The Mount Marty University offense scored in just one of 16 innings on Friday, but it was enough to earn a split against Hastings in Great Plains Athletic Conference baseball action. The doubleheader was played at Riverside Field at Bob Tereshinski Stadium in Yankton.
In the opener, a four-run fifth inning broke a scoreless tie, and the Lancers held on for a 4-2 victory.
Billy Hancock went 3-for-3 for Mount Marty. Josh Roemen doubled and singled. Mason Townsend also had two hits. Colin Muth doubled, and Charley Illg and Nick Martinez each had a hit in the victory.
Kasey Ohnoutka had two of Hastings’ five hits. Ryder Ghidotti, Julio Sanchez and Keaton Hoeke each had a hit.
Tyler Priest went the distance in the win, striking out four. Josh Merithew took the loss, also going the distance.
“Priest has been a consistent competitor,” said Mount Marty head coach Andy Bernatow. “That’s why we have him going in game one.”
After Roemen’s leadoff double in the fifth, run-scoring hits by Townsend and Hancock gave the Lancers the lead. A two-run error with two outs doubled the Lancer lead.
The Broncos scored a pair of unearned runs in the seventh, but Priest closed the door in the seven-inning contest.
A Cory Koranda double in the seventh — Hastings’ first hit of the game — scored the game’s only run in a 1-0 Broncos victory in the nightcap.
Sanchez had the other Hastings hit.
Roemen doubled and singled for Mount Marty. Hancock, Caid Koletzky and Martinez each had a hit.
Gate Johnson went the distance, striking out six in a 135-pitch nine-inning outing, for the win. Blake Svoboda took the loss despite not giving up a hit in his 6 1/3 innings of work.
“A tip of the cap to their pitcher,” Bernatow said of Johnson. “He wasn’t afraid to start hitters off with a curveball. Then, when you expected the curve, he’d throw the fastball.”
A walk and a one-out hit batsman sent Mount Marty to the bullpen for Chris Rofe. Koranda, the first player to face Rofe, found a gap to score Ohnoutka from second for the game’s lone run.
Rofe settled in from there, finishing with three strikeouts and only one other hit allowed, but Johnson prevented the Lancers from getting things going.
“Blake had good stuff, and Chris has been good when given the opportunity,” Bernatow said. “I wish we could have given them some support.”
Bernatow felt the Lancer offense — which entered the day ranking second in the league in home runs per game — didn’t adapt to the hard wind from the south, which played straight in from center field.
“I was disappointed in our ability to adjust to the situation,” he said. “The wind blowing in here is nothing new. Some days the ball might travel. Today it wasn’t going to go anywhere.”
Mount Marty, now 17-11 overall and 5-5 in the GPAC, hosts Concordia today (Saturday). The Bulldogs, ranked 20th in the latest NAIA poll, split with GPAC-leading Doane on Friday, handing the Tigers their first league setback of the season.
“I feel like they should be rated higher than they are,” Bernatow said of the Bulldogs. “They’re extremely talented. They have a lot of power arms. Offensively, they’ve got guys that can thump the ball and create with their legs.”
Mount Marty will need to have the solid pitching and defense it did Friday — along with some better offense — to give themselves an opportunity to succeed against the Bulldogs, Bernatow said.
“If we come to the park and build on what we did today, we’ll give ourselves a chance against them,” he said.
Hastings moved to 6-18, 4-8 in the GPAC.
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