Nebraska Wesleyan opened the Great Plains Athletic Conference portion of the 2008 baseball schedule last weekend at NWU Field in Lincoln, Neb. The Prairie Wolves swept the doubleheader on Friday (Mar. 21) against Mount Marty College, but dropped both games of the twinbill against the University of Sioux Falls on Saturday (Mar. 22).
The Prairie Wolves (6-7, 2-2 GPAC) took game one against Mt. Marty, 8-7. Steve Schaffer had a two-run triple in the first inning to get NWU ahead for good. Starting pitcher Zane Cascini settled in to go 5 2/3 innings to improve to 3-0 on the season. Cory Hilgenkamp came in to pick up his second save of the season.
Tom Hranac was the story of game two. Hranac threw a complete game five-hiiter to earn the win. He struck out five and did not allow an earned run as the Prairie Wolves got the 6-1 win. Schaffer was 1-2 at the plate with three RBIs, while Hilgenkamp and Andy Nealon each had two hits.
The first game of the USF doubleheader was a pitchers dual on a cold and windy day on Saturday in Lincoln. USF scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning and those were the only runs scored as the Cougars got a 2-0 win.
NWU starter Owen Schmidt allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, but did not get any help from the NWU offense. The Prairie Wolves had just five hits and left 11 runners on base.
The Prairie Wolves offense also struggled in game two as Sioux Falls got the 8-3 victory. USF had 13 hits, while NWU managed nine hits but left 11 more runners on base.
Hilgenkamp took the loss on the mound going 5 innings allowing four runs (one earned) and six hits. USF starter Tim Haberman went the distance for the complete game victory.
Schaffer was 2-2 at the plate, while Andy McGowan and John Rust both added two hits apiece.
The Prairie Wolves will host Peru State College in a single 9-inning game on Tuesday (Mar. 25) at NWU Field in Lincoln. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 pm.