Northwestern’s baseball team ended the GPAC opening weekend with a 3-1 record after facing Mount Marty and Briar Cliff last weekend.
Unplayable field conditions in Orange City forced the Red Raiders to open the GPAC series as the home side at Riverside Park in Yankton, S.D.
The Raiders fell to Mount Marty in the opening game of the series 6-4. After a slow start, NW forced its way back into the game after being down 4-0 in the seventh to tie the game at 4-4. However, two runs from Mount Marty in the extra eighth inning were enough to seal the win.
In the second game of the series, the Raiders once again came from behind in the seventh to tie the game, but this time NW got the win in the eighth inning.
A slow start by NW allowed Mount Marty to open the scoring, by picking up two runs in the third inning with the aid of three walks.
With one out in the seventh, senior pitcher Taylor Morris singled to ignite the Raiders’ comeback. After a Raider strikeout, junior centerfielder Micah Linn singled home Morris to cut the Lancers’ lead to 2-1. After sophomore catcher Tony Schultz was hit by a pitch to push Linn intoscoring position, junior second basemen Erik Widener singled Linn home to tie the game at 2-2.
Senior shortstop Corey Van Gorp led off with a single in the eighth and advanced on a sacrifice by second by junior first baseman Cody Groskreutz. With two outs, sophomore leftfielder Mitch Peschon singled home Van Gorp to win the game for the Raiders.
Junior relief pitcher Matt Piocos picked up the win after he retired all seven batters he faced.
The Red Raiders picked up a GPAC sweep in Sioux City on Saturday after defeating the Briar Cliff Chargers 2-0 and 4-2.
In the first game of the series, starting pitcher junior Tyler Stuerman dominated the Chargers by surrendering just one hit. The blooper came in the sixth inning that broke up the no-hitter. Stuerman walked one and struck out three in what was the first complete game shutout of his career.
Two runs by the Raider offense proved to be enough to support Stuerman. Both runs came from a single in the third by junior rightfielder Davis Bloemendaal. Linn had three hits.
The Raiders started the scoring in the second game after a lead-off double by Bloemendaal in the second inning. Bloemendaal progressed to third and scored on a wild throw by a first baseman attempting to retire Bloemendaal at third. The Chargers tied the game in the third inning.
NW took the lead in the fifth to take the score to 2-1 through senior Noah Bohlmann’s triple with one out and a Schultz sac fly. The Raiders added two more runs in the sixth after a Groskreutz single, a fly-out, a Morris single, a Charger error that scored Groskreutz and a sac fly from Bohlmann.
Freshman starting pitcher Isaac Horigan picked up his first collegiate win with a solid performance by throwing five innings and allowing three hits, one run, one walk and two strikeouts.
The Raiders started the weekend slowly but were able to find their rhythm at just the right time.
“Our pitching staff kept us in the game. We finally started hitting toward the end of the second Mount Marty game,” Horigan said. “We have a lot of great hitters; it was just about trying to get more than two or three of them to hit consistently.”
The Raiders moved to 12-12 overall and 3-1 in the GPAC and will open GPAC play at home tonight against Doane and Hastings on Saturday.