The Nebraska Wesleyan University baseball team swept a doubleheader over rival Doane College on Saturday afternoon (Apr. 25) to clinch the 2009 Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season championship and earn an automatic bid to the 2009 NAIA National Tournament.
The GPAC title is the first championship in baseball for Nebraska Wesleyan since 2001. The trip to the postseason will be the first time since 2000, and only the second time since 1982. The two victories give NWU 27 wins which sets a new school record for season wins.
The Prairie Wolves won game one, 3-2, then rallied to take the second game, 14-7 on Senior Day for the NWU baseball program. NWU finished the regular season 27-9 overall and 18-6 in the GPAC. The sweep also knocked Doane out of the GPAC Tournament.
With the first game tied at 2-2 in the sixth, Jeremy Peters led off the inning with a single, stole second and scored on the game-winning hit by Max Hubka. After allowing two runs in the first inning, NWU starting pitcher Cory Hilgenkamp settled in and threw six straight scoreless innings to get the complete game victory and improve to 7-0.
Peters was 2-3 with a run scored and Josh Ostrom was 1-2 with a double and two RBI as he drove in the other two runs in the fourth inning.
NWU fell behind 6-3 in the second game before mounting the rally. The Prairie Wolves scored five runs in the third inning led by a three-run double by Peters. They would add five more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ostrom had a two-run double and Corey Petersen drove in two with a single.
Andrew Gatzemeyer got the victory in relief as he pitched 1 1/3 innings after coming in for starter Owen Schmidt. Josh Ostrom pitched the final four innings and allowed only one run to get the save.
Nebraska Wesleyan will now be the No. 1 seed at the 2009 GPAC Postseason Tournament that runs April 30-May 2 in Hastings, Neb. The Prairie Wolves open play against No. 8 University of Sioux Falls at 9 am on Thursday morning.