- Tigers storm into GPAC title game May 2, 2015
CRETE, Neb. – The Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team has made itself feel right at home in Crete, Neb. this season. After sweeping Doane College in the regular season, the Tigers won their third straight game in the Great Plains Athletic Conference tournament to win the Doane bracket and move into the GPAC title game.
DWU (23-24) continued to play the role of hottest team in the GPAC, with a 12-4 win over Hastings College in the championship round of the Doane bracket on Saturday. The win moves the Tigers into the GPAC championship game against either Northwestern College or Midland University. DWU would travel to Northwestern or host Midland.
For the second straight outing, junior Dustin Steckler (Garretson, S.D.) was strong on the mound for DWU. He tossed seven innings, allowing four runs, three earned on four hits, while striking out four.
Sophomore Tyler Waddle (Huron, S.D.) got the DWU offense rolling with a three-run home run in the first inning. Hastings got on the board with a run in the fourth to make it a 3-1 game.
The Tigers broke the game open in the sixth with five runs. Sophomore Chris Combs (Corvallis, Mont.), senior Ben Ladner (Delray Beach, Fla.), senior Tyler Johnson (Elizabeth, Colo.), sophomore Jared Neilan (Pierre, S.D.) and Waddle each picked up an RBI in the inning.
A triple from Ladner drove in two in the seventh for DWU. Ladner came home later in the inning on a triple from Neilan to push the Tiger lead to 11-1. Hastings scored three in the eighth, but did not get closer as DWU beat its third different team in three days to finish play at the Doane bracket a perfect 3-0.
The Tigers finished with 18 hits, compared to five from the Broncos. Ladner finished with four hits, while Neilan and Combs each added three.