CRETE, Neb. – Midland University has been on a tear this past week winning seven straight games including four this weekend over Doane University. The Warriors took Saturday’s games by scores of 6-1 and 8-7 before winning two on Sunday, 8-3 and 5-2. With the wins, and a little help from other conference games, Midland moved into second-place in the Great Plains Athletic Conference and will be a host for the postseason tournament later this week.
On Saturday, Midland looked to their two senior aces to set the tone for the weekend against the Tigers. Dakota Cortese and Torrey Escamilla did just that as they both picked up quality wins. Cortese went 6.0 innings while allowing just one run in the 6-1 win in game one. Escamilla had a little tougher time as he pitched 7.0 innings while allowing four earned runs, six total, in Midland’s 8-7 victory in game two. Torrey had six strikeouts in the win which moved him into first place for career strikeouts in school history. The win, his 26th of his career, was also a milestone as it tied him for the most in Midland history.
Offensively the Warriors were led by Justin Trevino in game one. He had a two-run home run in the 3rd and a two RBI single in the 5th to finish with a pair of hits and four RBI. He also scored a run in the 5th as well. Tanner Bos and Matt Anderson drove in the other two runs for Midland.
Game two saw Trevino continue his hitting ways as he had two more RBI, both coming off a double to center in the 2nd inning that gave the Warriors a 4-0 lead. Billy Brand also had a pair of RBI in the game. He singled in a run to begin the 2nd and then drove in the eventual winning run in the 9th.
On Sunday, the Warriors had to use their bullpen a bit more but their starters gave them a chance with good pitching to begin both games. Daylon Owens took the hill in the first game and went 4.1 innings, allowing three earned before Andrew Snook came on to finish the game. Snook went 2.2 innings with no runs allowed. They were aided by the Warriors’ offense which scored four in the 2nd and three in the 6th for an 8-2 win.
Hayden Bailey started the finale and went 6.0 innings giving up just two runs. Andrew Davidson and Bill Brand closed the door on the Tigers as they combined for 3.0 innings, zero runs and just two hits. Brand picked up the save after coming in at the start of the 9th to close the game.
At the place it was Bos and Bryan Smith doing the heavy lifting in the first game of the day. They both drove in a pair of runs while scoring once each as well. Bos drew a bases loaded walk in the 2nd and then singles home a run in the 6th. Smith singled home one run in the 2nd and then sacrificed home a run with the bases loaded in the 3rd.
“Baseball is a very difficult game to figure out sometimes,” head coach Chad Miller commented. “It has been a challenging season for many reasons. We’ve had some very tough loses in conference due to many self-inflicted wounds, however this week we simply played good baseball in all three phases.”
He continued, “There was a strong belief on the team that good things were going to happen. We have always believed in our ability to do so but it was difficult to put it all together at times. We had probably our most difficult day of the year last Sunday, and we responded with seven straight wins which speaks volumes to the resolve of these guys.”
With their second-place finish in the regular season standings, Midland will host a four-team bracket of the GPAC Baseball Postseason Tournament in Fremont, Nebraska. The Warriors will host No. 3-seed Doane, No. 4-seed Concordia, and No. 7-seed Mount Marty. The four teams will compete in a double-elimination bracket on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 3, 4, and 5 at Moller Field.
Midland’s first game of the tournament will be against Mount Marty at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday. For complete look at the Midland Bracket, as well as the Northwestern Bracket, click here.