about being a more prepared team and that really carried into our day offensively. Our guys were more focused. Instead of getting ourselves out, we were patient. When we got our pitches, we didn’t miss them.”
The offensive-minded Bulldogs got multiple hits from seven different players in game 1 and then from another seven players in the series finale. Over 16 innings of play on Sunday, Concordia put together frames of five runs or more four times, including in the nine-run sixth inning of the second game.
After slow starts for some of the team’s most potent hitters, the top of the lineup scorched Ottawa on the sunny and warm late-February day. The top four hitters in Dupic’s lineup were a combined 20-for-39 (.512) with 17 runs driven in and 12 runs scored. Montero doubled his season hits total from six to 12 with a 6-for-11 day (5-for-6 in game 1). Meanwhile, Geiger supplied plenty of firepower out of the cleanup spot with a home run, two doubles and seven RBIs.
“We’ve really been searching at the top three to five spots in the order,” Dupic said. “We got some great production out of our top guys. When they were coming up it was a dangerous part of our lineup. (Alex) Alstott, (Taylor) Bigandt, Montero and Geiger provided a lot of punch for us offensively and really got the ball rolling.”
The parade of Bulldogs around the bases was a welcome sight after having been heavily victimized by strikeouts in the early going. Alstott entered the day 2-for-21 on the year, but heated up with a 4-for-10 effort on Sunday. Bigandt, fresh off a two-homer game on Saturday, went 3-for-6 in game 1 and drove in four runs on the day.
Both Concordia starting pitchers picked up wins. Lefty Taylor Bickel grinded through five innings while allowing four runs. Then in game 2, righty Neil Ryan limited the Braves to four hits and just a single run over 5.2 innings. At one point Ryan set down 10 hitters in a row. Said Dupic, “He was really crisp. He established his fastball, which was different from his first two starts.”
Though the top four of the lineup were rightfully praised, Concordia got positive results from the bottom half. Third baseman Casey Berg turned in a 6-for-9 day. Shortstop Logan Ryan went 4-for-8 and second baseman Alex Cargin collected four hits in 10 at bats. During the nine-run sixth-inning of game 2, catcher Ryan Fesmire delivered two RBI doubles as Concordia sent 14 men to the plate.
Ottawa’s starting pitchers allowed a combined 12 earned runs. The Braves (4-11) had not surrendered more than 11 runs in a game this season until the Bulldogs put up 15 in Saturday’s win and then proceeded to rack up 17 and 19 on Sunday. Concordia is now averaging 7.5 runs per game – almost a run more than it averaged in 2015 when it broke the program record for runs in a season with 289.
Dupic also made note of a much improved defensive effort on Sunday as compared to the previous day. Concordia committed just a single error in the latest doubleheader. The Bulldogs were charged with eight errors on Saturday.
The Bulldogs now look forward to a 10-game swing in Tucson, Ariz., over spring break. The slate begins with a doubleheader versus William Penn University (Iowa) on March 5. Concordia’s final game in Arizona is scheduled for March 11.
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University baseball team began its Arizona road trip on Saturday with a doubleheader split in a neutral field matchup with William Penn University (Iowa). After a 7-3 loss in game 1, the Bulldogs regrouped with a 9-3 game 2 victory. In the capper, junior right-hander Nic Seaman picked up his first win as a Bulldog.
Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad has won four of its last five games and now sits at 6-8 overall. The Bulldogs saw their six-game Arizona winning streak, which dates back to last year, come to an end.
A diversified offensive attack spurred the game 2 victory. Taylor Bigandt and Alex Cargin both notched two hits and Concordia used an aggressive approach on the base paths to net nine runs. Seaman worked out of the bullpen and got a key strikeout with two outs and the bases loaded in the second. Dupic also turned Josue Melchor in relief.
Seaman helped stabilize a pitching staff that gave away far too many free passes in the opener. The Bulldogs fell in their first contest in Tucson despite two hits from Casey Berg and a double apiece from Alex Alstott, Kaleb Geiger and Bigandt.
The Bulldogs resume action from Tucson on Sunday morning with a doubleheader set to begin at 9 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. CT. The University of Jamestown (N.D.) (13-0) will serve as the opponent.
TUCSON, Ariz. – A 10-road trip in Tucson, Ariz., continued on Sunday with a pair of defeats at the hands of red-hot University of Jamestown (N.D.). The Jimmies, currently receiving votes in the national rankings, won by scores of 9-1 and 8-1 to remain unbeaten at 15-0.
Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad slipped to 6-10 overall and 1-3 on the Arizona trip. Concordia struggled to gain traction against a squad that had allowed only 38 runs entering Sunday’s action.
“They’re just very fundamentally sound,” Dupic said of Jamestown. “They make all the plays defensive and their pitchers throw multiple pitches for strikes. They execute a lot of small ball. They hit and run a little bit. They just execute exceptionally well.”
There was little offense to speak of for the Bulldogs. Outfielder Taylor Dudley collected two hits in game 1. The only tally for Concordia in the opener came on Christian Montero’s bases-loaded walk. Then in game 2, Alex Cargin doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly delivered by Josh Mondt. Taylor Bigandt did not start the second game after injuring his hand in the opener.
Dupic trotted out starting pitchers Cole Jackson and Taylor Bickel on Sunday. Jackson went five innings and allowed only two earned runs. Bickel was lifted early in game 2 for right-handed reliever Tanner Wauhob.
Concordia hopes to regroup before playing tomorrow night’s game inside Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson. Lefty Josh Prater, who owns an active consecutive scoreless innings streak of 23.2, will take the mound.
“We get to play in the stadium tomorrow which should be fun,” Dupic said. “Hopefully we can respond. We’re trying to have a smarter approach to the game. That’s what we’re working on most right now.”
The Bulldogs will play a single nine-inning game on Monday as the Tucson Invitational continues. Monday’s contest versus Missouri Valley College (8-6) will get started at 6:30 p.m. MT / 7:30 p.m. CT. The Vikings are a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia baseball team made a nine inning game a seven inning contest by defeating Missouri Valley College 18-8. Alex Alstott posted a big offensive game going 2-2 with a leadoff homerun and two walks.
The Bulldogs move to 7-10 on the season while the Vikings fall to 8-8.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “Well obviously it was a lot better offensively today. We executed so much better in terms of using the whole field – we got some bunts down, we stole bases, so many things were better offensively. We only had one inning where we didn’t score. So that was nice to see.”
All but one Bulldog recorded at least one hit. Alstott led in the scoring column with four while Casey Berg and Jonathan May scored three. Christian Montero (double), Alex Cargin (triple) and Alstott (home run) all recorded multi-base hits.
The Bulldogs allowed one run in the top of the first inning. Alstott answered back with a huge, leadoff homerun to tie the score. In each of the third and fourth innings, Concordia scored five runs and burned through a total of three Viking pitchers. In the fourth inning, a walk and two singles loaded up the bases for Alex Cargin who tripled to deep right. The hit scored all three runners. Cargin crossed the plate after a sacrifice fly from Christian Montero. Jonathan May the scored on another sacrifice fly from Jacob Adams. To close out the game, Montero scored the 18th run off a single from Taylor Dudley.
Pitching for Concordia was Josh Prater who stayed in 2.1 innings. Jared Schipper came in during the third inning and finished out the contest for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs will play a single, nine inning game tomorrow against the University of Winnipeg. The game is slated to being at 5 p.m. CDT.
TUCSON, Ariz. – A day after scoring 18 runs in a win over Missouri Valley College, the Concordia University baseball team plated 19 runs in a shutout win over the University of Winnipeg on Tuesday evening. Starting pitcher Casey Hall fired four scoreless frames while getting plenty of support from an offense that piled up 17 hits.
Third-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad moved to 8-10 overall and evened up at 3-3 on the current Arizona road trip.
“They haven’t been winning a lot but they’ve been swinging the bats well,” Dupic said of Winnipeg. “That’s what I’m happiest about. We really haven’t pitched well or defended well down here, but we threw up a shutout today.”
Christian Montero hit a long homer and the Wesmen failed to retire second baseman Alex Cargin all day. Included in Cargin’s evening was a triple. Meanwhile, outfielders Jacob Adams (three hits, triple) and Taylor Dudley (two hits, double) stung the ball and Christian Meza also added a trio of hits with two going for extra bases.
“It’s nice to (put up a lot of runs) on back-to-back days,” Dupic said. “The next couple days you should start to see teams spinning their top guys. We’ve really shown an ability to have good at bats and have good at bats on the backside rotation guys. Now we’re wanting to see us do that against the top-end guys at the end of this trip.”
Drew Woods did a little bit of everything. He caught Hall, recorded three hits and then tossed a scoreless inning in relief. Hall followed two other relievers. Schafer Thompson and Todd Oberthien and Woods ate up the final three innings while not allowing a single Winnipeg hit. Hall surrendered only two hits over his four innings.
Concordia has now scored 15 or more runs in five of its past nine games. The Bulldogs are averaging 7.8 runs per game through their first 18 contests of 2016. They did plenty of damage on Tuesday despite the absence of outfielder Taylor Bigandt, who is out with a broken hand he suffered in Tucson.
