Dordt College News

Baseball Travels To Mitchell

April 23, 2014

GAMETIME… The Dordt baseball team will face Dakota Wesleyan on the road on Thursday, April 24 at 4:00.  The games will be played in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Results of the games can be found at when complete and also at

SCOUTING REPORT… Dakota Wesleyan is 7-9 in the GPAC and 21-21 overall.  The Tigers are 1-3 in their last four games and won four games in a row on April 14 and 17 with doubleheader sweeps of Hastings and Briar Cliff.  Weslean then split with Morningside on April 19 to vault themselves into a tie for fifth place in the conference.

Dakota Wesleyan has a team batting average of .294 and has scored 256 runs in 42 games.  The Tigers are led by Ben Spitznagel’s .381 battnig average and he has 25 runs batted in with 22 stolen bases.  Ben Ladner bats .341 with a team high 33 runs batted in and a team leading 12 doubles.  Jonah Johnson and Neil Nagle are batting .333 and .314 respectively and Sam Schumacher has a .308 batting average.

The Tigers have two players with four pitching wins each.  Kyle Larson is 4-0 in nine starts and has a 1.80 earned run average with 28 strikeouts and teams are batting .198 against him.  Kevin Hatcher is 4-2 with a 2.70 earned run average with 27 strikeouts and he has pitched in ten games and started seven.  The Tigers have a team earned run average of 4.22.  Dustin Steckler is 3-1 this season with a 4.21 earned average.

DEFENDER NOTES… Dordt College is 11-25 overall and 4-12 in the GPAC.  The Defenders are currently tied with Mount Marty and Concordia for ninth place and are a game out of eighth place.  The top-eight teams in the league advance to the GPAC playoffs next week in Mitchell.

Dordt is batting .267 this season and is led by Jake Thayer’s .351 average and 39 hits.  Andy Kollbaum has 37 hits and is batting .336 and Dane LePlatt is batting .294 with three triples and two homeruns and 16 runs batted in.  Kollbuam is the leader in doubles with seven.  Jason Wapnick tops the team with 25 runs batted in and Jon Holwerda has knocked in 17 runs.  Nathan Fraley has a team high 16 stolen bases in 18 attempts.

Lucas Carls is 2-2 with a 4.58 earned run average and 37 1/3 innings pitched.  Ben Van Kekerix is 3-1 with a 5.28 earned run average and has 35 strikeouts in 46 innings pitched.  John Drenten and Josh Peterson have both pitched in 11 games and Michael Grady has pitched in 13.

THE SERIES… Dakota Wesleyan leads the series 45-27.  The two teams split their doubleheader last season.
A four-run first inning was not enough as the Dordt College Defenders dropped the front-end of a GPAC doubleheader against Dakota Wesleyan by a 9-5 score on April 25, 2013.

Tigers shortstop Michael Lukkason hit three homers and drove in six runs, pacing the offense for Dakota Wesleyan.
Lukkason’s first home run came in the first inning off Dordt starter Ben Van Kekerix. The shot to dead-center field gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead, but Dordt answered in the bottom half of the first.

With two outs, Aaron Parks delivered an RBI double to break the ice. Nic Serrato then tied the game with an RBI single of his own, scoring Parks. Three batters later, first baseman Bryan Wallman delivered a bases loaded two-RBI single to give Dordt a 4-2 lead.

Dordt gave the lead back quickly as Dakota Wesleyan struck for four of their own in the top of the second. A pair of leadoff walks and a Van Kekerix error gave the Tigers an open door that led to RBIs from Toby Kaplan, Cole Wenande, and Lukkason. Dakota Wesleyan led 6-4 after two innings.

The Tigers doubled their lead in the fourth inning with another Lukkason long-ball. With two outs and Kirk McBreen on second, the senior launched his second home run of the night down the left-field line, making the score 8-4. But Lukkason wasn’t quite done.

After Dordt cut the deficit to 8-5 with a fifth-inning run, Lukkason responded with a solo blast off Dordt reliever Jeremy Engbers. Lukkason, who entered the game with just one home run, ended the game with a 3-for-4, three homerun, and six RBI performance.

The Defenders earned a split with Dakota Wesleyan in Dordt’s home finale, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win 8-6 in game two.

The Defenders scored four times in the fourth inning, then once in the fifth and once in the sixth to put away the Tigers.

Trailing 3-0, designated hitter Dustin Brisel got Dordt on the board with his first home run of the year, a two-run blast to center field that pulled Dordt to within one.

Dakota Wesleyan reestablished their three-run lead with a two-run home run from catcher Toby Kaplan in the top of the fourth. Then Dordt made their big move in the bottom half of the inning.

The frame began with a Bryan Wallman double and an Andy Kollbaum single to cut the deficit to two. Sam De Nooy followed with an RBI single of his own to make it 5-4. Three batters later, a wild pitch brought home De Nooy from third base to tie the game. With Jon Holwerda still at the plate, the Dordt third baseman knocked a single over second base to put the Defenders in front 6-5.

The Tigers wouldn’t go quietly, though. An Erik Nockleby two-out single tied the ballgame in the fifth inning. However, Dordt tacked on a single run in both the fifth and sixth innings to take the lead for good.

In the fifth, Jason Wapnick was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run. In the sixth, De Nooy earned a bases-loaded walk to give Dordt an 8-6 advantage.

Ryan DeWit notched the save with an efficient seventh inning, giving Mark Nyhoff (six innings pitched) his first win of the season.

LAST TIME… Dordt lost a 15-0 non-conference test with Morningside on Tuesday, April 22 while the Tigers lost a pair on Monday and Tuesday to North Dakota State and Gustavus Adolphus by scores of 15-6 and 11-1.

NEXT UP… Dordt will host Northwestern on Saturday while the Tigers travel to Mount Marty to conclude the regular season on Saturday in Yankton.

GPAC…   (Wednesday, April 23)
Doane 16-0/38-7     
Midland 14-2/35-14     
Northwestern 12-4/34-9     
Morningside 9-7/23-21     
Dakota Wesleyan 7-9/21-21     
Briar Cliff 7-9/15-28     
Hastings 6-10/12-22     
Nebraska Wesleyan 5-11/6-25     
Dordt 4-12/11-25     
Concordia 4-12/14-28
Mount Marty  4-12/20-20

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