The Red Raider baseball team emerged from Tuesday’s doubleheader against visiting Dakota Wesleyan with a pair of 6-5 wins. After a 12-13 start to the season, the Raiders now stand at 21-14 and are on a five-game winning streak with an 11-1 conference record.
“The biggest difference has been our mentality and intensity,” junior pitcher Tyler Stuerman said. “We have become a lot better at getting mentally ready to play since the start of the conference schedule.”
In game one, NW got the bats rolling and scored two runs in each of the first three innings. Six Raiders had a hit and a run scored in the contest.
Junior catcher Davis Bloemendaal and senior infielder Taylor Morris each had a double. Junior Matt Piocos, freshman Josh Turner and Stuerman all pitched scoreless innings in relief for the Raiders.
Northwestern continued its early batting success from game one. Sophomore infielder Mitch Peschon hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Raiders a 4-0 lead.
Senior third baseman Noah Bohlmann went 2-2 with two doubles. Seven Raiders had hits in the contest.
On Saturday, the Raiders traveled to Nebraska Wesleyan and claimed two victories, 4-0 and 8-5, in a doubleheader. Stuerman was named GPAC Pitcher of the Week for his efforts in the front end of the doubleheader.
Stuerman threw a three-hit shutout and had seven strikeouts; he leads the GPAC with a 1.00 ERA. He is 5-2 on the year with five complete games and two shutouts as the ace of the NW staff.
“I just wanted to challenge the hitters and throw strikes,” Stuerman said. “I focused on making them beat me and not beat myself by walking guys.”
Junior first baseman Cody Groskreutz had two hits, three RBIs and a run scored. Bloemendaal also had two hits and an RBI.
In game two, NW rallied from a 5-3 deficit and scored five runs in the seventh inning. Morris had three hits and two RBI’s. Peschon and junior second baseman Eric Widener had two RBIs. Senior shortstop Corey Van Gorp and Groskreutz each had two hits. Eight Raiders managed a hit in the contest.
At press time, the Raiders will host conference foe Midland for a Saturday doubleheader. The inclimate weather may force a postponement of the conference matchup. The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 5 p.m.