Under Dupic, the Bulldogs are 11-4 in games played in the state of Arizona. Concordia went 8-1 in last season’s nine-game stay in Tucson.
After four-straight days of action in Tucson, the Bulldogs will enjoy an off day on Wednesday. They will return to Kino Sports Complex on Thursday for a pair of seven-inning games. Game times are set for 12:30 p.m. MT / 1:30 p.m. CT versus Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) and 3:30 p.m. MT / 4:30 p.m. CT versus Waldorf College (Iowa). Friday will mark the final day of action in Arizona.
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia baseball team competed in two games Thursday afternoon and took victories in both. The Bulldogs won 5-2 over Olivet Nazarene and 8-2 over Waldorf College. The wins pushed the Arizona victory total up to five.
Concordia improves to 10-10 this season and 5-3 on its Arizona trip. Olivet Nazarene is now 6-4 while Waldorf moves to 3-10.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “One thing we’ve really struggled with so far is our starting pitching and we got really good starts today. Mark Harris faced a really good offense today and pitched very well. Neil Ryan started the second game and pitched excellent as well. Pitching and defense were really good and clean today. We maybe didn’t score offensively as much as we would’ve liked but I thought we did a pretty good job all in all.”
In the first game against Olivet Nazarene Harris started on the mound and stayed there into the seventh inning. The senior gave up just two runs in his outings. Nic Seaman and Josue Melchor came in for relief and Melchor was credited with the save.
On the offensive side, Christian Montero was a homerun shy of hitting the cycle recording a double, single and triple. Also impressing in the contest was Alex Cargin who Dupic praised for his defensive and offensive efforts.
Ryan was the starting pitcher for Concordia in the second game of the day and did not let a single run cross the plate in six and two thirds innings. Todd Obertien, Seaman and Josh Prater finished the game out.
Taylor Dudley recorded three hits in the second game. Over the two tilts, Kaleb Gieger had four hits, including a double and a base clearing triple.
The Bulldogs will be back in action for their last outing in Arizona for the 2016 season tomorrow. Concordia will face Dakota State for a double header beginning at 10 a.m. CDT.
TUCSON, Ariz. – The Concordia University baseball team has found the sun of the Arizona desert to its liking. On Friday afternoon the Bulldogs completed their Tucson road trip with a doubleheader sweep of Dakota State University (S.D.) (3-4), winning by finals of 7-4 and 7-2. The pair of wins means Concordia will return home winners of six in a row.
The win streak has pushed second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad to 12-10 overall. Over the past two years, the Bulldogs own a record of 15-4 when playing in the state of Arizona. Off to a 1-3 start on this year’s trip, Concordia regrouped by going on the offensive.
“Offensively we felt like we needed to make some adjustments in our approaches,” Dupic said. “I thought we did that very well over the last six games. We stayed patient with our pitchers. I’m not sure there was anything that I can claim that we said or did as coaches (to initiate the win streak). We started to step up and pitch better and defend better.
“The players deserve the credit. We just started to execute better in all facets.”
Over the final six games in Arizona, the Bulldogs averaged more than 10 runs per game. On Friday, catcher/designated hitter Christian Montero blasted a homer in both ends of the doubleheader, giving him three long balls on the trip. In the game 2 win, outfielder Johnny May doubled in a run and second baseman Alex Cargin recorded two hits. In game 1, Jacob Adams, Ryan Fesmire and Logan Ryan each reached base three times.
Cole Jackson provided a solid start on the mound in game 1 for the Bulldogs. A few mistakes cost Jackson from throwing up zeroes. He was relieved by lefty Josh Prater, who calmed the Trojan bats and allowed the Concordia bats to put the Bulldogs back in front. After Concordia broke a 4-4 deadlock with three runs in the top of the seventh, Josue Melchor came on to pick up the save.
In the second game, Taylor Bickel weathered the storm after allowing two early runs. Bickel earned the victory. He then gave way to Tanner Wauhob, who fired 2.1 scoreless innings.
After a slow start to the Tucson swing, Dupic’s squad figured out how to mesh all phases of the game.
“We have to pitch and defend,” Dupic said. “Too often we’re letting games get away from us. When we pitch and defend, we feel like we’ll break through offensively and give ourselves a chance to win. Offensively I think we have a better system in place in terms of preparation. We’re using the whole field and having better at bats with runners in scoring position.”
Montero’s bat could prove a big key going forward. The transfer from Iowa Central Community College unloaded on a three-run homer in game 2, bulging a two-run lead to a five-run advantage in the sixth inning. Dupic also made note of May for his defensive prowess in the outfield and dynamic speed on the bases.
Following the twin bill sweep, the Bulldogs boarded their bus in preparation for a 24-hour ride back to Seward. Concordia will return to action on Tuesday (March 15) when it travels to Tabor College (13-6) for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
HILLSBORO, Kan. – The Concordia baseball team faced 13th-ranked Tabor College on Tuesday afternoon. The Blue Jays swept the Bulldogs taking the first game 15-3 and the second 4-2. Junior Tyler Nelson recorded his first home run of the season in the first tilt of the day.
The Bulldogs move to 12-12 on the season while the Blue Jays are now 17-8.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “The first game, they (Tabor) got us pretty good. They swung the bats really well and we didn’t pitch well enough to get the win. The second game was definitely more competitive and was better played. We pitched and defended better to put ourselves in a position to win, but Tabor just executed better than we did.”
The first game was highlighted for the Bulldogs by a solo home run from Tyler Nelson in the sixth inning. Nelson also scored the first run of the tilt off an RBI from Logan Ryan. Also scoring in the game was Jacob Adams on a passed ball. Nelson, Kaleb Geiger and Christian Meza all registered two hits in the contest.
Neil Ryan started on the mound and pitched three innings. Schafer Thompson pitched 1.1 innings and Todd Oberthien finished the game. Each of the last two hurlers recorded two strikeouts.
Both of Concordia’s runs came in the third inning. Josh Mondt led off the frame with a single up the middle. Jon May was up next and reached base on a Tabor error. Mondt and May advanced a base on a wild pitch and then scored on a hit from Meza.
Casey Hall was the starting pitcher for the Bulldogs. Hall was on the mound for two innings and allowed just two hits and no walks. Nic Seaman pitched 1.2 innings and was replaced by Josh Prater who pitched 1.1 innings. Josue Melchor finished out the game and did not give up a hit in one inning.
As a team over the two games, the Bulldogs recorded 12 hits and were walked three times. Defensively, Geiger recorded a total of 13 putouts and one assist. The Concordia pitching crew walked just three Blue Jays over the course of the two contests.
The Concordia baseball team will have its home opener this Saturday. The Bulldogs are set to host Grace University for a double header beginning at 1 p.m. at the Plum Creek Ballpark.
SEWARD, Neb. – Kaleb Geiger and Christian Montero blasted two more home runs apiece and the Concordia University baseball team celebrated its home-opening doubleheader by shredding Grace University on Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs powered five long balls on the day and won by scores of 11-0 and 21-4 at Plum Creek Park.
Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad moved to 14-12 overall. Concordia’s blossoming lineup has now piled up 10 runs or more eight times this season.
“It’s nice to have a chance to play at home. Right away offensively we were very good today,” Dupic said. “The guys swung the bats really well and ran the bases very well. I thought we pitched it pretty well, too. They were well-executed ball games for us.”
The Bulldogs punctuated the doubleheader by sending 17 batters to the plate during a 13-run second inning in game 2. Earlier in the day, Montero continued his hot hitting by drilling a two-run homer in the first inning and a three-run shot in the fourth as part of a six RBI performance in game 1. Geiger matched Montero by pounding a solo homer in the third inning of game 1 and then a two-run bomb in the fifth inning of game 2. For good measure, freshman Johnny May belted his first career home run in the fifth frame of the capper.
Montero (5) and Geiger (4) have combined four nine home runs this season while making up a potent middle of the order.
“It’s a big key for us. It’s something we’ve discussed a lot,” Dupic said. “We need the middle of the order to be a force for us. Those are two big physical guys and when they’re swinging it well they can be pretty dangerous. They were both very good today.”
Montero, native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is making himself cozy after beginning the season with four hits in his first 27 at bats. He’s now hit all five of his home runs over the past nine games.
“I’ve just been going up to the plate and hitting good pitches and putting a good swing on them,” Montero said.
It was a parade of Bulldogs on the base paths on Sunday. They punished the Royals (0-12) with 27 hits while also drawing 13 walks and four hit-by-pitches throughout the doubleheader. Concordia did all of that damage without the services of three starting regulars who did not make the lineup due to injury: outfielders Alex Alstott and Taylor Bigandt and second baseman Alex Cargin.
May, a Johnston, Iowa, native, took advantage of his opportunity by going 4-for-6 on the day. He came up just a double shy of the cycle during his 3-for-5 effort in game 2. Out of the three hole, Geiger went 5-for-6 with four extra base hits, seven runs and six RBIs. Geiger was a single short of the cycle in game 2. Also in the second game, junior Tyler Nelson drove in four runs, three of which came on a bases-clearing double in the 13-run inning. Montero wound up 3-for-4 with a pair of walks.
