Sabres drop marathon game to close out NACC play

FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Marian University baseball (11-27, 5-15 NACC) fell to Dominican 7-2 and 5-4 in 16 innings to close out NACC play.

In the opener, Dominican would strike first in the top of the second but the lead wouldn't last long.  Senior Tyler Thompson opened the scoring for Marian with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third before a bases loaded walk from freshman Trey Johnson scored fellow freshman Tim Dziergas in the fourth to give Marian a 2-1 lead.

The Stars answered in the next half-inning taking advantage of an error to retake the lead for good with a pair of runs.  Dominican would add on to their lead in the final innings as they were able to get at the Sabre bullpen setting the final at 7-2.

Sophomore Jordan Bock (3-5) took the loss tossing 7.0 innings allowing three earned runs and scattering eight hits while striking out four.  Fellow sophomore Jake Falish led the offense going 3-4, while senior Tommy Dugandzic, freshman Tommy Miller and Dziergas each had multi-hit games in the loss.

Game two of the twin bill would need extra innings but Dominican was able to come out on top.  Each team plated a run in the first inning with Thompson driving a single into center that was misplayed and allowed Johnson to score from first.  Marian then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth off an RBI single from Thompson that plated Falish with two outs.  The Stars responded in the next half-inning taking advantage of an error to tie the game and then take the lead in the seventh. 

After the stretch, it was Thompson again who provided a big hit driving a double to right field with two outs to plate Falish once again before Dugandzic brought him in with a single to give Marian the lead once again at 4-3.  Dominican once again had an answer, however, as they were able to tie the game in the top of the eighth at 4-4.

From there, the game was a pitching duel with the Sabre defense flashing the leather.  Marian would cut down potential go-ahead runs at the plate twice as Thompson threw out a runner following a fly out in the top of the ninth and senior Cole Miklavcic gunned down a runner in the top of the 15th, both plays ended the inning.

The Sabre offense would put the game-winning run in scoring position in three of the seven extra innings but couldn't come up with the clutch hit to end it.  In the top of the 16th, Dominican would hit back-to-back singles with two outs to plate a run to take the lead for good and set the 16 inning final at 5-4.

Sophomore Brady Nehring had another solid start throwing 7.0 innings allowing seven hits and two earned runs while striking out 10 Star hitters.  Junior Kellen Shea (3-5) took the tough-luck loss throwing the final 9.0 innings allowing eight hits and a pair of earned runs.

Thompson's pair of two-out RBI hits helped him lead the offense in game two going 3-7 with two runs batted in and a run scored.  Miklavcic, Falish and Walker also had multiple hits in the loss.

Marian concludes the season hosting UW-Stevens Point Tuesday, May 9 for a 5 p.m. twin bill.