Dakota Wesleyan baseball drops two home gamesThe Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team struggled to get anything going as the wind howled at Drake Field Saturday.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
The Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team struggled to get anything going as the wind howled at Drake Field Saturday.
The Tigers dropped both games of their Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheader against Morningside College. The Mustangs took game one 17-2 and ended the day with a 9-0 win.
“It just wasn’t our day,” Wesleyan coach Steve Gust said. “In baseball, you’re going to have those types of days. You just can’t have too many of them.”
Morningside jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first inning of the opening game and never looked back, leading 15-0 through five innings en route to the 17-2 victory.
“We were just outmatched,” Gust said. “Morningside is one of the best teams in the league and we just didn’t match what they brought.”
Nick Pecha took the loss for the Tigers, throwing three innings and giving up 10 runs on 12 hits.
Game two saw more struggles for the Tigers’ pitching staff as the team lost 9-0.
Joey Fitzgerald was the pitcher of record, throwing three innings and giving up seven runs on seven hits.
The wind blew in from right field, which normally might help a pitcher to hold an offense down, but Gust said the weather may have helped Morningside’s attack.
“With the wind the way it was their team speed really killed us,” he said. “They didn’t drive the ball well, but they put the bat on the ball and made things happen.”
Morningside recorded 21 hits in game one and 11 more in the second game, while the Tigers managed only seven hits all day. Shortstop Michael Lukkason was the only player for DWU with multiple hits, recording one in each game.
One bright spot for the Tigers was catcher Chris Ciatti, who held Morningside’s leadoff hitter, Travis Hanson, without a stolen base.
Hanson led the nation in stolen bases last season and was thrown out by Ciatti twice Saturday.
“That’s certainly something we can build upon,” Gust said. “There are some good players out there and if we can neutralize them it’s certainly going to help us.”
With the losses, the Tigers fell to 14-26 overall and 3-5 in the GPAC. They look to bounce back Friday as they travel to Orange City, Iowa, to take on Northwestern in a GPAC doubleheader.
“We’re hoping to get on track,” Gust said. “Hopefully we can win some here and see where we’re at. We haven’t lost faith. Hopefully, this is a learning experience that can help us in the long run.”