Junior Jacob Adams ended game 1 with the highlight reel defensive play of the day. The right fielder ranged into the gap to make a sprawling catch, preserving Concordia’s second shutout of the year. Right-handed pitchers Mark Harris and Drew Woods teamed up to hold Grace to just three hits. Harris fired 5.2 innings and struck out seven on the way to his third win of the year. Sophomore Cole Jackson then notched his first career victory as a Bulldog by hurling five innings in game 2. He struck out six while surrendering just one run on two hits and two walks.
Concordia is now averaging 7.9 runs per game and is on track to shatter last year’s single-season school record of 289 runs scored. The Bulldogs have tallied 205 runs in 2016.
The Bulldogs return to Plum Creek Park on Tuesday when they host No. 13 Tabor College (Kan.) (21-8) in a twin bill set for 1 p.m. CT. It will be a rematch of the March 15 twin bill in which the Bluejays swept, winning by scores of 15-3 and 4-2.
SEWARD, Neb. – On the heels of his first career two-home run game, sophomore Kaleb Geiger has been named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Baseball Player of the Week, as announced by the league on Tuesday. This marks the first career GPAC honor for Geiger, who is also the first Bulldog this season to collect a weekly award.
A native of Sedalia, Colo., Geiger has been an offensive force for a lineup that ranks in the top 25 nationally in runs per game (7.9). Last week the slugging first baseman went 7-for-11 with four extra base hits, including two home runs in the 21-4 victory over Grace University on Sunday. Geiger totaled five hits in six at bats in addition to six RBIs in the doubleheader sweep of Grace. Geiger has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games.
On the season, Geiger leads Concordia in all three standard rate stats: batting average (.397), on-base percentage (.530) and slugging percentage (.730). He has tallied four home runs, five doubles, two triples and 25 RBIs in 21 games. He is a career .341 hitter over 64 games as a Bulldog.
Geiger and company are back in action on Tuesday (March 22) versus No. 13 Tabor College (Kan.) (21-8). First pitch from Plum Creek Park in Seward is set for 1 p.m. CT.
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia baseball team hosted 12th-ranked Tabor College on Tuesday afternoon for a double header. The Bulldogs were defeated 12-6 and 16-5 in the tilts. Johnny May and Taylor Dudley each hit a home run during the twin bill.
The losses dropped Concordia back down to an even record at 14-14 while Tabor improves to 23-8 on the season.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “I thought offensively, we were pretty good today. We got some good swings off and good things happened at times. We didn’t pitch well at all or defend very well…There are still some positive to build upon…We’ve played 28 non-conference games, so there’s definitely been opportunities to learn about ourselves.”
In the first game, three of Concordia’s six runs came in the first inning. Christian Montero doubled to center field to score Alex Alstott who reached on a walk. Kaleb Geiger scored on a bat from Tyler Nelson. Montero then crossed the plate on a passed ball. Also scoring in the contest was May in the third frame. Dudley homered down the right field line to score himself and Geiger in the final inning.
Casey Hall was the starting pitcher for the Bulldogs. Hall walked two of 11 batters he faced in 2.0 innings. Jared Schipper came in for 2.1 innings, relieving Hall. Todd Oberthien faced seven batters and struck three of them out in 1.2 innings. The last pitcher of game one was Cole Thomas who hurled one complete inning and struck out two.
Starting on the mound for the last half of the double header was Neil Ryan who pitched one inning and struck one batter out. Nic Seaman pitched one inning and also struck out one Blue Jay. Josh Prater and Schafer Thompson each pitched two innings before Josue Melchor closed out the final inning.
Likewise to the first game, Concordia scored the majority of its runs in the first inning. Christian Meza got aboard off a single up the middle and was batted around to third by Geiger. Meza then scored on a passed ball. Geiger scored off a single from Montero. May was to the plate a few spots down the line up and was walked, advancing all runners and scoring Montero. Logan Ryan did the same, scoring ten Bensel. In the sixth inning, May shot a solo home run over the left field fence.
As a team over the two games, the ‘Dogs recorded 6 hits, 21 putouts and were walked eight times.
Concordia will host Dakota Wesleyan on April 2 to open up GPAC play. The double header will begin at 1 p.m. at Plum Creek Park.
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia baseball team played host to Dakota Wesleyan to open up GPAC play Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs and Tigers split the day with Dakota Wesleyan taking the first game, 3-0 and Concordia the second, 11-10. Christian Meza hit a walk-off single to bring in Logan Ryan for the winning run.
The ‘Dogs move to 15-15 and 1-1 in the GPAC while the Tigers are now 14-11 overall and 1-1 in the league.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “It was pretty crazy. We had a really good pitching outing in the first game, Mark (Harris) was excellent. We just weren’t able to get things going offensively which was unfortunate. Being down 8-2 in the second game and being able to come back offensively was really nice. It was good to see the guys have some fight and to compete…I’m very proud.”
With their backs against the wall in the bottom of the eighth inning, down 8-2, the Bulldogs blasted the Tigers and put up eight runs to take the lead. After Casey Berg and Johnny May both drew walks, Taylor Dudley singled to left field to score Berg. Alex Alstott was walked to fill the bases before a Tiger pitching change. After being walked to score another run, Meza was advanced to third off a two-run double from Christian Montero. Tyler Nelson was up next in the batter’s box and batted in two more with a double. Berg was up for a second time in the inning and recorded a triple this time, sending another Bulldog home. Berg then scored again off a single from May. Heading into the top of the ninth, the Bulldogs held a 10-8 lead.
Wesleyan was not going down without a fight. A walk, double and single from the Tigers made it a tie ballgame at 10 all. The bottom half of the frame featured a single to center from Ryan. Alstott walked, bringing Meza to the plate. The single to center field brought in Ryan for the game-winning run. The Bulldogs recorded 17 hits in the game.
Meza said, “It was fun, everyone around me was awesome, it was a good time. It was defiantly a team win, not all about me. I’m happy for the team to get a win.”
Josue Melchor was credited with the win and struck out two batters. Starting the game was Cole Jackson who pitched 4.1 innings. Josh Prater saw 3.2 innings of action. Each of the latter hurlers struck out three Tigers.
“We strung some really good at bats together, it’s kind of all a blur thinking back to it,” Dupic said.
Mark Harris was on the mound for the first half of Saturday’s twin bill. Harris pitched all seven innings and struck out seven Tigers while walking just one Dakota Wesleyan batter. Alstott, Berg and Jake Adams all recorded a hit during the game.
Concordia will have a very quick turn around and face Briar Cliff tomorrow at Plum Creek Park. The twin bill is slated to begin at 1 p.m. in Seward. A live webcast will be available on the Concordia Sports Network with Frank Greene on the call HERE.
SEWARD, Neb. – Johnny May never hit a home run in little league or high school. Never. But on Sunday he rounded third, received a water shower courtesy of teammate Christian Montero and then leaped high into the air before landing on top of home plate amongst a throng of frenzied teammates.
For the second-straight day, the Concordia University baseball team celebrated a walk-off victory to close out a GPAC doubleheader. Like Montero with the water cooler, it was hard to see it coming from the diminutive outfielder.
“I didn’t see him until I got about halfway around third,” May said. “I saw him wind up and throw it at me and I was bracing for it.”
It was a 2-2 offering from Briar Cliff reliever Luke Lindsey that May pulverized over the left field fence with the game 2 score tied, 8-8, in the bottom of the ninth. The Johnston, Iowa, native emerged as the hero a day after Christian Meza rapped out a walk-off RBI single to conclude a wild 11-10 game 2 win over Dakota Wesleyan. Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad now stands at 16-16 overall and 2-2 in the conference after Sunday’s split. Briar Cliff won the first game, 16-8. Concordia won the second, 9-8.
“I’m so proud of him. He’s a fantastic kid,” Dupic said of May. “I don’t know how many home runs he hit in high school. It wasn’t very many if he did hit any. He’s had three for us already. He’s really done a nice job. He’s a big sparkplug. He’s very dynamic.”
With his third home run of his freshman campaign, May rendered the controversial call at the plate in the top of the ninth essentially meaningless. The Bulldogs had grabbed an 8-7 lead via Montero’s two-run blast to center in the bottom of the eighth. However, the defending GPAC regular-season champion Chargers (18-16, 2-2 GPAC) extended the game with Scott Morton’s RBI single to left center. The play ended with Josh Penrod being ruled safe as he eluded the tag of catcher Ryan Fesmire up the third base line.
Similar to Saturday’s win over Dakota Wesleyan, the Bulldogs waited until the latter stages of game 2 to come alive offensively. Concordia came back from a 7-4 deficit entering the bottom of the eighth. May started the rally by getting hit with a pitch. He then scored on Kaleb Geiger’s double into the right center gap. Montero followed immediately after with his go-ahead blast.
