Story courtesy of Texas Lutheran University Sports Information
APPLETON, Wis. -- Concordia Chicago took an early 6-0 lead and withstood a couple of Texas Lutheran rallies to post an 8-3 win Saturday night at the NCAA Division III Baseball World Series.
At Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium, the Cougars advanced to the championship round of Pool B. The eight-team championship field is divided into two four-team, double-elimination pools (mini-tournaments), with the Pool A winner facing the Pool B winner in a best 2-of-3 series for the national championship.
TLU (39-10) faces Swarthmore (Pa.) (38-10) in an elimination game Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. NCAA.com will have the video webcast, and Seguin radio station KWED 1580 AM will have the radio call and an audio-only webcast (seguintoday.com). Links to video, radio and live stats can be found at tlubulldogs.com.
The winner of TLU v Swarthmore plays Concordia (40-13) at 7:45 p.m. Sunday. TLU or Swarthmore would need two victories over the Cougars to win Pool B and advance to the best 2-of-3 round between the pool winners.
In Saturday night's victory over TLU, Concordia scored a run in the first, a run in the second and then four in the third to chase TLU starter Dylan Drgac (11-2). The senior right-hander went 2-2/3 and allowed six earned runs. He walked three and struck out three.
The Cougars, the No. 2 overall seed in the championship, snapped TLU's 11-game win streak. The Bulldogs are the No. 6 overall seed in the championship. Concordia pushed its own win streak to five games.
A pair of triples figured into the scoring in the first and the second for Concordia. Bryan VanDuser tripled in the first and then scored on a Joe Silva sacrifice fly. In the second, a one-out walk by Brady Roberts turned into a run after a Kevin Coppin triple.
The four-run fourth for the Cougars included a Silva RBI single, an Andrew Massey RBI double, a sacrifice fly from Mitch Wilson, and a Connor Brandon RBI single.
The Bulldogs registered their first hit and then scored their first run in the third. Riley Schaefer reached on a hit-by-pitch and moved to second on a failed pick-off attempt at first. After advancing to third on a groundout, Schaefer came home on an RBI single from Thomas Varner (Austin/Bowie).
The Bulldogs crept within 6-3 with a two-run fifth that began when Spencer Brandt was hit by a pitch. Eric Rabinowitz (Schertz/Clemens) walked, and Schaefer sacrificed the base runners to second and third. Brandt scored on a Ben Marvin sacrifice fly, and Rabinowitz came home on the second RBI single from Varner.
In the very next half-inning, Concordia scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth to push the lead back to four, 7-3.
Concordia starter Keaton Conner worked around four walks and limited TLU to three hits and three runs (two earned). He struck out four. Conner improved to 5-2.
Cougar closer Mike Formella pitched the final three innings to record his 15th save of the year.
Jacob Wieder tossed three innings in middle relief for TLU. The sophomore right-hander did not allow an earned run, and he struck out three.