The Briar Cliff baseball team defeated Dordt 5-4 and won game two 7-2 in its GPAC season opener on Wednesday at Bishop Mueller Field. The Chargers are now 13-6 overall and 2-0 in the GPAC, while the Defenders slipped to 3-9 overall and 0-2 in league games.
Briar Cliff claimed game one by a score of 5-4. Zach Fowler put Dordt up 2-0 in the first inning when he hit a home run to right field. The Defenders continued leading 2-0 until the bottom of the third inning when Avery Foltz doubled to left-center to score Arnulfo Gutierrez. Later in the third, Sawyer Olson doubled to left field to score both Foltz and Rodney Scarver to put the Cliff up 3-2. The Chargers extended their lead in the fifth inning when Foltz scored on a stolen base and Scarver scored on a fielder’s choice to bring the tally to 5-2 after five innings. Dordt responded in the top of the sixth with two runs, but ultimately failed to score the tying run and then went scoreless in the seventh to give Briar Cliff the 5-4 victory. The Defenders had nine hits and zero errors in the opening game, compared to the Chargers notching six hits and one error.
Foltz, Olson and Logan Adam all contributed a double in the game. Foltz led the Blue and Gold with two hits, while Olson, Gutierrez, Adam and Brady Harpenau all created one hit apiece. Olson had a team leading two RBI and Foltz added a RBI. Foltz and Scarver both scored two times each and Gutierrez crossed home plate on one occasion. Andrew Stover picked up the win on the mound with five strikeouts while surrendering eight hits, four runs and four errors in 5.0 innings of play.
The Charger bats came alive in game two and BC held the 10-7 advantage in hits. The Defenders notched one run in both the second and third innings to lead 2-0 early. Nick Robinson evened the score up at 2-2 in the fourth inning when he hit a two-run homerun to left center to score both Olson and himself. Scarver hit a two-run homer of his own in the fifth inning to drive home Adam and himself to bring the score to 4-2 in favor of the Cliff. Tyler Vanderham created a two-run homerun to left to score Robinson as well as himself. Jacob Hom also scored in the bottom of the sixth off a sacrifice fly from Adam to bring the score to 7-2 after six innings. Dordt was unable to score in the seventh and the Cliff won by a tally of 7-2.
Robinson, Scarver and Vanderham all paced the Cliff with two hits, while Harpenau, Olson, Hom and Adam all created one hit apiece. Robinson, Scarver and Vanderham shared the team lead in RBI with two each and Adam chipped in one RBI. Robinson crossed home plate twice. Olson, Vanderham, Hom, Adam and Scarver all also scored once. Matt Wesselman picked up the pitching W, giving up six hits, two runs and two errors while fanning one batter in 5.2 innings of play.
The Chargers will return to Bishop Mueller Field on Thursday to battle the Tigers in a doubleheader. Opening pitch between Briar Cliff and Dakota Wesleyan is scheduled for 1 p.m.