Two Down, Three to Go! @MUCrusadersBSB Advances with 3-2 Win over Cardinals
Baseball - Mon, May 8, 2017
News Photo
Concordia University
Concordia (Mich.) (42-13)002000000291
Madonna (30-18)10011000X393
Toledo, Ohio Mercy Field
Concordia (Mich.)PitchingMadonna
-Winner Alex DeYonker
-Save Layne Gusler
Concordia (Mich.)Indv. StatsMadonna
#0 Milheim,BDoubles 2 Players (#15,#8)
#23 Sherman,PTriples #8 Jared Hagan
NoneHome Runs None

TOLEDO, Ohio – The Madonna University baseball team got seven strong innings from right-hander Alex DeYonker (SR/Livonia, Mich.) and a nine hits from the offense en route to a 3-2 win over Concordia University – Ann Arbor for its second win at Mercy Field on Monday in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament.

The win is the 30th of the year for the Crusaders who move to 30-18 overall and are just one win away from booking a ticket to the NAIA Opening Round and three wins away from being 2017 WHAC Tournament Champions.

"I'm extremely proud of how this team took on a challenge today," said Crusaders' Head Coach Ted Falkner. "We left the hotel at 8 a.m. this morning and won a pair of elimintaiton games. We had great pitching today from Taylor Turner (JR/Northville, Mich.), Alex DeYonker, Cliff Landess (JR/Carleton, Mich. ) and Layne Gusler (SR/Woodhaven, Mich.). We are excited for the opportunity before us tomorrow. This conference has some great teams and we are thrilled to still be standing."

DeYonker, who flew in from Seattle, Washington on a red eye, continued the strong pitching performances from game one as he allowed two runs, one earned, on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts over seven innings. Layne Gusler earned his first save of the year with two one hit innings as he added three strikeouts.

The Crusaders improved to 24-9 when scoring first and 18-5 when they score in the first inning as they did on Monday. Jalen Thomas (SO/Southfield, Mich.) led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on Ryan Lambrecht (SR/Lake Orion, Mich.)'s fly out to right field and scored on Frankie Lucska (FR/Garden City, Mich.)'s two-out single to right.

An error, three hits and Mother Nature helped the Cardinals take the lead with a pair of runs in the third inning. Micah Oetting singled and Ben Balgaard followed with a sacrifice bunt, but with the sun shining directly in the eyes of Crusaders first basemen Taylor Grzelakowski (SR/Fraser, Mich.), the ball scooted down the right field line and allowed Oetting to score. A wild pitch brought in the second run and DeYonker escaped the inning with no further damage.

Jared Hagan (JR/Dearborn Heights, Mich.), who went 3-for-4, tripled with one out in the fourth and scored on a Ryan Freemantle (SR/Mississauga, Ontario) groundball to the right side to tie the game.

The Crusaders took the lead for good in the fifth as Stephen Parker (JR/Sterling Heights, Mich.) drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on Jerad Dokey (FR/Howell, Mich.)'s sacrifice bunt and scored on Lambrecht's single to right for the 3-2 advantage.

Hagan injected more life into the Crusaders' bench in the eighth as he stretched a singled into a double with one out. Matt Deneau (JR/Amherstburg, Ontario) followed with a base hit, but Cardinals' reliever Austin Atwood induced an infield fly and a strikeout to escape the jam.

Gusler then worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to notch the save.

Hagan had a third of the Crusaders' nine hits with Thomas adding a pair. Lambrecht, Lucska and Freemantle each drove in a run while Thomas, Hagan and Parker scored the three Crusader tallies.

The Crusaders return to Lima, Ohio on Tuesday, May 9 as they once again square off against Davenport University at 11 a.m. Racers Field at St. Rita's Sports Complex will be the home for the remainder of the tournament. The winner of the Crusaders and Panthers will join the University of Northwestern Ohio in the NAIA Opening Round and will face the Racers in the WHAC Championship at 3 p.m.

Live coverage of the game will be available via the Madonna Athletics Network at

A complete breakdown of tournament seeds, field locations and the bracket is available via the UNOH sports information department here.

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Record: 9-0 Home: 6-0 Away: 3-0 WHAC: 9-0