TUCSON, ARIZ. – The Dakota Wesleyan baseball team ended their week in the desert going 3-2 in their final three days at the Tucson Invitational in Tucson, Ariz.
On Wednesday, the Tigers (5-9) used a hot start and a seven-run fifth inning to secure a victory over Valley City State University. JT Miller (Harrisburg, S.D.) had the biggest hit in the first inning for DWU with a triple scoring, two runs. In the fourth inning, Tyler Torres (Novato, Calif.) delivered a two-RBI single to break the game open at 8-0.
In the next inning, the Tigers were able to capitalize on the Viking mistakes after back-to-back hit by pitches, Landon Neugebauer (Mitchell, S.D.) tripled, bringing home three runs as the Tigers never looked back, winning the ballgame 15-3.
Drew DeMers (Winner, S.D.) and Wes Anderson (Duluth, Minn.) each tallied three hits in the win. Miller and Neugebauer each collected three RBIs. Dominique Boerger (Milbank, S.D.) started on the mound and pitched all seven innings and retired nine Viking batters.
In the second game of the day on Wednesday, DWU tangled with NCAA Division II opponent Wayne State College (Neb.). The Wildcats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Tigers answered with a Chandler Bakley (Martin, S.D.) RBI-single to cut the WSC lead in half. But, Wayne State tallied nine unanswered runs to pick up the victory over DWU, 11-1.
Miller was tagged with the loss on the rubber for the Tigers, while Cole Barthel (Tea, S.D.) came in relief, pitching an inning and striking out one batter. DeMers picked up two hits in the ballgame and Jerrod Zens (Alexandria, S.D.) went 1-for-4 with a double.
On Thursday, DWU had another hot start to the game battling North Central University (Minn.). The Tigers posted four runs in the opening frame highlighted by a Bakley double and a Heith Williams (Madison, S.D.) two-run single. Demers also singled to score Bakley to push the Tiger lead to 4-0.
DWU notched two more runs in the second inning, and one run in the fourth inning. After the Rams scored two runs, DWU added a pair of runs in the sixth inning from two errors by NCU to give the Tigers an 11-5 victory.
Williams collected four RBIs in the win, while DeMers went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Anderson and Reed Harter (Colome, S.D.) each finished with an RBI. Ethan Davis (Billings, Mont.) picked up the win on the mound pitching six innings and striking out four batters.
In the final day of the Tucson Invitational, DWU faced off against Waldorf University and Valley City State University. In the first game against Waldorf, the Tigers found themselves in a 3-0 hole early. DWU came back in the fifth inning with an RBI single from Bakley, as well as a Demers RBI to pull within one run. After the Warriors got a run back, Kyle Bailey (Brandon, S.D.) laced an RBI-double to score Neugebauer and the Tigers only trailed by a run. Waldorf answered yet again, but in the eighth inning, Miller tallied an RBI-single to pull within a run. But, it was not enough as the Warriors won the game, 5-4.
Bakley notched three hits in the game, while Demers, Neugebauer and Bailey each added two hits. Gavin Reichmuth (Chandler, Ariz.) started on the hill for DWU, pitching five innings and striking out two Warrior hitters. Layne Stafford (Arlington, Neb.) pitched three innings and only gave up one run.
In the final game, the Tigers met Valley City State. DWU once again got an early start, posting a four-run first inning. In the fifth inning, Harter singled to score Bakley, while Torres also collected an RBI-single. Keegan Perry (Sandy, Utah) tripled to bring home Torres and DWU led 8-3 after five innings. In the next frame, Harter delivered the dagger, hitting a grand slam to score four runs as the Tigers defeated the Vikings, 13-3.
Harter finished with five RBIs and three hits, while Torres and Bakley picked up three RBIs. Gunnar Johnson (Gresham, Ore.) pitched all seven innings for DWU and gave up three runs and struck out six batters.
The next scheduled game for the Tigers is against Dakota State University at 4:30 p.m. Monday in Madison, S.D.