MITCHELL, S.D. – It was a tale of two games for the Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team Wednesday afternoon when the Tigers split a pair of nonconference games with Mayville State University.
The DWU offense came alive for 17 hits and 15 runs in a 15-7 win in the first game, but the Tigers’ bats fell silent in a 19-3 loss in the nightcap. The Tigers are now 16-13 overall.
In the first game, Mayville – which is receiving votes in the NAIA – scored on run in the first inning, but Tim Cusick hit a grand slam over the right field fence to put DWU up for good. The Tigers added runs on an RBI double by Cody Silveria and RBI singles by Toby Kaplan and Kirk McBreen to go up 7-1 after one inning. The Tigers made it 9-1 in the second after RBI singles by Nick Tadlock and Silveria, and DWU led 10-3 after three after an RBI single by Cusick in the third.
Mayville scored two runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but Dakota Wesleyan used a four-run fourth to stay well ahead of the Comets. Tadlock tripled to start the fourth and scored on a two-run homer by Silveria. Kaplan singled and came around to score on a throw when Mayville attempted to catch Tony Pakutka stealing, and Pakutka scored on a throwing error by the pitcher. DWU added a final run in the sixth on an RBI sac fly by Alex Hinz.
Cusick went 3-for-4 with five RBIs for the Tigers and Silveria went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. McBreen, Tadlock and Kaplan all had two hits. Kyle Larson threw the first inning for the Tigers and gave up one run on two hits with two strikeouts. Lucas Schultz earned the win after giving up four runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of work. Josh Wagner, Shaun Dean and Zac Custer combined to throw the final 3.2 innings.
The second game was all Mayville State. The Comets scored twice in the first inning, four times in the second and seven in the third inning. DWU got on the board in the third on an RBI groundout by McBreen. The Tigers added runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Erik Nockleby and one more run in the sixth on an RBI single by Michael Lukkason.
DWU had seven hits in the second game. Lukkason had two hits and one RBI. Kevin Hatcher threw the first inning and took the loss after giving up two runs on one hit. Luke Bamberg threw 1.2 innings, Mickey Grant threw 1.1 innings and Dustin Steckler, Logan Risse and Nick Pecha each threw an inning in relief.
Dakota Wesleyan is back at home Saturday, April 6, when they host Nebraska Wesleyan in a Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheader at 1 p.m. at Cadwell Park.