MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team wrapped up its home season Thursday afternoon with a Great Plains Athletic Conference sweep of Dordt College. The Tigers won the first game 7-1 and picked up a 5-1 win in the second.
Up next for DWU is one last regular-season doubleheader. The Tigers travel to Yankton, S.D., for a 4 p.m. GPA doubleheader with Mount Marty College Saturday, April 28. The GPAC tournament runs May 3-5 in Lincoln, Neb. DWU is currently 22-29 overall and 10-8 and tied for fourth in the league.
Thursday, Dordt scored in the first inning on an RBI single to go up 1-0, but the Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning, and that would end up being all they needed. Michael Lukkason had an RBI sac fly and Jon Holsworth hit an RBI single to make it 2-1, but DWU didn’t stop there. It scored twice in the third when Maximum Shower scored on an error and a double by Kirk McBreen, who later stole home to score.
DWU went up 5-1 in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Shower, and added two more runs in the fifth on RBI sac flies by Chris Ciatti and Lukkason.
Dakota Wesleyan had nine hits to Dordt’s six in the first game. Shower went 3-for-3 with an RBI and was the only Tiger with multiple hits. Lukkason had two RBIs. Nick Pecha threw all seven innings and picked up the complete-game win. He gave up one earned run on six hits with six strikeouts. All six of the Defenders’ hits came in the first four innings, with two coming in the first and three in the third.
In the second game, the Tigers took control right away as they almost batted around in the first inning. Shower and McBreen walked to start the inning, and Erik Nockleby hit a two-run triple. He later scored on an RBI single by Stephen Gunnell, and Ciatti added an RBI sac fly to make it 4-0 after one inning.
DWU added one run in the fifth on an RBI sac fly by Gunnell, and Dordt scored its only run of the game in the sixth on a bases-loaded single. The Defenders stranded three runners that inning.
Four players had one hit for DWU in the second game, and Nockleby and Gunnell each had two RBIs. Chris Housley threw the first five innings to earn the win. He gave up no runs on two hits and struck out four batters. Josh Wagner and Ethan Opsahl each threw an inning and relief and both struck out one batter.
Thursday was also the final home game for four seniors on the DWU roster: Ciatti, Opsahl, Josh Holsworth and Zac Turbes.