Concordia completes series win over Oklahoma Wesleyan
BARTELSEVILLE, Okla. – Head coach Jeremy Geidel’s Bulldogs finished off a three-game weekend set with a doubleheader split against Oklahoma Wesleyan (12-6) on Saturday. After letting a lead slip away and falling 3-2 in game one on Saturday, Concordia rebounded with a 5-2 victory in game two as starting pitcher Luke Parish-Ward picked up his first win in a Bulldog uniform. Concordia (2-5) also defeated the Eagles in Friday’s single game.
“There’s a lot we can take from this weekend,” Geidel said. “From the Bethany weekend until now, we were a totally different ball club. We literally reset the season. That Bethany weekend basically motivated them to get after it.
“We went out to Bethany and didn’t play very well, but we were able to refocus. We took advantage of our two weeks and got here (to Bartlesville) and played well against a good team.”
Just like in Saturday’s game one loss, the Concordia offense took a while to get going in the night cap. After being held without a hit through five innings, the Bulldogs finally busted loose in the sixth inning with four runs. Pinch runner Miles Barrow got Concordia on the board when he sprinted home on a wild pitch. Kyle Ivanoff connected on an RBI double and Camaren Gause and Ray Finley both drove in runs with sacrifice flies in the frame for a 4-1 lead.
Parish-Ward, who went 5.1 innings and scattered 10 hits, gave way to reliever Tim Fosmo in the sixth, who got two key outs with runners on first and second to end the threat. Jordan Ahl then closed the game out in the seventh inning to pick up his first save of the season.
“The highlight was that we stayed in it. Luke gave us a chance and our pitching and defense kept us right there,” Geidel said. “In the sixth we got a couple people on base and we got some key hits. It was big for us just to be able to put the bat on the ball in that situation. We didn’t miss our opportunity.”
In game one, both starting pitchers cruised through the first three innings of play. Oklahoma Wesleyan hurler Zach Hendrix, who entered the game with a record of 4-0 with a 0.67 ERA, faced the minimum through three innings and did not allow a hit until Andrew Yerrell’s infield single to lead off the fourth. That got the ball rolling for the Bulldogs as catcher Ray Finley followed an RBI double to left. Concordia got one more run in the inning when Barrow scored from third after Kyle Ivanoff was caught attempting to steal second.
Hendrix then shut the door on the Bulldogs over the final three frames to pick up a complete-game victory. Hendrix trailed 2-1 until the bottom of the sixth when Oklahoma Wesleyan came up with the game-deciding two runs. After Brandenburg departed in the sixth with a man on first, the Eagles’ Cody Riley doubled home a run and Nick Palese then singled in the game-winning run.
The Bulldogs got a one-out double from Zach Gulley in the seventh and final inning but were unable to advance him as Tyler Harris struck out and Ryan Lane flied out to left to end the game.
Brandenburg went 5.1 innings and gave up two earned runs on six hits and one walk. He struck out two while getting a no decision.
Leadoff hitter Andrew Yerrell led the team in hitting on the day with a 3-for-7 effort that included two runs and one RBI.
With Tuesday’s (March 5) scheduled doubleheader already canceled due to poor playing conditions caused by unfavorable winter weather, the Bulldogs now look forward to their spring break trip to Florida. Concordia will play a total of nine games from March 9 – 16 in The Sunshine State.