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Warriors end road trip, top Hillsdale

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Matt Oliver

OKLAHOMA CITY – A day after two high-scoring contests, the Waldorf College baseball team found itself in a pair of tight battles with Mid-America Christian University and Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College on Saturday.

The Warriors (2-2) fell in a 2-1 loss to Mid-America Christian (5-7) in the opener, but bounced back to end their road trip with a 3-2 victory over Hillsdale (1-18).

“It was totally the opposite of Friday,” Waldorf coach Joe Tautges said. “Our pitchers threw really well and the bats slumped a bit.”

The Warriors were limited to six hits in the opener.

“We couldn’t get anything going in the first game,” Tautges said. “We took way too many pitches for strikes.”

Waldorf sophomore Eric Mallo went 3-for-3 at the plate and collected two stolen bases. Freshman Garrett Gillen finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and sophomore Jacob Tedesco contributed a single.

Mid-America Christian’s Chevin Noone turned in a 2-for-3 performance with two RBIs. Will Pickens also provided a pair of singles for the Evangels, who ended the game with seven hits. Daxton Marley, Cale Backward and Dylan Queen turned in singles.

The Warriors left six runners on base, four of which were stranded in scoring position.

“We had a few chances to score, but couldn’t get that big two-out hit,” Tautges said.

Mid-America Christian’s Junior Obeso (2-0) picked up the win. He struck out seven batters and allowed one run on six hits in six innings. Wyatt Glagow earned his second save of the season and came away with a strikeout while closing out the final inning.

Tony Manna (0-1) was hit with the loss. The junior from Omaha, Nebraska, looked sharp in his first outing of the year. Manna struck out one batter and yielded two runs as he scattered seven hits in seven innings. He was effective and kept the Evangels guessing with his fastball, curveball and changeup combination.

“Tony kept them off balance getting ahead in the count with all three pitches and our defense played well,” Tautges said. “He got a lot of weak contact, which is good to see.”

Junior Michael Keeran powered Waldorf in the win over Hillsdale, going 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Gillen added a pair of singles, freshman Tim Pasiuk connected on a double and freshman Mitchell Keeran contributed a single.

Adam Kovash (1-0) picked up the win for the Warriors. The sophomore from Marshall, Minnesota, fanned five batters, issued just one walk and yielded two runs on five hits in six innings. After giving up his only two runs in the top of the first inning, Kovash delivered the rest of the way.

“Adam gave us a good start on the mound,” Tautges said. “He got roughed up a bit in the first inning, but settled in after that.”

Senior Trevor Bauer recorded his first save of the season, shutting the door on the Saints in the seventh inning as he tallied two strikeouts and allowed two hits.

Garrett Edwards was saddled with the loss despite a 10-strikeout performance. He surrendered three runs (two earned) on seven hits in five and one-third innings. Jay Frazier pitched the final two-thirds inning for Hillsdale.

The Saints produced seven hits and were led by Weston Ward, who went 2-for-3. Caleb Caldwell and Matt Johnson each had RBI singles. Hunter Burns and Brett Mitchell also aided the effort with hits.

Run-scoring singles from Caldwell and Johnson put Hillsdale in front 2-0 the top of the first inning. Kovash and Waldorf’s defense would silence the Saints the rest of the way.

Michael Keeran smacked a third-inning double to score Gillen and pull the Warriors within one run. In the fifth, Michael Keeran delivered once again as he cracked a two-run single that brought home Gillen and junior Kellan Mick.

With the first road trip of the season complete, Waldorf now prepares for next weekend’s four-game series against Missouri Valley College (0-5) at Marshall, Missouri. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. and Sunday’s twin bill is set for 12 p.m.