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Day one filled with upsets at GPAC tourney

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Day one filled with upsets at GPAC tourney
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

The first day of the Great Plains Athletic Conference baseball tournament was filled with upsets as three lower seeds came out on top in the first round and No. 1 seed Doane College was eliminated with two losses.

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Doane came into the tournament 20-0 in GPAC play this season, but fell to No. 8 Briar Cliff 3-1 in its first game, before losing 8-7 after a furious late-inning rally fell short to No. 4 Morningside in its second.

The first round also saw No. 7 Mount Marty College pound out 14 hits in a 17-5 win over No. 2 Northwestern College, while No. 5 Dakota Wesleyan University topped Morningside College 8-1 behind a no hitter from pitcher Wes Snyder.

"We hope to do that each time," Mount Marty's Ryan Buck, a Mitchell native, said. "We were just lucky it happened today."

Buck came in as a pinch runner in the Lancer's win over the Red Raiders, scoring a run.

Briar Cliff (16-33) pulled the biggest upset of the day, taking down a Doane (42-9) team that proved to be the conference's best throughout the season.

"We have competed pretty good against some good teams all year and played Doane tough earlier this season," Briar Cliff coach Boyd Pitkin said. "We know what we can do and we did that against Doane."

The Chargers made the GPAC tournament, which continues today at Cadwell Park in Mitchell, by a single game, finishing 7-13 during the conference's regular season. Matt Boswell led the Chargers with three hits and three RBIs in the win over Doane.

With Doane eliminated, the winner of the GPAC tournament will earn an automatic bid into the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round. Doane has already locked up a trip to the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round with the regular season crown.

Doane and No. 6 Hastings College were both done after the first day, while DWU and No. 3 Midland each won two games and meet at 9 a.m. today at Cadwell Park.

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