Stars Split Regular Season Series Finale

Sat May 4, 2019
After dropping game one, 4-1, to the Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks, the Dominican University baseball team rode Bryant Bagshaw to a complete-game, 3-2, win to salvage a series split in the Stars' regular season finale.  For Bagshaw, the win was his ninth of the season, improving to 9-0 to tie the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) single season record for wins.
 
"We were sleepwalking most of the day offensively," said Steve Hardman, the Stars' head coach. "But we told the guys between games that this time of year, sometimes you just have to figure out a way to win and we did that in the second game.  We have put ourselves in a good spot to be a third or fourth seed in the conference tournament."
 
"I told the guys—now that we are finished with the conference regular season—that I'm proud of what we have accomplished so far," continued Hardman. "Nobody picked us to be in the conference tournament, in fact we were picked in the bottom three. We turned a lot of heads and showed what we can do and what we are going to do in the future. We accomplished our first goal of making the conference tournament and now we need to make some noise in the conference tournament."
 
The Stars, 19-18 on the season, finished the regular season 13-9 in league play and will find out their seed for the NACC Tournament when games finish up on Sunday.  The conference tournament opens play on Thursday at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, Wisconsin.
 
Game One: Illinois Tech 4, Dominican 1
 
A true pitcher's duel early on, Dominican's Hayden Young and Illinois Tech's Ryan Cantlin went toe-to-toe, cruising through the first five innings without surrendering a run.  In the top of the sixth, the Scarlet Hawks broke the scoreless affair when Michael Courtney doubled down the right field line with two away before coming home when Orlando Cardenas-Juan singled to center.
 
The Stars bats answered in the bottom of the inning when Johnny Condron reached on a hit-by-pitch to start the inning.  After a single by Frankie Sessa and a sacrifice bunt by Mike Piotrowski, Brandon Diedrich drove in Condron with a sac fly.
 
The Scarlet Hawks pulled back in front in the top of the seventh, scoring on Ted Howell's sacrifice fly.  Illinois Tech then added to their lead in the top of the eighth, plating a pair of runs to chase Young from the game.
 
While Trevor Fulmer, on in relief of Young, retired five of the six hitters he faced to end the game, the Dominican bats managed just a two-out single from Sessa in the eighth the rest of the way.
 
Young was tagged with four runs on seven hits over 7.1 innings of work, falling to 3-4 on the season. 
 
Offensively, the Stars managed just four hits, three from Sessa and one from Tyler Trojan, while Cantlin went the distance on the mound for Illinois Tech, improving to 5-2 on the year.
 
Game Two: Dominican 3, Illinois Tech 2
 
The Scarlet Hawks took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth before the Stars rallied for three in the fifth for a 3-2 win behind Bagshaw who picked up his second straight complete-game victory.
 
Ryan Simak and Condron sparked the fifth inning rally with back-to-back singles.  After the Scarlet Hawks set down the next two hitters, Diedrich loaded the bases with a single to right.  Camron Stafford worked a bases loaded walk to push across Simak before Trojan ripped what proved to be a game-winning double down the right field line, scoring Condron and Diedrich.
 
Bagshaw then worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the sixth.  After striking out the first two hitters of the inning, Jacob Sorenson reached on a bunt single before David Navarro singled to right and Darius Jones was hit-by-pitch to load the bases.  Bagshaw then got Courtney to bounce out to second to end the threat.
 
The Stars' rookie right-hander worked through the seventh and eighth without much trouble before Jones started the top of the ninth with a single.  After back-to-back pop outs, Zach Dickey singled to put the tying run into scoring position before Bagshaw picked up his fourth strikeout of the day to squash the Scarlet Hawks hopes of a rally.
 
In total, Bagshaw allowed just two runs, one earned, on eight hits and one walk while striking out four.  The Lake Havasu native currently leads the NACC in wins and innings pitched and ranks eighth in strikeouts with 52, one behind Young.
 
Offensively, the Stars collected 12 hits in winning the nightcap.  Condron was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with a run scored while Diedrich finished 3-for-4 with a run scored.  Trojan picked up two hits and tallied two RBIs and walked once.