Montero enjoyed another solid offensive day that saw him go 3-for-7 with the homer in addition to a double and a pair of runs driven in. As part of the game 2 win, Fesmire (2-for-3), May (2-for-4) and Montero (2-for-5) each collected two hits. Alex Alstott reached base three times and scored three runs out of the leadoff spot. Meza collected three hits in game 1.
Concordia continues to try to shore up a pitching staff that has struggled of late. Lefty starter Taylor Bickel was chased in the first inning of game 1 and took the loss. In his first career varsity appearance, freshman Ben Kruse started game 2 and fired three solid innings (one run allowed on two hits and two walks). Out of the bullpen, Tanner Wauhob threw 2.2 shutout innings in game 1.
Though the hurlers are still ironing things out, the Bulldogs have shown they can put runs up in bunches. They’re closing in on the program’s single-season runs scored record set last year.
“We’re seeing more tenacity offensively,” Dupic said. “I think we’re giving less at bats away. We’ve been a little bit better at getting our pitch and keeping it in the strike zone. As we’ve gotten a feel for things we’ve done a nice job as we get into the late part of the game.”
May showed off his multitude of skills on Sunday. He scored two runs as a courtesy runner in game 1 and legged out an infield hit in game 2 before his no-doubter home run. He’s comfortable in his role.
“I go in there with the mentality that I know I can do it,” May said. “I just want to get the job done for the guy behind me so he can pick me up.”
The Bulldogs will be right back at Plum Creek Park on Tuesday when they host No. 16 York College (26-9) for a single nine-inning game. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m. in Seward.
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia baseball team faced 16th-ranked York College for a non-conference tilt. The Panthers took a 13-1 victory Tuesday evening. Four different Bulldogs recorded a hit, including Logan Ryan who scored the lone run for Concordia.
Concordia falls to 16-17 overall while York improves to 27-9 on the season.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “I thought the first part of the game was pretty good. We did some good things against a very offensive York ball club. The fourth inning got away from us a little bit, we just had a couple defensive mistakes and you can’t do that against a team like York.”
The Bulldogs scored their single run in the seventh inning. Logan Ryan started off the frame with a triple ripped down the right field line. Jacob Adams grounded out to short stop on the sacrifice to score Ryan. With a pop up and a ground out, the inning and game concluded in favor of the Panthers.
Jared Schipper got the start for the Bulldogs. In the second inning, Tanner Wauhob took over pitching duties and struck out one batter. With one out in the fourth inning, Cole Thomas appeared on the mound before turning it over to Casey Hall. Hall recorded two strikeouts in two full innings pitched. Neil Ryan wrapped up the game for the pitching crew.
Defensively, first baseman Kaleb Geiger led the team with eight putouts. In the second inning, the ‘Dogs turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the frame.
“We’re excited to get a chance to go on the road and be together as a team…we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a fun year in the conference.”
The Concordia baseball team will be back in action Saturday as it travels to Sioux Center, Iowa to face Dordt College. The double header will begin at 1 p.m. On Sunday, the ‘Dogs will return home to take on Mount Marty College for a 1 p.m. twin bill.
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – In one of its most productive offensive days of the season, the Concordia University baseball team bullied Dordt in a GPAC road doubleheader sweep on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs racked up a combined 28 hits on the way to winning by scores of 14-3 and 15-3 in Sioux Center, Iowa. Both Concordia hurlers twirled complete games.
Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad moved back above .500 overall at 18-17 and now stands at 4-2 in conference play. Through 35 games, the Bulldogs are averaging 7.8 runs per game.
“I was really proud of the way we pitched and defended,” Dupic said. “Obviously we scored a lot of runs today, which we’ve done at times. One of the things we’ve been discussing lately is being better in the other facets. I thought Mark Harris and Cole Jackson both threw the ball really well. We turned a lot of double plays and did a really nice job defensively.”
First baseman Kaleb Geiger went 5-for-8 with three doubles and a pair of RBIs as part of a big day out of the three hole. Leadoff hitter Alex Alstott highlighted game 1 with a grand slam that aided an eight-run fifth inning. Concordia also went wild on the bases, swiping eight bags – two from third baseman Casey Berg.
On the mound, Mark Harris and Cole Jackson combined to eat up all 14 innings. Harris scattered 11 hits and two walks while striking out seven in the opening contest. Jackson equaled Harris with seven punch outs. He limited the Defenders to five hits and two walks. On the other side of the coin, Dordt pitchers were tagged with 23 earned runs.
Defender hurlers had no answer for an improved Concordia offense that now stands 15 runs away from the single-season record owned by the 2015 team. Shortstop Logan Ryan went 4-for-4 in game 2. Alstott knocked in five runs in game 1. Taylor Dudley and Christian Meza drove in three runs apiece in the capper. Eight starting position players collected at least one hit in both games and Concordia scored at least one run in 10 of 14 innings.
Better results in the pitching and defense departments were also key to Saturday’s runaway victories. It was exactly what Dupic had been looking for.
“It’s huge. I’m not sure we’ve had two complete games in a doubleheader since I’ve been here,” Dupic said. “All our bullpens guys are rested for tomorrow. It gives us a chance to be more aggressive in how we do things tomorrow. It’s a big advantage heading into the next day.”
The Bulldogs will be back at home on Sunday when they play host to Mount Marty (11-18, 2-4 GPAC) for a pair of games set to begin at 1 p.m. from Plum Creek Park. Concordia is 4-5 at home this season. Both of its home conference victories came via walk-off hits.
SEWARD, Neb. – Right-handed hurlers Ben Kruse and Josue Melchor combined on a seven-inning no-hitter in a 1-0 pitcher’s duel before the Concordia University baseball team muscled up for a 17-0 game 2 victory to complete a doubleheader sweep of visiting Mount Marty on Sunday afternoon. It marked the first time in program history that the Bulldogs have recorded shutouts in both ends of a GPAC twin bill.
Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad has now won five-straight conference games while improving to 20-17 overall and 6-2 in GPAC play. Concordia sits tied atop the league standings with 12 GPAC games remaining.
While offensive outbursts have been a theme throughout much of this season, pitching ruled Sunday’s opening contest. After having faced the minimum through five innings, Ben Kruse exited the game after walking the first batter in the sixth. Ace reliever Josue Melchor then retired the next six hitters, though out No. 1 of the seventh did not come easy. Third baseman Casey Berg made a diving snare to his right and then fired to first in plenty of time.
Two batters later the Bulldogs celebrated a no-hitter when Bo Howard struck out swinging.
“It was very neat to see,” Dupic said. “We made some great plays defensively. Ben and Josue both threw the ball really well. They were really aggressive. It’s something that I’m sure they’ll remember for a long time.”
Kruse has earned his way into the varsity rotation after beginning the season on the junior varsity. Of the 16 batters he faced, three reached base – all via walks. He struck out three while inducing seven ground outs and three fly outs. Melchor then picked up his third save with a sharp two innings. During which he punched out two Lancer hitters.
Mount Marty, which entered play with a .294 team batting average, mustered just two hits the entire day, both from Howard in the second game. Lefty Taylor Bickel (4-2) and relievers Jared Schipper, John Mellen and Todd Oberthien collaborated on a seven-inning, two-hit shutout to close a 4-0 weekend within the conference. Bickel covered the first four innings and struck out three without issuing a free pass.
First baseman Kaleb Geiger again made noise, literally, with his powerful bat. His grand slam in the fifth inning of game 2 pelted the new scoreboard in right center and pushed Concordia to 290 runs on the year, breaking the program’s single-season runs record set in 2015. Geiger also doubled and drove in five runs total. Nine different Bulldogs had at least one hit in the second game. Geiger was one of three with two knocks, joining Johnny May (2-for-3, three runs, RBI) and Christian Montero (2-for-3, two runs).
Catcher Drew Woods got into the act by belting his first career homer, a two-run shot to right in the bottom of the sixth of game 2. The Bulldogs also got four runs in the second and seven in the third. The second-inning splurge got started with a Montero double and Taylor Dudley RBI single. The next three runs all came home on RBI bunts. In the third, Berg cracked a run-scoring triple and Christian Meza laced a bases-clearing double.
Having won its four weekend games by a combined score of 47-6, Concordia’s confidence has skyrocketed.
“I think the guys are feeling pretty good,” Dupic said. “They’ve been having a lot of fun lately. It’s been great to see. They’re out their having a great time. When guys make comments about how much fun they’re having around each other that’s when you know it’s starting to become something good. Hopefully we’ll keep it rolling into next week.”
Only two Concordia pitchers have been documented as having thrown complete game no-hitters. The last to do so was Keith Doehrmann versus West Florida in 1979. Jim Juergensen held Northwest Iowa hitless in 1962.
The Bulldogs will dip back outside of the conference on Wednesday with a trip to Grace University (0-16) for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Conference play resumes with four games next weekend in western Iowa.
With a booming drive that peppered the right center field scoreboard for a grand slam, Kaleb Geiger elevated the Concordia offensive attack to a level never seen before in program history. For the second-straight year, the Bulldog bats have broken the school single-season standard for most runs scored. In seven fewer games, Concordia has pulverized seven more home runs than it hit in all of 2015.
