Tabetha DeGroot —Staff Writer
The Dordt University Defender Baseball team is nearing the end of its season with an 8-12 record in conference play.
In March, Gyeongju Kim, the team’s ace, showcased his talent in an eleven-inning win against Hastings College. He fanned 21 Bronco batters, breaking one of Dordt’s oldest records, originally set in 1972 by Guy DeHaan.
The game’s final score favored the Defenders, 3-1. Logan Cline pushed the game into extra innings after he was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on an RBI single by Chase Edwards.
“I don’t think there is any game I would call a successful game,” Kim said. “Because what I believe, everything that I do is for His glory…When I try to raise myself, he always put me down, so ‘humility’ is the motto of my life.”
On April 9, Dordt faced Mount Marty University in a doubleheader. The first game went back and forth with teams trading haymakers, like the gusts of wind that propelled routine pop flies or foul balls into extra base hits. Mt. Marty scored the first three runs, but Dordt soon tied it up with a homer from Logan Cline and RBI singles from Dylan Stanley and Aaron Eshelman.
In the third and fourth, Dordt pulled ahead 8-6, but Mt. Marty caught up in the sixth and took a one-run lead, a lead that diminished in the bottom of the sixth.
Mt. Marty scored six in the seventh, leading to a 15-9 score entering the bottom of the seventh inning.
Dordt trimmed the lead to four off a 2 RBI error from Mt. Marty’s shortstop and then three thanks to an RBI single from catcher Luke November, his fifth hit of the contest that tied a Dordt record.
A wild pitch scored another run and put runners on second and third. Pinch hitter and freshman Cade Hollingsworth smacked a 3-run homer into the trees behind left field, walking it off for Dordt 16-15. Relief pitcher Carter Scott picked up the win.
“It’s been really cool to see a handful of guys get it done this past weekend,” Head Coach Nathan Bacon said.
The game featured eight homeruns, 31 runs scored, and 29 hits between the two teams.
But the team’s success hasn’t been easy.
“We were 0 and 6 to start the year and that was not what we wanted. We went to Florida and started to figure something out. We found a good dynamic here,” Bacon said. “I think the biggest improvement for us has just been our consistency with staring pitching. And part of that goes to the guy behind the plate, Luke November…he’s a warrior back there.”
Another warrior is Kim. His performances earned him GPAC and NAIA pitcher of the week on March 29.
In the double header against Jamestown University this past weekend Dordt lost 0-2 and 1-6. This coming weekend brings a four-game tournament with Concordia University that could turn things around yet again. Currently, Dordt sits at 9th in the GPAC, tied with Northwestern.
“Baseball is an unpredictable game,” Kim said. “So we do our best ‘til the end.”