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.

Game One
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.

Game Two
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.