YANKTON, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team ended its regulars season with a split against Mount Marty College Saturday afternoon in Yankton, S.D. The Lancers won the first game 14-0, but the Tigers bounced back to win the second game 13-3.
DWU ends the regular season with a 23-30 overall record and an 11-9 mark in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. The Tigers are tied for fourth with Northwestern College, which swept the Tigers in the regular season. Pairings for the GPAC tournament – which runs May 3-5 in Lincoln, Neb. – come out Monday afternoon.
Saturday afternoon, Dakota Wesleyan got a slow start offensively. The Tigers managed just two hits and gave up 14 runs in the first game. Mount Marty scored twice in the first and fourth innings, but scored five runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to put the game well out of reach.
The Lancers had 12 hits, including a double, a three-run triple and a two-run home run. Erik Nockleby and Michael Lukkason had the Tigers’ only two hits. Joey Fitzgerald threw the first 4.1 innings for DWU and took the loss after giving up seven runs on seven hits. Schyler Bryan, Mickey Grant, Zac Custer and Tyler Johnson each threw a part of an inning to end the game and combined to give up seven runs and five hits.
DWU came out hot in the second game, and scored five runs off five hits in the first inning. Maximum Shower, Kirk McBreen and Nockleby singled to start the inning, and Nick Tadlock was walked to send in a run. Lukkason cleared the bases with a three-run triple, and Jon Holsworth sent Lukkason home with an RBI single. DWU added four more runs with a five-hit third inning. Jared Batman and Toby Kaplan both had RBI singles and Holsworth had a two-run double that inning.
The Tigers added two runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Tadlock and an RBI sac fly by Lukkason and two more in the seventh on a two-run double by Zac Turbes. The Lancers scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning.
Dakota Wesleyan had 16 hits to Mount Marty’s four. Nockleby went 3-for-3 and Shower and Holsworth each had two hits. Turbes and Tadlock both had two RBIs and Holsworth sent in three runs. Senior pitcher Ethan Opsahl threw the first 5.2 innings and earned the win – his ninth of the season. He is currently one win away from tying the school’s single-season wins record of 10. He gave up three runs on three hits and struck out six batters. Mickey Grant gave up one hit in one-third of an inning and Josh Wagner struck out two batters in the final inning of the game.