PELLA, IOWA – The University of Dubuque Baseball team once again found itself in a pair of tight games on Friday afternoon. For the fifth and sixth time this season, the Spartans lost a one run game. UD lost the first game of the doubleheader 1-0 on a Central (10-5, 2-2) run in the sixth inning. The Spartans once again lost late in Game 2 when the Dutch scored in the bottom of the ninth to win 4-3. Dubuque is now 3-11 overall and 1-5 in the Iowa Conference.
Game 1: UD-0, Central-1 BOX SCORE
The Spartans found themselves in a pitchers dual to open the weekend series against the Dutch. UD starting pitcher Josh Eastman (Edgerton, Wis./Edgerton) held Central scoreless over the first five innings while allowing only three hits. Offensively, the Dubuque bats were quiet with Chris Briggs (Lombard, Ill./Montini) picking up the only hit for UD.
Central scored the only run of the game in the sixth after a two out single and stolen base gave the Dutch a runner in scoring position. The next hitter followed with a single through the right side of the infield to score the runner from second and put UD in a 1-0 hole.
Eastman pitched all six innings, allowing only six hits and one earned run in a losing effort.
Dubuque did not commit an error defensively for the third straight game.
Game 2: UD-3, Central-4 BOX SCORE
Game two was another close contest with the final result being decided in the final at bat with two outs. UD jumped out to an early lead putting a run on the board in the top of the first. Leadoff hitter Noah Mahlik (Green Bay, Wis./Fox Valley Lutheran) started the game with a single and was sacrificed to second by Andy Danna (Antioch, Ill./Antioch). With two outs, Briggs stepped in and ripped a double to right field to score Mahlik.
Central would answer the UD run with two runs in the third and another in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. The Spartans would put together a two out rally in the fifth beginning with a walk and stolen base by Mahlik. Danna reached base on an infield single to put runners on first and third for Jordan Gawronski (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago). Gawronski singled to left field to score Mahlik and make the score 3-2 in Centrals favor.
UD would tie the game at 3-3 in the seventh with Nick Martin (Orland Hills, Ill./Andrew) scoring on a single by Danna. Martin led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mahlik. Danna answered the call for the Spartans with a RBI single to center field.
The Dutch would score in the ninth to win on an unearned run off reliever Alan Kopp (Verona, Wis./Verona Area). Central led off the inning with a single before taking advantage of two Spartan errors to win the ball game.
Danna finished the game with two singles, a stolen base, and one RBI. Mahlik scored two runs reaching base on a single and walk.
Spartans starter Tyler Trifeletti (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) received a no-decision after going six innings and allowing only six hits and striking out two.
UD has lost eight games by two runs or less this season.
UP NEXT: UD and Central will complete the four game series on Saturday, April 6th with Game 1 beginning at 1:00 pm.