ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Midland University opened up their 2019 conference baseball schedule over the weekend with a four-game series with Northwestern College. Originally scheduled as a home-and-home split doubleheader, the series turned into all four games being played in Orange City, Iowa after flooding left Moller Field in Fremont unplayable. The Red Raiders won the first and last games of the series (4-2 and 11-5) while the Warriors won the middle games (15-3 and 5-4).
On Friday the Warriors battled back to tie the Red Raiders at 1-1 in the 5th inning and then in extra innings, after going up 2-1 in the top of the eighth, Northwestern came through with a two-run walk-off home run to win the game 4-2. Andrew Davidsonpitched the entire game for Midland and was saddled with the loss. He allowed four runs while striking out a pair and walking three others.
In the second game the Warriors’ bats came alive producing nine runs in the top of the 4th and then five more in the 6th on their way to a 15-3 victory. Matt Abdelnour have five RBI in the game with two homers while both Bryan Smith and James Kaiser each drove in three runs each. Andrew Snook pitched five innings to pick the win. He struck out six and walked two while allowing three earned runs.
On Saturday, Midland once again had to work their way out of a deficit as they trailed Northwester 3-0 after four innings in game one. In the bottom of the fifth the Warriors would get on the board as Kyle Weber hit a sacrifice fly that brought in the first run of the day. An inning later Jack Barrios and Bryan Smith would single home a run each to tie the game to eventually send it to extra innings.
In the extra inning, just like on Friday the first team to the plate drove in the go-ahead run. However with Midland serving as they home team, they were able to counter in the bottom of the 8th as Smith sacrificed home a run to tie the game. Then with two outs, Braun reached on a throwing error by the Red Raider infielder that allowed Dakota Thornton to score the winning run. Brendon Jones, who came on in relief, pitched two innings and earned the victory. He struck out a pair of batters while allowing just one, unearned run, to come across the plate.
In the series finale, Northwestern saw their offense take advantage of a pieced-together Midland pitching staff. The Warriors had five different players take the mound, including two position players, in the seven inning game. Combined they gave up 11 runs (7 earned), 4 walks, 1 home run, and struck out 2. Luke Egging, who started the game and went 2.0 innings, picked up the loss.
Offensively Midland looked good early, scoring three in the bottom of the first, but could only muster two more runs the rest of the way. Thornton had two RBI with two walks and one hit, a solo home run in the third, on the day. He was one of two Warriors to reach base more than once, the other being Braun who had a hit and a walk.
Up next for Midland (9-12, 2-2 GPAC) is a four-game series with Dordt (3-10, 0-6 GPAC) on Friday and Saturday. With Moller Field since unplayable in Fremont, all games will be played in Sioux Center, Iowa at Open Space Park. First pitch of the series is set for 4:00 p.m. on Friday.