Tiger baseball drops three in Kansas

Tim Cusick from DWU.

Tim Cusick

Nick Tadlock from DWU.

Nick Tadlock

Michael Lukkason from DWU.

Michael Lukkason

WICHITA, Kan. – The Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team played three games on a Kansas road trip this past weekend, and came up just short in two of the games. The Tigers, who are now 0-4 so far in 2013, lost twice to Mount Mercy University and once to Kansas Wesleyan University.

Saturday afternoon, Dakota Wesleyan lost 6-5 to Mount Mercy, and Sunday afternoon the Tigers lost a shootout 17-16 to Mount Mercy. Later Sunday, DWU lost 8-0 to KWU.

Saturday, the Tigers were tied with Mount Mercy after three, but the Mustangs scored three in the bottom of the fourth to grab a 4-1 lead. Mount Mercy extended its lead to 6-2 in the seventh, but the Tigers used a three-run eighth to get within one. Nick Tadlock tripled to start the inning and scored on a double by Tim Cusick, and Cody Silveria sent in two more runs with a home run. Michael Lukkason singled and then advanced to third on a stolen base and wild pitch, but the Mustangs recorded the final two outs to end the inning and the threat.

Lukkason went 3-for-4 and Kirk McBreen had two hits for the Tigers, who had 10 total hits. Nick Pecha threw the first 3.2 innings and took the loss. He gave up four runs on four hits and struck out one batter. Kevin Hatcher and Lucas Schultz combined to throw the final two innings. They gave up two runs on two hits and had one strikeout.

Saturday, the Tigers used a six-run third to grab a 6-0 lead on the Mustangs. Cole Wenande had an RBI single and Tadlock hit a three-run double to highlight the inning. The Mustangs answered with an 11-run fourth inning, but DWU tied the score with a five-run fourth. Erik Nockleby had a homer and Cusick hit a grand slam to tie the game. The Mustangs added four more runs in the fifth, but DWU tied the game with two runs in the fifth and sixth. Cusick had an RBI triple and Lukkason an RBI single in the fifth and Nockleby and Toby Kaplan had back-to-back home runs in the sixth.

Mount Mercy took a 17-15 lead in the top of the seventh, and the Tigers got within a run on a homer by Cusick, but couldn’t get the final run to tie the game.

Cusick went 4-for-5 with six RBIs to lead the Tigers. McBreen and Lukkason both went 3-for-4 and Tadlock had three RBIs. Kyle Larson threw the first three innings and gave up five runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Mickey Grant and Chris Housley threw the next 1.1 innings and gave up 1 runs on six hits, and Lucas Shultz threw the final 2.2 innings and was tagged with the loss. He gave up two runs on three hits with one strikeout.

In its final game of the weekend, Dakota Wesleyan recorded just five hits and gave up eight runs to the Coyotes. Kansas Wesleyan scored the eventual game-winner in the first, but added five runs in the second and two more in the fourth for good measure. Cusick and Tadlock each had two hits for DWU. Nate Everett threw the first 3.1 innings and took the loss. He gave up eight runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. Zac Custer threw 1.2 innings and struck out three batters and Alex Meyer struck out two in one inning of work.

The Tigers are back on the road Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23, when they play Dickinson State in a pair of doubleheaders at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. DWU plays Dickinson at 11:30 a.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. Saturday.