Briar Cliff baseball could not overcome a slow start in both games of a doubleheader against Dakota Wesleyan Sunday and fell 16-3 and 8-5 at Bishop Mueller Field.
The Chargers dug themselves a hole early in both games, giving up five runs in the first inning of game one and a combined six between the first and second frames of game two. BC rallied in game two but could not overcome the early deficit.
“We just did not come ready to play today,” said head coach Boyd Pitkin. “We need to keep focus and maintain our energy each and every day to compete.
“Credit to Dakota Wesleyan, they had high energy and it showed in their play.”
The Cliff got two runs back in the bottom of the fourth inning of the second contest. Mateo Shannon led off the inning with a double to center field and Nick Robinson reached first base on a fielder’s choice. T.J. Egbarts courtesy ran for Shannon and Harrison Jestel drove both Egbarts and Robinson home with a double to right.
Dakota Wesleyan tacked one on in the fifth inning, making its lead 7-2. With two outs in the sixth, Rodney Scarver singled to center field and scored Jestel and Arnulfo Gutierrez to trail by four runs with three innings remaining in the contest. Each side added a run in the eighth inning and the 8-5 score held through the ninth.
Jestel takes the loss in game one, giving up nine hits, seven runs (five earned) and two walks and striking out one in five innings of work. He went 3-for-3 at the plate, scored two runs and had two RBIs.
Gavin Reichmuth earns the win on the mound through six innings. He allowed seven hits and four runs, all earned. Reichmuth struck out one and gave up one walk. Gilberto Rodriguez gets the save for the Tigers, striking out two batters and allowing one hit in his three innings.
In game one, Dakota Wesleyan put up five runs in the first and seven in the seventh to top the Cliff. The Tigers also scored in the third (two runs), fourth (one run) and sixth (one run). BC put one run on the board in the second, fifth and seventh.
Jacob Wesselmann is tagged with the game two loss. He gave up seven hits and five runs in the first 1.2 innings. Wesselmann also walked two batters and struck out two batters. Austin Carter did the most work for the Cliff, allowing four hits and five runs in three innings of work. Harpenau was the only Charger to register multiple hits, going 2-for-4 and driving in one run.
Ethan Davis was the winning pitcher for game one, allowing six hits and three runs through six innings. He walked two batters and struck out four.
With the wins, Dakota Wesleyan moves to 14-7 overall and an even 8-8 in the conference. Briar Cliff is now 20-15 on the season and 10-6 in GPAC play. The team will be off until next weekend, when it hosts Mount Marty in doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday. The Cliff will celebrate Spring Fling Alumni and Family Weekend and Senior Day.