While some teams such as nationally-ranked Sterling College have successfully held the Bulldogs in check, the offensive highs have been something to behold. Twelve times this season second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad has cracked double digits in runs.
“I personally think we have power up and down the lineup,” Geiger said. “I think there are a lot of guys who can hit for power, even Johnny May. When you have an eight-hole hitter hitting bombs it can be scary. With (cleanup hitter) Christian Montero and even Alex Alstott our leadoff, there’s power everywhere. That makes us hard to pitch to when we’re on.”
It was fitting that Geiger’s blast in Sunday’s blowout of Mount Marty pushed Concordia past the school standard. Behind Geiger, the team’s most improved hitter, the Bulldogs are averaging nearly eight runs per game while getting on base at a better than .400 clip. Over the weekend, they pushed their GPAC win streak to five by white-washing Dordt and Mount Marty by a combined total of 47-6.
Concordia has come alive with a deep lineup bolstered by the power of Geiger and Montero, the on-base skills of Alstott, the steadiness of the likes of Casey Berg, Ryan Fesmire Christian Meza and Logan Ryan and the seemingly out-of-nowhere spectacular play of sparkplug center fielder Johnny May. On Sunday Dupic trotted out a lineup complete with six Iowa natives and a transfer from Iowa Central Community College while finding a formula that works.
May, the team’s version of Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, admits that he may not even be playing baseball right now if not for Dupic’s relentless pursuit. Despite a solid high school career for powerhouse Johnston High School (Iowa), May flew under the radar. That remained the case for the early part of the season until May stated his case for increased playing time in dramatic fashion. He drilled a walk-off home run in a win over Briar Cliff on April 3. Plus he runs like Nebraska wind gusts and seemingly does all of the little things well.
“I came here as a freshman honestly just hoping to travel with the team,” May said. “There are a lot of upperclassmen that have been in the program and have spots pretty much locked up. I just came in looking for a travel spot. Getting to play is a big step. It’s definitely rewarding.”
In the middle of the lineup, Geiger has teamed with Montero (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) for a physically imposing three-four. They’ve combined for 11 home runs. Geiger is slugging .694 while Montero sports a .598 clip. Together, they have helped stake the Bulldogs to early leads. Says Montero, who is well behind the struggles of his freshman year at Iowa Central, “We’ve been putting good at bats together and getting on base. We put pressure on pitchers early in the game. Even if it doesn’t work out early in the game we know that we’re going to eventually be able to produce some runs, but I think the key has been putting pressure on other teams’ pitchers early in the game.”
Geiger has skyrocketed his power numbers by becoming more powerful in the weight room. He’s up 25 pounds and the contact lenses he got over the summer have sharpened his eyes at the plate. The Sedalia, Colo., native who received much more recruiting interest as a wrestler is leading the conference in on-base percentage (.520) and spearheading the most prolific offense Concordia has ever seen.
It’s still early, but the team picked ninth in the GPAC preseason poll currently owns a share of the conference lead. The Bulldogs hope the opening weekend of conference play can be looked back upon as a turning point with the walk-off wins serving as signature moments for a program on its way up. The May cannon shot to left that ignited a water cooler shower on the third base line may have only been a beginning.
“I definitely think it gave us a lot more confidence,” May said. “There was talk about how good other teams in our conference were going to be and stuff like that, but we saw how good we can be if we put all aspects of the game together – pitching, defense and hitting. We saw that if we put them all together we can be a lethal team.”
Those weapons were on full display last weekend. The runs scored record was simply evidence of a burgeoning offensive team. Says Geiger, “When our offense is on and everyone stays within themselves, we’re really dangerous.”
ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The Concordia baseball team split with Northwestern College on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs won the second game of the day, 12-6 after being defeated 15-1 in the first half of the double-header.
The Bulldogs are now 21-18 overall and 7-3 in the GPAC. Northwestern moves to 19-19 and 8-4 in the league.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “They jumped out on us really good the first game…Northwestern did a nice job of being ready to play today. Their pitchers also did a good job of keeping us off balance. I’m very proud of the way our guys battled the second game. We had some very key at bats in big situations.”
The 12-6 victory in the second game of the day was aided by four Bulldog home runs, including a grand slam from Kaleb Geiger. Geiger came to the plate with bases loaded and swung at the first pitch offered to him. The ball went sailing over the left field fence. Alex Alstott had two long shots in the tilt, a two-run homer in the third and a solo shot in the sixth. Christian Meza followed Alstott in the sixth with another homerun, his first of his career.
“Alstott hit a big two-run home run. We got a couple doubles from Jacob Adams and Drew Woods and then that big grand slam from Geiger really gave us the momentum that we needed. We did a good job offensively. We got good swings off and got into some good counts and really took advantage of that,” Dupic said.
Starting on the mound was Cole Jackson who pitched five innings. Josh Prater finished the final four innings and struck out three Red Raiders, allowing no runs.
Dupic said, “I was pretty proud of the pitchers in that game also. Cole Jackson did a nice job and Josh Prater really did a nice job not letting up any runs in the last four innings.”
The first contest of the double-header went in favor of the Red Raiders, 15-1. The lone Bulldog run came in the sixth inning. Taylor Dudley led off the inning with a double down the right field line. He then advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch. The ‘Dogs recorded four hits over the tilt.
Starting pitcher, Mark Harris faced eight batters before turning over the pitching duties to John Mellen. Mellen threw for 2.2 innings and struck out two batters. Casey Hall closed out the game, pitching the final three innings.
The Concordia baseball team will be facing Morningside College (31-10, 7-3 GPAC) on Sunday for a double-header. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. from Sioux City, Iowa.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Following a challenging weekend road trip, the Concordia University baseball team remains in the cluster gathered at the top of the GPAC standings. In Sunday’s battle between two of the GPAC’s most potent offenses, the Bulldogs won the first game, 8-4, prior to suffering a 12-2 setback in game 2 as part of the doubleheader at Morningside.
With eight conference games remaining, second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad sits in a five-way tie for first (with Morningside, among others) in the muddled GPAC title race. Concordia is now 22-19 overall and 8-4 in conference play in the aftermath of a 2-2 weekend road trip that included a split at Northwestern on Saturday.
“I was really proud of the way our guys played that first game,” Dupic said. “Morningside’s a very good team, one of the more talented teams we’ve faced this year. Offensively we had some terrific at bats. It’s great when you get that kind of production up and down the lineup. It’s not just two or three guys. It was a big day for Jake Adams.
“You’d always like to win both, but you can’t complain too much about getting splits on the road against two really solid baseball teams.”
The first team in program history to rattle off more than 300 runs in a single season, the Bulldogs piled up 15 hits in the game 1 victory at Lewis & Clark Park. Adams, a junior left fielder from Mason City, Iowa, drilled his first career homer as a Bulldog and went 3-for-3 with three runs driven in. Piggybacking off his fourth inning home run, Adams came through with a two-run single in the seventh that pushed the cushion to four runs.
Adams was one of five Bulldogs with two or more hits in the opener. He was joined by Kaleb Geiger (3-for-4), Casey Berg (2-for-3), Christian Montero (2-for-3) and Christian Meza (2-for-4). During the three-run third, Geiger tripled in a run and Montero and Berg both plated runs with singles.
Dupic made liberal use of the bullpen on Sunday. Playing in his hometown, freshman right-handed reliever Tanner Wauhob got three big outs in the fourth inning of game 1 after starter Ben Kruse allowed the first three hitters of the frame to reach base. Wauhob stranded inherited runners at second and third by inducing a pop out and then two-straight strikeouts. He also worked a scoreless fifth inning before giving way to closer Josue Melchor, who picked up a two-inning save.
The Bulldogs carried that momentum into game 2 when right fielder Alex Alstott led off the contest with his fifth home run of the season and third of the weekend. Concordia added a second run in the first on Berg’s RBI single. But Morningside (32-11, 8-4 GPAC) countered with two runs in the second, three in the fourth and seven in the fifth to blow it open and win by the 10-run rule. Mustang center fielder Jacob Lamoreux pounded out five hits in the twin bill.
Five different Bulldogs took the mound during the second game. Taylor Bickel went the first 3.2 innings while allowing four runs (all earned) on eight hits. He was tagged with the loss. Neil Ryan worked a scoreless sixth inning as the fourth hurler out of the bullpen.
High-scoring affairs have been the norm in the wacky GPAC this season. All 11 teams are averaging more than 5.5 runs per game. Entering the day, Concordia ranked third in that category with an average of 7.8 runs per game. Morningside scores more than eight runs per game. League lineups have gotten tougher, says Dupic.
On Tuesday the Bulldogs will get another shot at No. 18 York College (34-11). First pitch of the single nine-inning game is slated for 5:30 p.m. from Levitt Stadium in York. The Panthers, who defeated Concordia, 13-1 on April 5, sit atop the strong Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. GPAC play will resume next weekend with doubleheaders versus Midland (April 23) and at Doane (April 24). The Bulldogs also have Hastings (April 28) and Nebraska Wesleyan (April 29) remaining on the conference slate as they chase the program’s first-ever GPAC title.
