Doane Baseball Finishes with Perfect GPAC Record

Posted By: Sports
Story Courtesy: Doane Athletics

The Tiger baseball team’s historic season continued on Saturday afternoon as they swept Midland University to claim the 2014 GPAC Baseball Title out-right. The victories extended the team’s win streak to 26 games as they went a perfect 20-0 in conference play, marking the first time in GPAC history that a team has run the tables. Doane is 42-7 overall heading into the GPAC Tournament next week and has secured their third bid to the NAIA National Tournament in the last four years.

Game One
Midland struck first but the Tigers posted three unanswered runs to win 3-1 and secure the conference title. Elliott Engle (SR/Lincoln, Neb.) threw a complete game for the victory as he improved to 9-1.

After a pair of scoreless innings, the Warriors pushed a run across on a two-out infield single. In the bottom of the third, Doane answered with a two-out rally as well. Jake Smith (FR/San Marcos, Calif.) opened with a lead-off walk and was bunted to second base. Brandon Mataisz (FR/La Habra, Calif.) entered to run for Smith at second and scored on a single through the right side by Ethan Schroeder (SR/Papillion, Neb.) to tie the game.

Both teams stranded runners at third base during their at-bats in the fourth inning. In the fifth, Doane started the inning as they did in the third with Smith reaching base. Smith singled and moved to second on a walk to Jed Derr (JR/Omaha, Neb.). The two runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Bryce Rolenc (SO/Seward, Neb.). A sacrifice fly by Schroeder followed by a double by Liam Bedford (SO/Melbourne, Australia) gave the Tigers the lead.

Midland was sent down in order in the sixth but threatened in the seventh against Engle. A one-out single and a two-out walk but the tying runs on base for the Warriors. In a classic finish, Dylan Steyer hit a ball into right field which looked like it might load the bases but Andres Rivera (JR/Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) came up throwing to first base to get Steyer for the final out of the game.

Engle allowed one run on eight hits and a walk while striking out six. He finishes the regular season tied with teammate Nathan Roth (SR/Camarillo, Calif.) atop the all-time wins mark in Doane baseball history.

Doane was limited to five hits by five different players in the game but took advantage of opportunities. Schroeder had two RBIs to lead the way.

Game Two
There wasn’t much of a doubt that Doane was going to take game two as they controlled the game through the first eight innings. However, Midland didn’t go quietly in the ninth and had the tying runs on base as Doane took a 4-2 win.

The Tigers scored twice in the second inning but left the bases loaded. Derr had a RBI-single to score Nick Studer (JR/Toronto, Canada). Kevin Clausen (FR/Torrance, Calif.) added a RBI-single that drove in Rivera.

Stennis allowed a single hit in the third and fourth innings before retiring the final 14 batters he faced. His teammates added two runs in the sixth inning for a 4-0 lead. Derr had a two-run single to score Alex Arkfeld (JR/Gretna, Neb.) and Studer.

In the ninth, Midland battled back against Rolando Celis (SR/Wiggins, Colo.). The Tiger senior struggled with control early but was able to settle down as the Warriors left two runners on base to end the game. The Tigers finished the conference slate in classic Doane pitching fashion as Celis struck out the final batter of the game.

Stennis improved to 8-1 on the year with eight scoreless innings. He walked two and allowed two hits while striking out seven.

The Tigers posted nine hits in the game, three from Clausen and two apiece from Rivera and Derr. Derr drove in three runs in the game.

Doane enters the GPAC Tournament next week in Mitchell, S.D., as the GPAC No. 1 seed and will play at 9 AM on May 1 at Cadwell Park against Briar Cliff University.