DWU baseball loses four one-run games

Chris Housley from DWU.

Chris Housley

Tim Cusick from DWU.

Tim Cusick

Michael Lukkason from DWU.

Michael Lukkason

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – After having a week off and not being able to practice outside due to cold, snowy conditions, the Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team played a pair of Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheaders Monday and Tuesday, and lost all four games by a single run.

Monday afternoon, the Tigers lost 4-3 and 3-2 to Midland University in Fremont, Neb., and Tuesday the Tigers traveled to Orange City, Iowa, where they lost two games 6-5 to Northwestern College. Dakota Wesleyan is now 19-18 overall and in a three-way tie for fourth in the GPAC with Morningside and Mount Marty. All three teams have 6-6 league records.

Monday in Fremont, Midland took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run double, but the Tigers made it a one-run game in the second when Erik Nockleby scored on a sac fly by Tyler Waddle. Midland went up 3-1 in the third when a run scored on an error, but DWU made it a one-run game again in the fifth when Nick Tadlock hit into an RBI fielder’s choice. The Tigers had runners on second and third, but couldn’t advance either to tie the game.

The Warriors (22-18, 5-7) scored a final run in the sixth inning on a sac fly to go up 4-2, and Dakota Wesleyan scored once in the seventh on an RBI double by Tadlock, but failed to score any more. Cole Wenande and Cody Silveria each had two hits for DWU, which had six hits, and Tadlock had two RBIs. Matt Mundfrom threw the first 5.2 innings and gave up four runs on five hits with six strikeouts. Zac Custer threw the final out.

In the second game of the day, the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Tim Cusick, and extended their lead to 2-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Waddle, but the Warriors made it a one-run game in the sixth. Midland tied the game in the seventh on an RBI single and picked up the win on a walk off single.

Silveria had two hits for DWU, which had five total hits. Chris Housley threw the first 6.1 innings and gave up just three hits. He struck out eight batters. Nick Pecha took the loss after giving up two hits in the final inning.

Tuesday, Dakota Wesleyan was the home team despite playing in Orange City as the game was originally scheduled to be played in Mitchell. Northwestern went up 2-0 thanks to two hits and a DWU error in the first inning, but the Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles by Michael Lukkason and Tim Cusick. The Red Raiders added two runs in both the second and third innings, but the Tigers made it a one-run game in the fourth with three runs. Two runs scored when Wenande reached on an error, and Cusick had an RBI single. DWU stranded two runners in the sixth, but failed to score again.

Cusick had two hits and two RBIs to pace the Tigers, who had eight total hits. Wenande and Silveria both doubled. Kyle Larson threw all seven innings and took the loss. He gave up six runs – three earned – on six hits and struck out five batters.

In the nightcap, the game was scoreless until the Red Raiders (21-14, 11-1) scored two runs on two hits in the fourth inning. Northwestern added two more runs in the sixth on pair of RBI singles, and DWU got on the board in the bottom of the inning when Lukkason doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

Northwestern scored twice more in the seventh on an error by the Tigers, and DWU made a comeback with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough. The Red Raiders struck out two batters to start the inning, but Sam Schumacher and Lukkason singled and Cusick reached on an error to score a run. Tadlock and Nockleby each had an RBI single, and Silveria reached on an error to score a fourth run. The Tigers had runners on second and third, but the Red Raiders got one final strikeout to end the game.

Lukkason, Tadlock and Nockleby each had two hits for DWU, which had 10 total hits. Lukkason and Tadlock both doubled. Kevin Hatcher threw the first 5.1 innings and took the loss after giving up four runs on five hits with three strikeouts. Nick Pecha threw 1.1 innings and gave up two runs on three hits with one strikeout. Shaun Dean threw the final third of an inning.

Dakota Wesleyan was scheduled to host Dakota State Thursday, April 18, but that game is canceled due to the wintery weather forecasted in the area. The Tigers are back on the road Saturday, April 20, when they take on Doane College in Crete, Neb., and Sunday, April 21, when they play Hastings College in Hastings, Neb.