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DWU baseball splits doubleheader with Midland

Dakota Wesleyan University catcher Ben Ladner picks up a ground ball before tagging out a Midland University runner in the first game of Great Plains Athletic Conference doubleheader Sunday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. (Nick McCutcheon/Republic)

Tyler Johnson hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth for Dakota Wesleyan University, handing Midland University its first loss in Great Plains Athletic Conference play this season.

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The Tigers (16-12, 2-4 GPAC) topped the Warriors (28-11, 7-1 GPAC) 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday at Cadwell Park. Midland rebounded to beat DWU 10-4 in the second game to earn a split.

“We performed well in that first game,” DWU coach Steve Gust said. “We battled and battled. We had a chance to win it there at the end and did.”

Tiger pitcher Kyle Larson went seven innings, allowing three runs — one earned — on six hits and struck out two. Gust said Larson’s performance was the best he has seen from his left-handed pitcher.

“It was just a great performance by him (Larson),” Gust said. “He was changing speeds well and getting ahead of hitters all game.”

Catcher Ben Ladner went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Johnson and Neil Nagle each added two hits. Dylan Oberembt added two RBIs in the Tigers second conference win this season. Pitcher Darin Hager picked up the victory for DWU, pitching a clean eighth inning and striking out one batter.

In the second game, the Tigers committed four errors and fell behind early. Gust was forced to use a quartet of pitchers after the team’s scheduled starter was unable to pitch due to an illness.

Patrick Whethem got the start for DWU, but was unable to make it out of the second inning. He allowed four runs on five hits. All of the runs were unearned.

Down 4-0, the Tigers got three back in the second inning. However, Midland stretched its lead to 9-3 in the fifth and went on to win 10-4.

Rightfielder Jared Neilan led the Tigers, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Sam Schumacher, Oberembt and Cole Wenande each added a hit and one RBI.

Midland’s Dylan Steyer paced the Warrior offense with three hits and three RBIs in the win.

The Tigers play a doubleheader against Northwestern College at 2 p.m. today in Orange City, Iowa.