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Doane College clinched their second-ever berth to the NAIA National Baseball Opening Round Tournament with a sweep of Hastings College on Thursday evening, claiming the GPAC regular season title. Doane's two victories combined with a loss tonight by Morningside gives the Tigers the top seed in the conference tournament that begins next week in Lincoln. The GPAC regular season champion receives one of the conference's two bids to the national tournament.
The Tigers turned to the reigning GPAC Pitcher-of-the-Year, Chance Brull, in game one. The senior received plenty of run support as Doane won, 7-2. Brull scattered six hits over seven innings, allowing one earned run, as he improved to 7-3 on the year.
Hastings struck first with an unearned run in the second inning. The Tigers came right back with three runs in the third. AJ Spanel and Anthony Dunn had RBI-singles in the inning with the third run scoring on a ground out.
Doane added to the lead in the fourth as Anthony Hincy drew a bases loaded walk to plate Andres Rivera. In the sixth, Ethan Schroeder's sacrifice fly drove in Rivera.
The Broncos cut the Tigers' lead to 5-2 with an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth. Doane capped the scoring in the seventh with two runs off the bat of Chris Manning.
Offensively, four players had multi-hit games, led by Manning's 2-for-4 effort with two RBIs. Rivera went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
In game two, Doane left-hander Tim Carlson improved to 9-0 on the year as he threw his third shutout of the season in a 5-0 win for the Tigers. Carlson allowed five hits over seven innings and struck out five.
Doane jumped out early with two runs in the first. Thomas Albert and Manning had RBI singles in the inning. The Tigers added two more runs in the fourth with Spanel picking up a two-out single and another run scoring on a ground out.
The Tigers' final run came in the seventh on a RBI by Albert.
Doane posted nine hits in the game, led by AJ Spanel's 2-for-4 effort with two runs and a RBI. Thomas Albert was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Tigers close out the regular season on Saturday with a doubleheader against Midland University. First pitch will be at 1:00 PM for game one and a trophy presentation will be made following the doubleheader.