Caleb Pollema—Staff Writer
The Defenders’ baseball team made the annual 27-hour bus trip to Tucson, Arizona, on March 7th for a week of games in the desert.
For many of the players, this is a chance to experience a part of the country they have never seen before and share quality time outside of baseball with their teammates.
“I really enjoyed getting to play a lot of games in a short time,” sophomore pitcher AJ Bosscher said. “It was great getting to spend time with guys outside of baseball without our normal school routine.”
The team arrived on Friday evening and began games with a pair of nine-inning contests on Saturday. The Defenders fell to Jamestown in a non-conference matchup by a final score of 4-13.
The second game of the day proved to be better for the Defenders as senior Luke Drooger led the team to a 16-9 victory over Mayville State with an outstanding performance on the mound.
The Defenders resumed action on the following Monday with two more non-conference games. Dordt fell to Southwest Minnesota State, an NCAA Division II school, in a hotly contested matchup by a final of 3-6.
However, Dordt rebounded later that day as the bats came to life in a 14-8 victory over Nebraska Wesleyan.
While set to play another doubleheader on Tuesday against Lourdes University, the games were canceled as rain hit the Tucson area late Monday night and into Tuesday morning.
This left the Defenders in a unique situation with two off days in a row, since Wednesday had already been scheduled as a free day.
Dordt would then turn their attention to a four-game series to open GPAC play in the desert against Morningside College.
The Defenders opened the series with a back and forth loss on Thursday afternoon by a final of 5-8. The next two games proved to be difficult as Dordt failed to produce any runs in back-to-back shutout losses by a final of 0-9 and 0-4.
They didn’t capitalize on an early 4-0 lead in the fourth and final game of the series and fell by a final of 4-7.
Despite the losses, many players got the opportunity to see collegiate action for the first time.
“It was a great experience to be a part of, and I loved playing with all my friends after a long winter,” freshman pitcher Logan Horne said. “It was very exciting getting to play college ball for the first time.”
Dordt will return to action on March 22 with a doubleheader at Dakota Wesleyan, followed by their home opener this Saturday afternoon against Doane University. The doubleheader will begin at 1:00 p.m.