Magic Number Down to 1 For Tigers
The Tiger baseball team took a split with Nebraska Wesleyan University on Thursday afternoon and by day's end, realized they missed out on an opportunity to claim the GPAC title outright. With Northwestern and Hastings also splitting on the day, Doane clinches a tie for the conference crown and needs one win over Hastings on Saturday to claim the title outright and earn a berth to the NAIA National Tournament.
Game One (W 3-0)
Strong pitching and defense lifted the Tigers to a victory in game one. The ending was one of the more exciting finishes on the season for Doane.
The Tigers scored a run in the top of the first to take an early lead. Anthony Hincy led off the game with a single, stole second and moved to third on an errant throw. Mike Albert brought in Hincy with a sacrifice fly.
In the fourth, the Tigers added two runs to their lead. Austin Tharp led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Thomas Albert. On the play, the NWU pitcher tried to get Tharp at third and threw it away, allowing Tharp to score and Albert to move to second. Hincy sacrificed Albert over to third and he scored on a single by Ethan Schroeder.
In the mean time, Tiger starter Nick Dawson cruised through the first four innings. In the fifth, NWU used a single and a pair of walks to load the bases with one out. Dawson picked up a strike out and a fly out to get out of the inning.
The seventh inning started with Dawson hitting a batter. Mitch VandenBerge came in walked a batter and hit a batter with a pitch to load the bases without an out recorded. VandenBerge settled in and struck out a batter and induced a game ending 5-2-3 double play.
Dawson went 6-plus innings, allowing three hits, four walks and striking out seven. He improved to 6-3 on the season. Mitch VandenBerge collected the save, his eighth, throwing one inning and striking out one.
At the plate, Schroeder finished with two hits and a RBI. Jason West also had two hits as the Tigers finished with nine in the game.
Game Two (L 5-8)
Nebraska Wesleyan jumped out to a 7-0 lead and held off a late Doane rally to upset the Tigers.
The Prairie Wolves jumped on Tiger starter Britton Scheele early on, plating five runs on six hits in 3.2 innings. They added two runs off of reliever Tim Carlson.
Doane picked up a run in the sixth. Mike Albert led off the inning with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike Korsakas.
The Tigers added four runs in the seventh but were unable to make the complete comeback. Mike Albert doubled to plate Hincy & Schroeder. AJ Spanel added the next run on a wild pitch. Albert scored the final Tiger run on a single by Anthony Dunn.
Doane finished with seven hits, two from Mike Albert. He added two runs and two RBIs for Doane.