WICHITA, Kan. – The Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team kicked off the 2018 season against NCAA Division II the University of Minnesota-Crookston on Saturday and Sunday. DWU finished the weekend winning a game and dropping two games at Lawrence Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kan.
On Saturday, the Golden Eagles (2-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Tigers (1-2) narrowed the gap in the top of the second inning as Chandler Bakley (Martin, S.D.) doubled, bringing Branden Oropeza (San Francisco, Calif.) home. In the top of the sixth inning, Bakley hit another double, this time bringing home Reed Harter (Colome, S.D.) to tie the game, 2-2.
In the top of the 10th inning, Bakley doubled for the third time of the game, bringing Oropeza around for the score. Next, JT Miller (Sioux Falls, S.D.) smacked a single, allowing Bakley to come home and give the Tigers a 5-2 victory. Bakley finished the game 3-of-5 with three RBIs, while Drew DeMers (Winner, S.D.) finished 3-of-5 at the plate with an RBI. Dominique Boerger (Milbank, S.D.) pitched six innings and recorded three strikeouts, while Dillon Stadlman (Parkston, S.D.) picked up the victory after pitching four innings and tallying three strikeouts.
On Sunday, DWU got right to work as they took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. However, the Golden Eagles added a run in the first inning, three runs in the second inning and two runs in the third inning to take a 6-2 lead. The Tigers added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning, but it was not enough as DWU fell, 10-5. Bakley led the way as he went 2-of-5 with an RBI and Harter finished 2-of-5 with two runs. Nathen Smith (Altona, Manitoba, Canada) pitched two innings with a strikeout, allowing three earned runs in the loss.
In the final game of the weekend, the Tigers found themselves down early, 4-0. But, thanks to two runs in the third inning, DWU narrowed the deficit. Minnesota-Crookston tallied three runs in the fourth inning to extend their lead to 7-2. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Wes Anderson (Duluth, Minn.) added a run. Moments later, Kyle Bailey (Brandon, S.D.) smacked a two-run single that gave life to the Tigers, making it a 7-5 game.
The Golden Eagles used a seven-run eighth inning to take a 14-6 lead, able to down the Tigers in the final game of the weekend. Miller finished 2-of-4 with an RBI, while Bailey went 1-of-4 recording two RBIs. Steven Sagasty (Pacifica, Calif.) pitched three and two-third innings after striking out five batters, while Gunnar Johnson (Gresham, Ore.) pitched three and one-third innings after recording three strikeouts.
DWU returns to action against Presentation College in the Tucson Invitational on March 4 in Tucson, Ariz.