Concordia splits GPAC opening doubleheader with Briar Cliff
The Concordia University, Nebraska, baseball team opened Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) play on Saturday, March 31 by splitting a doubleheader with Briar Cliff. The Chargers took the first game 4-3, but Concordia exploded for a 14-1 win in the second game.
Following Saturday's action Concordia has a 16-14 record on the season and is 1-1 in GPAC play. Briar Cliff moved to 13-14 overall and 1-1 in GPAC action.
Game One: Briar Cliff 4, Concordia 3
Wins and losses often come down to just a few plays, such was the case for the Bulldogs in game one. Concordia starter junior Jordan Stirtz (Gretna, Neb.) made two mistakes in a complete game effort. Unfortunately those two mistakes accounted for four runs.
Up 1-0 entering the third inning, the Stirtz retired the first hitter of the inning, then an error by junior Kyle Ivanoff (Tucson, Ariz.) allowed Brendon Opsahl to reach. Stirtz issue a walk to the next batter, but recorded the second out of the inning on a sacrifice bunt. Briar Cliff's David Kowal made the most of his opportunity, smashing a 1-0 pitch over the wall in center field. Moments later, Brad Winkelman launched a 3-2 pitch for back-to-back home runs, giving Briar Cliff a 4-1 lead.
Stirtz limited the Chargers to one hit the rest of the way but suffered the loss (2-6). Stirtz finished the game allowing just three hits and two walks in seven innings.
Briar Cliff's Gary Davis earned the win (4-1), giving up three runs on six hits and four walks in 5.2 innings. Beau Brown picked up his eighth save of the season with a perfect 1.1 innings of relief.
Offensive the Bulldogs manufactured a run without a hit in the first and scored two in the third. Concordia, however, left eight runners on base and had another thrown out at the plate in the loss. Junior Ray Finley (Tucson, Ariz.) and freshman Daniel Wilkerson (Santa Fe, Texas) provided the majority of the Bulldogs thunder. Finley was 1-for-3 with two RBI, while Wilkerson finished 2-for-3 with two doubles.
Game Two: Concordia 14, Briar Cliff 1
The frustration of the first game was erased in game two as the Concordia unloaded in each of the first four frames. The Bulldogs scored three runs in the first and the second, then notched four runs in the third and fourth innings.
Finley kicked off the fireworks with a towering three-run home run in the bottom of the first. He delivered again in the second with a two-run single and finished game two, 3-for-4 with six RBI.
As a team, Concordia amassed 14 runs on 11 hits, five walks and four hit batters.
Senior Zak Goodrich (Lutz, Fla.) was hit three times in the contest, scoring each time he was put on base.
Concordia freshman Michael Hodges (Colorado Springs, Colo.) nabbed his second win (2-1) of the season with a complete game, one hitter. Hodges held Briar Cliff to one unearned run on one hit and two walks, recording eight strikeouts in seven innings.
Briar Cliff's Dylan Romo suffered the loss (3-2) allowing six runs (four earned) on two hits and three walks in 1.1 innings. Romo was one of six Charger pitchers used in the game.
Concordia is back in action, tomorrow, April 1 as the Bulldogs host Dakota Wesleyan in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.
31 March 2012