YORK, Neb. – The Concordia baseball team faced 14th-ranked York College for a non-conference tilt Tuesday evening. The Panthers took a 13-5 victory from the Bulldogs thanks to a fiery third eight-run inning. Christian Montero and Johnny May each hit a homerun in the game.
After facing York for a second time this season, Concordia moves to 22-20 overall. York improves to 35-11.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “We didn’t come out ready to play today. It was disappointing. We had an off-day yesterday and we just didn’t take advantage of that. On top of that, they (York) are a great team. We didn’t execute some things defensively early in the ballgame and it’s hard to catch up to a team like that.”
The Panthers started the first three innings off scoring 11 of their runs. The third inning saw the most action with eight tallies. Concordia had just scored one run at that point in the game off a home run from May. In the fourth frame, Jacob Adams singled to the short stop and was advanced around to third. Adams then scored on a wild pitch.
Concordia held York to just two more runs the rest of the game and tried to fight back. Christian Montero crushed a home run over the left field fence in the eighth inning to set the final score. Although Concordia outscored the Panthers in the final five innings, it wasn’t enough to come back for a victory.
Six different Bulldog pitchers took the mound during the game with Tanner Wauhob starting. The freshman pitched 2.1 innings, the longest of any Concordia hurler over the course of the contest. Todd Oberthien struck out two batters and allowed just one hit. Nic Seaman pitched a three up, three down eighth inning before Joseu Melchor finished off the game, facing four Panthers.
The Bulldogs will return to the diamond this Saturday to take on Midland University, another squad that is fighting for the GPAC title. The conference double-header will begin at 1 p.m. at Plum Creek Park in Seward. Eight seniors will be honored during the twin bill.
SEWARD, Neb. – Jake Adams and Kaleb Geiger connected on a home run apiece to give the Concordia University baseball team a 3-0 lead in game 1 of Saturday’s afternoon doubleheader at Plum Creek Park. The day unraveled from there and visiting Midland walked away with a sweep in a matchup of two teams in the thick of a crowded race for the GPAC regular-season title. The Warriors won by scores of 9-3 and 16-4.
The pair of defeats has made the margin of error razor thin in Concordia’s bid for its first conference championship since 1986. At 22-22 overall and 8-6 in conference play, second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad now sits two games in the loss column behind Midland and Briar Cliff atop the league standings.
In back of ace right-handed senior Mark Harris, the Bulldogs led for the bulk of game 1. Harris held a potent Midland lineup scoreless over the first three frames before surrendering an unearned run in the fourth. Harris fired 5.2 innings while allowing seven hits and two walks. He was lifted with the game tied, 3-3, with two outs in the sixth.
Dupic then turned to closer Josue Melchor who induced a groundout with runners on first and third to end the threat. Trouble came the following inning when Melchor gave up RBI singles to Cole Gray and Zach Belanger and then the game’s big blow – a grand slam by Colby Taylor.
Midland (31-15-1, 10-4 GPAC) picked up where it left off by piling up 13 hits and by drawing eight walks in the capper. Deven Ralston blasted two home runs and Gray crushed one of his own in the game 2 rout. The Warriors tagged starter Cole Jackson for seven runs (all earned) on four hits and four walks. In the fifth inning, a dropped pop up allowed three unearned runs to come around for Midland.
Right fielder Alex Alstott went 3-for-3 with a triple and a walk in game 1. Taylor Dudley supplied the only Concordia runs of game 2 with a grand slam in the top of the seventh. Geiger’s home run leading off the bottom of the third of game 1 was his seventh of the season, tying him with Christian Montero for the team lead. Concordia has now hit 32 home runs in 2016 – four shy of the team single-season record held by the 2000 Bulldogs.
Dupic used four different relievers on Saturday. Of them, Todd Oberthien was the only one that went unscored upon.
Saturday was senior day for Concordia. The Bulldogs honored a group of eight seniors between games of the doubleheader. The senior class included Alstott, a first team all-conference selection in 2015.
The Bulldogs turn around for two more on Sunday at GPAC rival Doane (20-18, 5-9 GPAC). On Saturday the Tigers swept a doubleheader from another rival, Nebraska Wesleyan, winning by scores of 19-13 and 10-9.
CRETE, Neb. – After a rough first three-game start to the weekend, the Concordia University baseball team got just what it needed from sophomore right-handed hurler Neil Ryan. The native of Grand Junction, Colo., mesmerized opposing batsmen in leading a 5-0 shutout in game 2 of a doubleheader at Doane on Sunday afternoon. The victory eased the pain of a 13-0 loss to the host Tigers in game 1.
Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad entered the weekend tied atop the league standings with four other teams. Now 23-23 overall and 9-7 in GPAC play, the Bulldogs sit in fourth place. The victory was Concordia’s first over Doane since April 14, 2009.
“(A win) would be real big just to get us back rolling,” Dupic said as the team sat through a lightning delay late in game 2 (the game was called in the top of the eighth). “There are so many games in such a short time. There’s not a lot of time to practice. It’s quick turnarounds. From a confidence perspective it would be a good deal.”
Exiled to the bullpen after early-season struggles, Ryan made his first start in more than a month. He dominated the first six innings of the contest while commanding his fastball and breaking stuff. He struck out five and allowed just two hits. It was a major breakthrough for Ryan, who had been charged with 24 earned runs over 29.2 innings prior to Sunday.
“He’s really stuck with it,” Dupic said of Ryan. “Sometimes you have to step back a bit and look at the big picture. We did that with Neil a couple weeks ago. We allowed him to recharge a little bit mentally. He’s had a couple really good bullpen sessions and had a nice quick one inning in a game recently. You can see the confidence coming back. He mixed all of his pitches today.”
Ryan’s first real trouble came in the bottom of the seventh when he walked the first two hitters of the frame. Dupic then called on lefty Josh Prater, who got the Bulldogs out of trouble by inducing a fly out, pop out and ground out to leave the bases loaded.
In the win, Concordia simply leaned upon Ryan’s right arm and then waited for Doane (21-19, 6-10 GPAC) to kick the ball around. The Tigers obliged with five errors in game 2. The Bulldog lead bulged from 3-0 to 5-0 in the fourth when Kaleb Geiger’s 3-2, two-out dribbler to first baseman Aaron Whitehouse was misplayed, allowing both Alex Alstott and pinch runner Johnny May to score. The fourth inning also included a bases-loaded walk drawn by Casey Berg. Somehow Concordia managed to tally three runs without a hit.
The Bulldogs put up only four hits in game 2 – two coming from designated hitter Christian Montero, who drove home Alstott with an RBI single in the top of the first. Montero was also part of an odd double steal in the third. On the play, Montero was credited with a steal of second and Berg raced in from third in a swipe of home with two outs.
Game 1 featured a nightmarish third inning during which Doane sent 14 batters to the plate, collected eight hits and tallied 10 runs. The Tigers feasted upon Concordia pitching as six different hitters notched multiple hits. Four of them drove in exactly two runs. Dupic quickly hooked starter Ben Kruse, who was charged for three runs (all earned) on four hits in two-thirds of an inning. On the other side, Tyler McKee spun a four-hit, seven-inning shutout.
The game 2 victory snapped a 15-game series losing streak against rival Doane. A perennial GPAC contender, the Tigers are fighting for their postseason lives. They are currently in ninth place. Eight teams advance to the GPAC tournament (May 5-7).
The Bulldogs will step outside the conference for the final time during the 2016 regular season when they visit Grace University (0-20) on Monday. Concordia swept a doubleheader from the Royals by scores of 11-0 and 21-4 when the two teams met back on March 20.
OMAHA, Neb. – The Concordia baseball team trounced Grace University 17-0 in seven innings Monday night. The Bulldogs' pitching staff struck out six batters, facing one over the minimum. As a team, Concordia recorded 15 hits and committed zero errors.
The Bulldogs improve to 24-23 on the season while Grace falls to 0-21.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “Overall, I’m really happy with how we defended and pitched tonight. We only let up one walk and had no errors. It was a lot cleaner, which was really good to see. Offensively, we scored in every inning but one and a lot of guys got multiple hits.”
The Bulldog bullpen had an impressive showing, striking out six batters and walking just one while being one batter over the minimum of 21 for a seven inning tilt. Taylor Bickel got the start and win and is now 5-3 this season. Bickel struck out three batters in five innings, facing 16 batters. Nic Seaman and Cade Moring each pitched one inning and each faced just three batters.
The third frame was the only inning Concordia did not plate a run. Taylor Dudley and Kaleb Geiger both scored in the first inning to start off the game. The Bulldog pitching staff and defense held the Royals through the first four innings, allowing just three batters to the plate in each frame.
Concordia unleashed the bats in the seventh inning, marking up nine runs on seven hits. The Royals faced 14 Bulldog batters in the inning. Drew Woods led off with a single before Cameron Yee came in to pinch run. Yee scored off an RBI single from Casey Berg. After four more runs had been scored, Johnny May ripped a double left field to bring in Tyler Nelson and Taylor Bigandt. May and Alex Cargin then went on to score on a Royal error.
