DWU baseball splits with NWU, sweeps Concordia

Tim Cusick from DWU.

Tim Cusick

Michael Lukkason from DWU.

Michael Lukkason

Kyle Larson from DWU.

Kyle Larson

Kevin Hatcher from DWU.

Kevin Hatcher

MITCHELL, S.D. – The Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team went 3-for-4 over the weekend, picking up a split with Nebraska Wesleyan University Saturday afternoon and sweeping Concordia University Sunday in a pair of Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheaders at Cadwell Park.

The Tigers (19-14, 6-2 GPAC) started the weekend Saturday with a split against Nebraska Wesleyan. DWU won the first game 13-9, but came up short in a 4-2 loss in the second game. The Prairie Wolves (10-10, 5-3) struck first with one run in the first inning, but the Tigers added two in the bottom of the inning when Michael Lukkason scored on the throw after a single by Nick Tadlock and then on an RBI single by Erik Nockleby. DWU went up 7-1 after a five-run second inning. Toby Kaplan walked and scored on an error by the second baseman, Tim Cusick hit a three-run homer and Tadlock scored when Cody Silveria reached on an error.

Nebraska Wesleyan made it a two-run game in the third, 7-5, but the Tigers added three more runs in the bottom of the inning to extend their lead to 10-5. Lukkason had a two-run single and Tadlock had an RBI single. NWU scored twice more in the fourth and once in both the sixth and seventh innings, but the Tigers added three insurance runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Kirk McBreen, Cusick and Tadlock.

Cusick went 3-for-4 with four RBIs for DWU, which had 14 hits. Tadlock added three hits and two RBIs and McBreen, Lukkason and Nockleby each had two hits. Matt Mundfrom threw the first 2.1 innings and earned the win. He gave up five runs on six hits with one strikeout. Nick Pecha threw the final 4.2 innings and struck out six batters.

Dakota Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning of the second game on an RBI single by Toby Kaplan, but the Prairie Wolves scored four runs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. Nebraska Wesleyan had three hits and used one DWU error in the inning. The Tigers added one more run in the fifth on an RBI double by Lukkason, but only had six hits and failed to score again. Chris Housley threw the first 5.1 innings and gave up four runs – all unearned – and was tagged with the loss. He struck out three batters. Josh Wagner struck out two batters and gave up just one hit in the final 1.2 innings.

The Tigers bounced back with a pair of wins against Concordia Sunday. DWU went up 2-0 after an RBI fielder’s choice by Cusick and an RBI single from Tadlock. Concordia scored once in the second, but DWU took a 7-1 lead in the fourth thanks to five runs off four hits and a Bulldog error. Cole Wenande had an RBI single and Lukkason hit a two-run double. The Tigers scored once more in the fifth on an RBI sac fly by Lukkason, and Concordia ended the scoring with one run in the sixth.

Lukkason had two hits and three RBIs for DWU, which had nine hits. Tadlock and Silveria each had two hits. Kyle Larson threw all seven innings to earn the win. He gave up two runs on eight hits with two strikeouts.

The Tigers took an 8-0 lead after two innings in the nightcap against the Bulldogs, and survived a late-inning rally by Concordia to win 9-5. Two runs scored in the first on a Bulldog error, Cusick sent in a run on a bases-loaded hit by pitch and Tadlock had an RBI sac fly. IN the second, Lukkason had an RBI single and scored on a balk and Silveria hit a two-run double. The Bulldogs scored three times in the fifth and twice in the sixth, but Cusick hit a solo homer in the sixth to help seal the win for Dakota Wesleyan.

Cusick went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to pace the Tigers, who had 12 total hits. McBreen, Wenande, Lukkason and Silveria all added two hits. Kevin Hatcher threw the first five innings and picked up the win on the mound. He gave up three runs on four hits and struck out six batters. Shaun Dean and Zac Custer each threw one inning in relief.

The Tigers were scheduled to host Jamestown College in a nonconference doubleheader Tuesday, April 9, but that game has been canceled due to a winter weather advisory around the area. DWU is back in action Friday, April 12, when it hosts Northwestern College – which currently leads the GPAC – at 3 and 5 p.m. at Cadwell Park.