SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team started a busy two-week stretch with a nonconference loss to Augustana College Wednesday night in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Tigers (10-11) were within a single run of Augie – an NCAA Division II school – after the top of the fifth inning, but DWU gave up eight runs in the bottom of the inning to give the Vikings a sizeable lead they would never give up. Augustana added three runs for insurance in the sixth.
Dakota Wesleyan scored first in the top of the first inning on an RBI groundout double play by Michael Lukkason. Augie answered with a single run in the bottom of the inning, and added one run in the second and three in the third on four hits, including a solo home run.
Tim Cusick and Erik Nockleby both hit solo home runs in the fourth to make it a 5-3 game, and the Tigers got within one in the fifth when Cole Wenande reached on an error and came around to score on an RBI single by Lukkason. DWU gave up a single before recording the first two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but, with two outs, Augie recorded four hits and scored eight runs to go up 13-4. The Vikings added three runs in the sixth to go up 13-4.
Lukkason hit a three-run homer in the seventh to make it 16-7, but it wasn’t enough. Augustana added a single run in the eighth for the final score.
Lukkason went 2-for-5 with five RBIs to lead DWU, which had nine total hits. Nockleby and Sam Schumacher each had two hits and Kirk McBreen had a double. Nine different players saw time on the mound for Dakota Wesleyan. Luke Bamberg took the loss after giving up a single run in the second and giving the Vikings the lead for good.
DWU opens its home and Great Plains Athletic Conference season Thursday, March 28, when it hosts Briar Cliff University at 2 p.m. at Drake Field. The Tigers are at home again Friday, March 29, for a nonconference doubleheader against Presentation College at noon. DWU is on the road Saturday for a GPAC doubleheader against Morningside College, and the Tigers are back at home Monday, April 1, for a 4 p.m. doubleheader against Valley City State.