With just two GPAC double-headers left in the season, Concordia’s season is winding down. The Bulldogs will travel to Hastings College this Thursday. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m.
HASTINGS, Neb. – A relief performance for the ages paved the way for the Concordia University baseball team to win a 12-inning marathon in game 1 of Thursday’s late night doubleheader at Hastings. The Bulldogs then relinquished a 6-0 lead and dropped an 8-7 decision in the night cap. It was the sixth time this season that Concordia has split a GPAC doubleheader.
While Thursday felt like something of a letdown after giving back the lead in game 2, second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad still managed to clinch a spot in the GPAC tournament (May 5-7, 10). The Bulldogs (25-24, 10-8 GPAC), one win off a single-season program record, will make their first postseason appearance since 2012.
“We’re disappointed (we didn’t get the sweep),” Dupic said. “We’re very inconsistent. We came out strong in the second game. We thought we had it in the bag. We let down and they came back. We gave them a lot of free stuff – walks, hit batsmen, errors, all that kind of stuff. It’s the same story with pitching and defense. If we do well with that we’re pretty good.”
Lefty reliever Josh Prater emerged as the star of the night for Concordia. He entered game 1 with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth. He maintained a tie ballgame by striking out the next two hitters. The native of Colorado Springs never let go of the ball from there. He hurled the last 7.2 innings of the 12-frame affair and did not surrender a single run.
Prater struck out nine Broncos while giving up just one hit and two walks. He closed out the victory in the 12th after center fielder Alex Alstott dumped the game-winning RBI single into left in the top half of the inning.
“He did a great job. He threw the ball really well in relief,” Dupic said. “He came into a tough situation in the first inning he pitched. He got two big outs and he just rolled. He got himself comfortable out there and did a really nice job. He kept setting them down and we were able to get the big hit late.”
The Bulldogs looked primed to run away with a sweep after piling up five tallies in the first inning of game 2. Alstott, 3-for-4 with three runs in the capper, got things going with a leadoff double. RBI hits followed from Kaleb Geiger (double), Christian Montero (triple) and Taylor Dudley (single). Drew Woods drove in another via a misplayed grounder and Logan Ryan tacked on one more with a sac fly. Geiger’s RBI fly out in the second made it a 6-0 advantage.
After chipping away at the deficit, Hastings (16-32, 8-10 GPAC) took the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a four-run frame aided by two Concordia errors. Nick Williams pushed across the go-ahead run with an RBI single off Nic Seaman. The Bulldogs then threatened by putting two on with two outs in the bottom half, but Jay Kiel struck out pinch hitter Christian Meza to end the game.
Concordia fell in game 2 despite outhitting Hastings, 14-4. Second baseman Alex Cargin enjoyed a 5-for-8 day while Alstott went 4-for-9 out of the leadoff spot. Dupic used Mark Harris and Cole Jackson as starting pitchers on Thursday. They combined to eat up 9.1 innings while allowing six runs (three earned).
The Bulldogs are scheduled to turn around quickly and host Nebraska Wesleyan (11-25, 2-14 GPAC) at 1 p.m. on Friday. The final doubleheader of the GPAC regular season was originally scheduled to start at 5 p.m. but was moved up due to the possibility of evening rain showers.
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia baseball team tied the program record for most wins in a season after defeating Nebraska Wesleyan University, 4-3 Friday afternoon. The 26th victory of the year came in the first game of the double header. The Prairie Wolves took the second game, 7-5.
Concordia wraps up the regular season 26-25 overall and 11-9 in the GPAC. The conference record is the first winning record for the Bulldogs since 2015. Nebraska Wesleyan moves to 12-26 overall and 3-15 in the league.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “It was a tough day offensively. It was cold and the wind was blowing in for both teams so it was hard to get big innings and runs. When we gave the other team runs with walks or errors then that obviously helped them a little bit. I don’t think we were really at our best today, we weren’t as clean as I would’ve liked to been. We were in contention the second game but we just let a few things get away from us.”
Game one of the twin bill saw a balanced offensive attack from the middle of the Bulldogs’ line up. Seven different batters registered one hit apiece and all four runs came from four different Bulldogs. IN the first inning, Concordia scored three-fourths of its runs. Casey Berg and Kaleb Geiger singled back-to-back, followed by a double from Christian Montero. The two bagger to left-center scored Berg. Christian Meza drove in Geiger with a single. Taylor Dudley was up next with an RBI single, plating Meza.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth, the score was knotted up at three apiece. Logan Ryan batted in Dudley to clinch the win.
Neil Ryan got the start for the first game and pitched through 3.1 innings and struck out three batters. Nic Seaman grabbed his second win of the season after throwing 3.2 frames.
On tying the school record for wins in a season, Dupic said, “It’s been a whirlwind, I can’t believe we’ve that many games. It’s certainly a good testament to the team and shows that we’re heading in the right direction. I’m excited about that. Hopefully we’re able to tack on a little bit more.”
The Prairie Wolves led the entire second game. Heading into the ninth, Wesleyan held a 7-3 lead. Alstott doubled to deep left field to bring Johnny May home to cut the lead to three. With one out, Alstott on second and Berg to the plate, the Bulldogs had a chance to fight back. Although Geiger drove in Alstott to decrease the Prairie Wolves lead, it wasn’t enough to gain the win.
Concordia’s pitching crew struck out 10 total batters in the second game. Taylor Bickel got the start and is now 5-4 on the season. Tanner Wauhob sat down a team-high four batters and walked no one through 4.2 innings. Cade Moring struck out three of five batters faced before Josue Melchor closed out the game.
The GPAC Tournament is up next on Concordia’s schedule. The tourney will take place May 5-7, 10. Finalized game locations and times will be announced after all conference regular season games are completed.
“It’s a celebration and a reward for the season they’ve had and an opportunity to have fun and continue to play the game. I’m looking forward to it, we’re just going to go have as much fun as we can, play hard and see what happens,” said Dupic.
FREMONT, Neb. – The opening round of the GPAC tournament broke new ground for the Concordia baseball team. Concordia defeated Northwestern College 12-0 in its first GPAC tournament appearance since 2012. It marked the most wins in a single season and gave the Bulldogs their first post-season victory in over 10 years.
The Bulldogs, now 27-26 overall, have won their third game in GPAC post-season history. Northwestern drops to 22-26 on the year.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “It was one of those days, our guys played very well. We got a few balls to fall in, they hit a couple balls hard at us. I’m just very proud of the guys, they came out ready to play and they did a great job executing the plan. It was a good win for us to start off.”
Starting pitcher Josh Prater extended his streak of scoreless innings to 20.2 frames. Prater let up just three hits through eight full innings while striking out three Red Raiders. Ben Kruse pitched the final inning by facing just three batters, striking out one.
“He (Prater) was fantastic,” Dupic said of Prater. “We just let him roll out there for a while, he was going so good. He’s gotten into a groove here lately…I’m just really happy for him, he’s a great kid and works really hard and did a really good job for us today.”
The offensive run began early in the game after the ‘Dogs scored three runs to lead off the tilt. Casey Berg and Kaleb Geiger singled to get aboard. Christian Montero then drew a walk. Taylor Dudley ripped a two-run single for the first runs of the game.
In the sixth frame, Concordia also scored three runs. The Bulldogs were one batter shy of batting through the order. Alex Alstott led off with a double and later scored off another double from Montero. Alex Cargin recorded a two-RBI single in the inning to score Dudley and Montero. After a four run ninth inning, Concordia sealed the 12-0 victory.
As a team, Concordia recorded two doubles and one home run off 14 hits and drew nine walks. Casey Berg had one of the leading marks in hits and runs at three apiece. Berg also drove in one run.
Berg said, “I was just trying to have good at bats for the team. I just saw the ball well today. It’s a great accomplishment for the program (getting 27 wins), it’s a step in the right direction. I hope it keeps going every year, I think we can continue to break the record every year.”
Concordia will face the winner of the game between first seeded Midland and eighth seeded Dakota Wesleyan on Friday at Noon. The game will be played at Moller Field in Fremont. Below is a full schedule of the GPAC tournament.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Game #1 – (5) Concordia 12, (4) Northwestern 0
Game #2 – (1) Midland (37-16-1, 15-5) vs. (8) Dakota Wesleyan (25-25, 9-11) – 6 pm
Friday, May 6, 2016
Game #3 – Winner Game #1 vs. Winner Game #2 – Noon
Game #4 – Loser Game #1 vs. Loser Game #2 – 3pm
Game #5 – Winner Game #4 vs. Loser Game #3 – 6pm
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Game #6 – Winner Game #3 vs. Winner Game #5 – Noon
Game #7 – If necessary (Game #6 winner/loser) – 3pm
Briar Cliff Bracket
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Game #1 – (3) Morningside 17, (6) Mount Marty 10
Game #2 – (7) Hastings 10, (2) Briar Cliff 9
Friday, May 6, 2016
Game #3 – Winner Game #1 vs. Winner Game #2 – 9am
Game #4 – Loser Game #1 vs. Loser Game #2 – Noon
Game #5 – Winner Game #4 vs. Loser Game #3 – 3pm
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Game #6 – Winner Game #3 vs. Winner Game #5 – Noon
Game #7 – If necessary (Game #6 winner/loser) – 3pm
GPAC Baseball Championship Game – Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Game #8 – Midland Bracket Winner vs. Briar Cliff Bracket Winner (at highest seed)
3pm (no lights) or 6pm (lights)
FREMONT, Neb. – The yard couldn’t hold Mason City, Iowa, native Jake Adams on Friday. His second blast of the day, a towering grand slam to left center, provided the game-winning tallies as the Concordia University baseball team moved one step closer to reaching the GPAC championship for the first time ever. The Bulldogs’ second conference tournament win in as many days came by a 6-4 final in a thrilling victory over GPAC regular-season champion and top-seeded Midland on the Warriors’ home turf.
