Big Innings Spoil Spartans Bid for Top-3 IIAC Seed
May 6, 2016
DECORAH, Iowa – The University of Dubuque baseball team allowed Luther to score five or more runs in three separate innings in a pair of defeats, 17-10, and 9-5, and prevented the Spartans from locking up a Top-3 Iowa Conference tournament seed.
Spartan designated hitter, freshman Thomas Kempf, finished 4-for-8 with one double and five RBIs, but it wasn’t enough as UD (19-19, 12-14 Iowa Conference) surrendered their most runs (26) in any doubleheader of the season.
As a result, the Norse (26-12, 15-11 Iowa Conference) clinched the No. 3 seed in the Iowa Conference tournament as the Spartans remain tied with Coe for the fourth spot.
The Spartans allowed a trio of big innings including a seven- and eight-spot in the first game and a crucial, five-run fourth inning in game two.
Spartans Have No Answer for Explosive Norse Bats
UD falls 17-10
The Spartans got out to a quick start against Luther’s ace and led 6-2 heading into the bottom of the second. Luther answered with seven runs on four hits, including three doubles, and a trio of hit by pitches to take the lead for good.
Later, a bases-clearing double and a two-run triple by the Norse fueled an eight-run, fourth inning that withstood a Spartan rally that saw four runs scored over the final three stanzas.
UD still generated 10 runs on 10 hits behind a 2-for-3 performance from DH Thomas Kempf and his game-high four RBIs. Leadoff hitter and rightfielder Jarad Clevenger tied a game-high with three hits to go with two runs scored.
Spartan starter Reed Stumpf (6-4) was chased after 1.1 innings and gave up eight runs (seven earned) and five hits. The junior was looking to tie UD’s single-season wins record at seven, set back in 1963.
Freshman reliever Derek Kornfeind kept the Norse bats in check down the stretch after tossing a scoreless pair of innings with two walks.
Six Norse batters scored at least two runs as they totaled 13 hits collectively.
Another Big Inning Dooms the Spartans
UD falls 9-5
Rightfielder Jarad Clevenger posted three hits for the second-straight game as the Spartans outhit the Norse, 15-13. It wasn’t enough, as the Norse utilized a 5-run, fourth inning to take a 6-1 lead they would never relinquish.
The Spartan bats mustered four runs down the stretch but were contained by Luther starter, Nate Beckman, who earned the complete-game victory despite surrendering all 15 hits.
UD mustered one unearned run off five Luther errors in the four-run defeat.
Centerfielder Austin McWhite went 2-for-5 with two runs and a team-high two RBIs. Spartan starter Doug Van Dyke (4-4) took the loss after giving up six earned runs and seven hits in 4.0 innings of work.
The pair of IIAC tournament bound teams square off tomorrow, Saturday, May 7 in their final regular season doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m. in Decorah, Iowa. UD will look to put an end to its seven-game losing streak to the Norse dating back to 2014.