Courtesy of Midland Athletics
|FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University took the diamond at Moller Field one last time on Tuesday as they hosted Mount Marty University in their regular-season finale. The Warriors honored their senior class in between games of their split with the Lancers. Mount Marty took the first by a score of 10-1 before Midland bounced back with an 11-5 win in the second. Seniors honored between the games were Peyton Garber, Bakari Gayle, Benji Hurth, Hector Lopez, Trevor Payne, and Matt Ross.
GAME ONE: Mount Marty 10, Midland 1
The Lancers jumped out early in the first game of the twin bill with a pair of runs in the top of the 1st. In the home half, the Warriors got a run back to cut into their early deficit.
With one out already retired, Dakota Thornton crushed a solo home run off the scoreboard in right-center. Sadly, that would prove to be the only run of the game for Midland as Mount Marty’s defense clamped down and limited them to four hits the rest of the game.
The Lancers’ offense plated five runs during the 3rd off of five hits and then tacked on two more in the 5th on a hit and an error by Midland.
In the 6th, the Warriors had a great chance to get back into the game as Chase Reynolds reached on a one-out single through the left side, and then Thornton picked up his second hit of the game with single up the middle. They were able to move into scoring position with an error by the centerfielder on the play but were stranded along with Peyton Garbers who drew a walk to load the bases.
On the mound, Jacob Perez went 2.2 innings while allowing seven earned runs on six hits. Trey Nichols (2.1 innings) and Brandon Crepes (2.0 innings) went the rest of the way, surrendering three unearned runs down the stretch.
· Dakota Thornton: 2-for-3, R, RBI, HR
GAME TWO: Midland 11, Mount Marty 5
The Warriors’ offense jumped out to an early lead in the second game, scoring four runs in the 1st inning at the plate.
Chase Reynolds led off with a single and then Peyton Garbers got on board with a one-out single to center field. Bakari Gayle advanced Reynolds to third with a sacrifice fly and then Alec Villanueva, who came on to run for Reynolds, scored on a wild pitch by the Lancers’ starter.
Matt Ross got on base next with a walk and then Kyle Weber hit a three-run homer to left-center to put the Warriors up 4-0 after one.
In the 3rd, Mount Marty erased the deficit and reset the game with a four-run home run of their own. Two innings later, they took over the lead as their leadoff hitter gave way to a pinch-runner who stole second and got to third on a wild pitch. A single to left would drive him in, giving the visitors a 5-4 advantage.
With just six outs on their side to work with, Midland came through in the clutch during their half of the 6th inning.
Facing the Lancers’ reliever, Trey Nichols led off with a walk. Hadyn Crawford followed suit with a free pass of his own. Following a strikeout, Maddux Miyasota reached on a bunt that scored Nichols who had reached third on a wild pitch, tying the game.
A second strikeout at the top of the order left the task of a two-out rally to the heart of the Midland lineup. They proved they were up to the task as Garbers earned a walk to load the bases and then Bakari Gayle flared a single through the left side, scoring two runs.
Ross kept it going with an RBI single through the right side, causing the Lancers’ skipper to make another call to the bullpen.
The new pitcher came in to face Weber, who had homered in his first at-bat of the game. In what would be his final at-bat of the night, he sent blasted his second home run of the game. The ball flew off his bat, cleared the tall left-field fence, and nearly hit a car passing by as he drove the Midland lead to 11-5.
The Warriors used six different hurlers on the game with Scott Tatum earning the win. He pitched a scoreless 6th inning, striking out a pair of batters.
· Peyton Garbers: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, BB
· Bakari Gayle: 1-for-2, R, 2 RBI
· Kyler Weber: 2-for-4, 2 R, 6 RBI, 2 HR
· Matt Ross: 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI
Midland (25-20, 12-16 GPAC) will look to extend their season as they compete in the GPAC Postseason Tournament beginning this weekend. The Warriors are the eight-seed and will face top-seeded Doane (35-10, 24-4 GPAC) on Friday at 3:00 p.m. The teams will be joined in Crete, Nebraska by fourth-seeded Morningside (31-15, 17-11 GPAC)) and fifth-seeded Jamestown (26-22, 15-12 GPAC).
The four teams will play a double-elimination tournament on Friday, Saturday, and Monday with the winner facing the winner of the Concordia Bracket on Tuesday in the GPAC Championship Game. A complete look at the teams and the schedule can be found on the GPAC website (link).