Doane Wins Two in Battle for First
In a battle of the top two teams in the GPAC entering Saturday morning, Doane came away with a sweep of Sioux Falls in baseball action in Crete. Doane took the first game in a battle of the No. 1 pitchers, 8-0. In game two, Doane scored a run in the seventh and one in the ninth to rally for a 2-1 victory in extra innings.
The Tigers stand 8-0 in the GPAC while Sioux Falls drops to 5-3. Doane will host Dakota Wesleyan tomorrow afternoon in Crete.
Game One (W 8-0)
In a pitcher's dual through the early innings, Doane eventually pulled away for an 8-0 victory. Chance Brull led the Tigers by throwing a one-hitter as a mere three batters reached base. Brull added a pick-off of a runner in the third inning when the game was still scoreless.
Doane posted the first run of the game in the bottom of the third. Anthony Hincy picked up a one-out single. He came around to score on a two-out triple by AJ Spanel as the Cougar right fielder made a diving attempt for a catch but the ball went by him and rolled to the outfield wall.
In the fifth, Doane loaded the bases with one out following two walks and a single. Spanel drove in a run with an infield single that brought Ethan Schroeder in for a run. Mike Albert added a two-run single to drive in Hincy and Austin Tharp.
In the Cougar sixth, Cody Minich drove a ball towards left field and appeared to have a hit. Hincy made a diving stab to make what appeared to be an outstanding catch. However, when he held up his glove to show the ball, it fell out. Minich had stopped between home and first, thinking Hincy had made the grab also. The Tiger shortstop recovered and made the throw to first to get Minich in a momentum changing moment.
Doane opened up their lead with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Schroeder was hit by a pitch and Dylan Flott singled. The duo pulled off a double steal to put runners at second and third. Hincy was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Tharp followed with a double down the left line to plate two runs. Following a force out at the plate and an error by the Cougars, Doane had the bases loaded for Mike Korsakas with two outs. Korsakas delivered a single to right field to drive in Tharp and Spanel for the final Tiger runs of the game.
Brull shut down USF in the seventh for the complete game victory as he improved to 5-0 on the season. Noah Coleman took the loss, dropping to 4-2 on the year, as he allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings of work.
The Tigers totaled 10 hits in game one. Spanel was 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. Hincy and Korsakas added two hits each while Tharp and Korsakas had two RBIs each.
Game Two (W 2-1, 9 inn.)
The second game ended as a pitcher's dual from start to finish. Neither start figured into the decisions but both threw well enough to win.
Brady Nolz for Sioux Falls and the Tigers' Britton Scheele battled through five scoreless innings. Defense came up big, especially for the Tigers on the infield. Hincy and Jason West made spectacular plays throughout the game while Spanel and Schroeder took in some hard in one-hoppers for outs. Thomas Albert added a nice diving catch in left field.
In the sixth, Sioux Falls opened the inning with an infield single by Cody Burgener. He stole second and moved to third on a balk with one out. Scheele was able to strikeout Coleman for the second out and following a walk, he faced Zach Ireland. Ireland laid down a push bunt towards Scheele. The ball stayed low and made it under Scheele's glove and resulted in an infield single that brought Burgener in for the go-ahead run. Sioux Falls still had runners at the corners and attempted a double steal but Hincy relayed a throw back to Dunn who blocked the plate to catch Kevin Santos at the plate for the final out of the inning.
Doane threatened in the sixth but left two runners on base.
Myles Arehart came in for the Tigers in the seventh and induced a ground out to open the frame. A single and a walk followed and the Tigers called on their closer, Mitch VandenBerge to shut the door. He was able to get a groundout but both runners moved up on the play. Following an intentional walk, VandenBerge struck out the clean-up hitter, Jimmy Maxwell to end the inning.
West led off the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle. Schroeder followed with a bunt that resulted in an infield single. Thomas Albert was called on to bunt and laid a perfect one down the third base line for another single and on the play, Nolz threw late to third and the ball sailed into left field to bring West in for the score and tie.
Nolz issued an intentional walk to Hincy to load the bases for Tharp with no outs. Nolz picked up a strikeout of Tharp and was pulled in favor of Sioux Falls closer, Brandon Compton. Compton came in and struck out Spanel and got a fly out of Mike Albert to escape the inning.
Neither team threatened in the eighth and VandenBerge kept the ball on the infield in the top of the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Schroeder was hit by a pitch to open the inning. Following a strikeout, Hincy singled to move Schroeder up a bag. Tharp followed with a strikeout and Spanel picked up an infield single as he beat out a throw to first base. With the bases loaded and two outs, Mike Albert came to the plate with another chance to win the game with two down. This time, Albert came through with a single to the left center gap to bring Schroeder in.
VandenBerge picked up the win, throwing 2.2 innings of no-hit ball. Scheele went six innings and allowed five hits and three walks while striking out four. Nolz went 6.1 innings for USF, giving up eight hits and three walks. Compton went 2.1 innings and allowed one run on two hits and walk while striking out five.
At the plate, Mike Albert went 3-for-5 with the game-winning RBI. Spanel added a two-hit game as well. Defensively, West had 14 putouts at first base while Hincy had five defensive assists.