The victory marked the first time that the Concordia baseball program has ever won more than once at a single GPAC tournament. Second-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad, bound for the championship of the Midland Bracket, improved to 28-25 overall while bumping up its school record win count.
“We made a lot of big pitches in big situations,” Dupic said. “We weren’t necessarily perfect. We walked some guys and made mistakes at times, but guys stepped up and made big pitches – every single one of them. Mark Harris was huge for almost five innings. Tanner Wauhob came in and made some huge pitches for us. It was one right after the other.”
The Bulldogs led for the majority of the day, but relinquished a 2-0 advantage and fell behind, 4-2, in the top of the eighth when Brandon Metoyer whistled a two-run shot to left off of reliever Cole Jackson. All it did was make for a more dramatic finish.
With two outs and no one on in the bottom of the eighth, Concordia loaded the bags via a single sandwiched between a pair of walks. Up to the plate stepped Adams, who had already drilled a solo homer in the third inning. The transfer from North Iowa Area Community College drove an offering from Lawrence Reese over the wall for a grand slam that sent the Bulldog dugout into a frenzy.
It was the best day yet for Adams, who doubled his season home run total and then went on to praise his teammates for the at bats they put together to set the stage for his big fly.
“First of all, the at bats in front of me were huge,” Adams said. “We had two outs and nobody on there and had guys get on base in front of me. That put the pitcher in an uncomfortable situation. I got in a plus count and I had a pretty good feeling of what pitch was coming. I put my best swing on it.”
Adams drove in five of the team’s six runs to aid a group of five pitchers used by Dupic on Friday. Mark Harris did not allow a single run through 4.2 innings while battling command issues (six walks). He gave way to Tanner Wauhob with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. Wauhob proceeded to get a crucial groundout to end the threat. Jackson wound up with the win that was sealed by Josue Melchor, who worked a mostly drama-free ninth for his fifth save.
Concordia continues to break new ground as it puts itself in the driver’s seat in the Midland Bracket. In addition to setting new records for single-season wins overall and at the GPAC tournament, the 2016 Bulldogs have busted program standards for runs scored and pitcher strikeouts in a season. They also need just one more home run to equal a program record.
Good vibes are pulsating throughout a team that has now defeated every member of the conference at least once this season.
“It’s incredible. It’s something we’ve talked about since the fall. We feel like we can do this,” Adams said. “You can see it starting to happen. Obviously we’re not there yet. We have some steps to go, but we’re excited right now.
Concordia has allowed just four runs through 18 innings of GPAC tournament action. The Warriors (38-16) came into the day ranked 14th nationally in runs per game (8.2).
Play will continue from Moller Field in Fremont on Saturday. Concordia, now 2-0 in the postseason, needs one more win to advance to the GPAC finals (May 10). First pitch on Saturday is slated for 12 p.m. in what will be an elimination game for either Midland or Northwestern. Whichever team advances must win twice on Saturday to eliminate the Bulldogs. The if-necessary game would take place at 3 p.m.
FREMONT, Neb. – Concordia’s season came to a close Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs dropped two games to Midland University in the championship of Midland’s bracket of the GPAC tournament. The first game was decided by a 7-4 score while the second, going into 11 innings, ended 6-5.
Concordia ends the season 28-27 overall. Midland, seeded first in the league tourney improves to 41-17-1.
Head coach Ryan Dupic said, “I’m very proud of the team. It’s always tough when it finishes like that. I’m very happy for the guys to be able to compete in an environment like that. I’m very proud of them on how they competed and stayed with things. They executed a lot of things that we wanted to, not only in terms of baseball but being good competitors and high character kids.”
The Bulldogs led off the first game with a massive three-run home run from Christian Montero in the first inning. Midland chipped away at Concordia’s lead score one run in the third before Alex Alstott answered back in the next half inning. After three frames, the Bulldogs led 4-1. The Warriors took the lead in the fourth and kept it throughout the rest of the tilt.
Neil Ryan started on the mound and pitched 3.2 innings and struck out two batters. Nic Seaman took over, throwing for 3.1 frames before Todd Oberthien finished out the game. Oberthein struck out two batters and let up just one hit through two innings.
The second game of the day took two extra innings to decide the winner. Heading into the top of the sixth, Concordia trailed 5-2. Alstott knocked a homer over the right center field fence. Kaleb Geiger hit a single to left to bring Christian Montero to the plate. Montero hit a towering homerun to tie the game up at five all. This score remained through the following solid defensive innings.
Concordia left two runners on in the top of the 10th and 11th frames and could not plate a run. The bottom part of the last inning saw the Warriors victory after bases were loaded with one out. Midland’s Corey Gray scored the winning run.
The 11 inning affair began with Taylor Bickel on the mound who pitched 4.1 innings. Tanner Wauhob pitched for the second time in the tournament and had a solid 3.1 inning outing. The freshman struck out two batters while allowing two hits and no runs. Oberthien made an appearance for the second time in the day, and again sat down two Warriors. Josue Melchor finished out the game for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs broke another program record during the two-game day. With Alstott’s solo shot in the second game, the record for home runs in a single season was broken. Montero’s bomb set the season record at 38 home runs.
SEWARD, Neb. – A total of six members of head coach Ryan Dupic’s fourth-place Concordia University baseball team garnered all-conference recognition from the GPAC on Wednesday. Middle-of-the-order sluggers Kaleb Geiger and Christian Montero received the highest honors with both representing the Bulldogs on the conference’s first team. In addition, Alex Alstott, Casey Berg, Mark Harris and Josh Prater each were named honorable mention selections. Meanwhile, junior Jake Adams received placement on the GPAC’s Gold Glove team as the left fielder.
Geiger, a sophomore from Sedalia, Colo., moved from third base as a freshman to third base in 2016 and enjoyed one of the best seasons at the plate by a Bulldog in program history. He led Concordia in batting average (.347), runs scored (48), doubles (16), RBIs (50), slugging percentage (.605) and on-base percentage (.448). His 48 runs scored equaled a team single-season record. In addition, he came up just a single RBI shy of the program standard.
Right behind Geiger in the order, Montero feasted out of the cleanup spot with a team high nine home runs on the year. The junior from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, hit .326 with, 15 doubles, 50 RBIs (tied with Geiger from most on the team), a .415 on-base percentage and .584 slugging percentage. He racked up a team best 104 total bases. On the season’s final day at Midland, Montero drilled a three-run homer and then a two-run blast.
Adams handled 88 chances with just one error while playing 52 games in the outfield this season. The native of Mason City, Iowa, also hit four home runs and batted .275 with four home runs. He delivered the game-winning grand slam in the GPAC tournament win over Midland on May 6.
Alstott, a 2015 first team all-conference choice, finished his senior season strong. Despite a slow start, the native of Fort Dodge, Iowa, still posted a .931 OPS on the year. He batted .261 with 13 doubles, a team high 29 walks, seven home runs and 20 RBIs. His 44 runs were second most on the team.
Berg, a junior from Manning, Iowa, provided steady play at third base. Over 48 games in 2016, he batted .316 with three doubles, four triples, 20 RBIs and a .427 on-base percentage. He also was successful on 10 of 12 stolen base attempts.
After beginning the year in the bullpen, Harris assumed the role of staff ace while logging a team high 57.2 innings. He concluded his senior year with a 4-4 record and 3.43 ERA over 12 appearances. The Tucson, Ariz., native allowed 59 hits and 30 walks while striking out a Concordia best 50 hitters in leading the way for a program record 295 strikeouts as a staff.
Prater starred down the stretch as both a starter and reliever. He ended his junior season with a streak of 20.2-straight scoreless innings. The lefty went 3-0 with a team low 2.87 ERA over 37.2 innings. He earned wins in each of his final two appearances. In both instances, Prater fired more than seven frames without giving up a run. This is the first career all-conference honor for the Colorado Springs native.
The 2016 Bulldog squad broke numerous single-season records, setting new standards for wins (28), GPAC tournament wins (two), runs scored (395), home runs (38) and pitcher strikeouts (295). By way of a fourth-place tie in the regular season, Concordia also recorded its highest-ever finish in the GPAC standings.