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Tigers Stay Atop GPAC

The Doane baseball team took on Morningside College on Tuesday afternoon in Crete with first place in the GPAC at stake. Game one went to the Mustangs, 4-3 in 11 innings while the Tigers took game two, 4-1. The split leaves Doane two games ahead of Morningside and Hastings in the conference standings.

Game One (L 3-4, 11 inn.)
Both teams scored a run in the first inning. Bill Meacham had a two-out double for the Mustangs while AJ Spanel had a one-out single to plate Ethan Schroeder for the Tigers.

Morningside took the lead in the second with a run. A two-out double by Tanner O'Neill gave M-side a 2-1 lead against Doane starter Jake Bartek.

Both teams struggled through the next few innings before the Mustangs threatened again in the sixth. Morningside opened the inning with runners at first and third with no outs. Bartek picked up a strikeout for the first out of the inning. The second out came on a grounded to third with Schroeder throwing home to Anthony Dunn. A groundout to Schroeder ended the inning and the Mustang threat.

Doane was unable to get anything going against Chris Stutzriem as he went six innings and allowed one run on three hits and a walk. Morningside went to their closer, Jeff Gacke, in the seventh.

Mike Korsakas opened the inning with a hit by pitch and was run for by Tyler Lohr. Following a sacrifice bunt by Dunn, Jason West singled to right field and Lohr came around third to try and tie the game. The throw in was on-line and Lohr was out at the plate for the second out of the inning as West moved to second on the throw in.

Austin Tharp came through to pick up the Tigers as he singled to left field and West scored to tie the game. Thomas Albert groundout to O'Neill at second base as he made a nice play to prevent the ball from going into the outfield and possibly plating the winning run.

Doane looked to threaten in the eighth following a one-out single by Schroeder. However, a double play turned by the Mustang middle infield ended the rally.

Morningside started the 10th inning with a fly out followed by a walk. A stolen base and an error ensued to put a runner at third with one out recorded. Spanel came up with a barehanded throw home to get a force out at the plate on a slow roller. Following a pitching change, Dunn threw out a runner trying to steal to end the inning.

In the 11th, Morningside opened with two walks and a hit by pitch to load the bases. Steven Aschinger delivered a two-run single to Morningside ahead, 4-2. Frankie Patino came into the game to replace Mitch VandenBerge and gave up a walk to reload the bases. The Tiger defense stepped up once again as Schroeder took a hard grounder, stepped on third and fired home for a double play. Patino struck out the final hitter of the inning.

Doane opened their half of the 11th with a single by Anthony Hincy. A fielder's choice put Schroeder on at first with Hincy out on the play. Spanel followed with a single and Mike Albert had an infield single to load the bases. Adam Sotelo delivered a pinch hit sacrifice fly to pull Doane within a run but a groundout ended the Tiger inning.

The Tigers recorded nine hits in the game, two apiece from Schroeder and Spanel. Meacham led Morningside with two of their six hits.

Jeff Gacke picked up the win for Morningside to improve to 6-2 on the year while Mitch VandenBerge took the loss and fell to 2-2 on the season.

Game Two (W 4-1)
Doane plated all four runs in the first inning and held on for the win.

Hincy opened the bottom of the first with a triple off the left field wall. He scored on a single by Schroeder. Following a groundout, Mike Albert and Mike Korsakas drew walks to load the bases. Schroeder scored on a wild pitch for the second Tiger run. Dunn walked to reload the bases and Jason West came up with a single to plate Albert. Korsakas scored the final run on the second wild pitch in the inning.

Morningside pitching faced the minimum of three hits in the remaining five innings they pitched.

Key to the Tigers' success was starting pitcher Tim Carlson. Carlson went five innings and allowed two hits while working around four walks. Morningside's lone run came in the sixth as Carlson gave up a lead-off single. He then threw a wild throw to first on a pick-off attempt that allowed the runner to move to third base.

Doane turned to Chance Brull to come in on two days rest. Brull picked up a soft liner back to mound for the first out and then proceeded to walk a batter. Morningside sent the runner but Dunn caught Tyler Candor trying to steal. On the play, Travis Hanson scored but Doane was plenty happy to have the bases empty. Brull struck out Meacham to end the inning.

In the seventh, Morningside started the inning with a walk and single against Brull. Brull bounced back to get two short fly outs and a grounder to first to end the inning and the game.

Doane was held to four hits in the game while Morningside was limited to three. The Mustang batters drew six walks while Doane drew four.

Carlson improved to 2-1 with the win while Kyle Suder took the loss and fell to 1-3.