TUCSON, Ariz. – The fourth and final game day at the Tucson Invitational saw the Concordia University baseball team struggle to put runs on the board in a doubleheader with Mayville State University (N.D.). The Comets swept a closely contested pair of games with 3-1 and 4-3 decisions on Tuesday (March 10). The Bulldogs were limited to a combined 12 hits in the 14 innings of play.
Sixth-year head coach Ryan Dupic’s squad played a total of seven games over a four-day period in Tucson. It will return to Nebraska at 12-7 overall.
“They really held us down offensively,” Dupic said “The first guy was able to keep us off balance and disrupt our timing. We had some opportunities where we couldn’t get the big hit. The second game we got off to a good start and again we had situations where we couldn’t get something to fall or come up with the key hit.”
In game one, Mayville State pitcher Connor DiNaro fired all seven innings and surrendered five hits. Concordia did not crack the scoreboard until Beau Dorman doubled in a run in the seventh. On the mound for the Bulldogs, Ben Coldiron got the start and worked five frames (two earned runs on five hits and four walks) and struck out five hitters.
The outlook appeared more positive in game two when Jesse Garcia belted a solo homer in the top of the first. Two batters later, Jayden Adams added an RBI single to give Concordia an early cushion. That advantage was eventually erased in the fourth. The score was knotted in the top of the fifth on a Keaton Candor sacrifice fly. In the bottom half, Skyler Forst singled in what turned out to be the winning run.
Caden Johnson started game two for the Bulldogs and pitched four innings (three earned runs) before giving way to relievers Jacob Lycan and Zach Pinkerton for one frame apiece. Collectively they fanned 12 Mayville State hitters in a solid overall pitching performance.
“Both of our starting pitchers kept us in it,” Dupic said. “We’re seeing a lot of guys throw the ball well at times and struggle at times. We were able to see a lot of guys pitch down here and have a better feel for our team. We’ve had seven games in four days and we still have some things to figure out and some room for growth moving forward. I think we’re starting to head in the right direction.”
In that second game, Adams and Evan Bohman both produced two hits. Concordia was unable to take full advantage of three Comets errors. Mayville State used five pitchers to navigate game two.
As long as the weather allows, the Bulldogs will begin GPAC play this weekend. They are scheduled to be at Briar Cliff for a 1 p.m. CT doubleheader on Saturday before hosting Hastings for a 1 p.m. twin bill on Sunday. The remaining 28 games left on the regular-season schedule are all conference games.