Gust picks up 200th win of college coaching career

Steve Gust from DWU.

Steve Gust

TUCSON, Ariz. – Dakota Wesleyan University baseball coach Steve Gust picked up the 200th win of his college coaching career Monday afternoon when the Tigers split a nonconference doubleheader with Benedictine University-Springfield in Tucson, Ariz.

DWU lost the first game 8-6, but bounced back with a 12-7 win to give Gust – who is in his fifth year at Dakota Wesleyan – the milestone win. He is 108-114 at DWU and recorded a 92-74 record in four seasons at Northland College.

In the first game of the day, DWU grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first thanks to an RBI groundout by Tim Cusick and RBI singles from Michael Lukkason and Nick Tadlock. The Tigers added another run in the second and two in the third on an RBI single from Erik Nockleby, who scored on an error by the catcher. But the Bulldogs, who were down 4-3 after two innings, tied the game 6-6 in the third and scored two unanswered runs in the fourth to pull out the win.

Kirk McBreen and Lukkason each had two hits and Cusick had a triple. Kyle Larson threw the first two innings and gave up six runs on six hits. Dustin Steckler took the loss after giving up two runs on three hits and Mickey Grant threw three scoreless innings in relief.

In the second game of the day Monday, the Tigers got rolling early. They scored three in the first on a three-run homer by Cusick, and added six runs in the second on a two-run double by Cusick, a two-run triple from Nockleby and a two-run homer by Tadlock. The Bulldogs got within three, 10-7, in the top of the sixth, but DWU added two more runs in the bottom of the inning to hold on for the win.

McBreen was 2-for-3, Cusick had two hits and five RBIs and Nockleby and Tadlock each had two RBIs. Nate Everett threw the first 4.2 innings and earned the win on the mound. He gave up five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. Alex Meyer threw a third of an inning, and Nick Pecha earned the save, throwing two shutout innings in relief.

DWU (5-7) started its spring break trip with a sweep of Northern State Sunday afternoon. The Tigers won 15-3 and 10-5. Cody Silveria hit a grand slam in the 15-3 win, and Cusick had four hits and five RBIs. Cole Wenande and McBreen also had three hits. Chris Housley gave up three runs and struck out four in five innings to earn the win. Toby Kaplan went 3-for-3 with five RBIs – including two doubles – in the 10-5 win. Matt Mundfrom earned the win in the second game. He struck out five batters.

The Tigers play Illinois Tech in one nine-inning game Tuesday at 1 p.m. CDT at the Kino Complex in Tucson.