Orioles take three of four on the diamond

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Concordia Orioles finished off a productive week on the baseball diamond with a 10-3 I-70 Conference victory over the Wellington Tigers on Thursday, April 13 at the Concordia Sports Complex.

The Orioles jumped out ahead in the bottom of the first inning. Four errors by the Tigers allowed Peyton Moore and Lane Mueller to both reach base and eventually score for a 2-0 edge.

But after giving up a one-out single in the top of the second, Concordia committed an error of its own that allowed Wellington to get its first run.

Brayden McGinnis led off the bottom of the third with a single and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by John Sparks. The Tigers pulled right back within one in the top of the fourth when the leadoff man reached on an error at third and scored on another miscue at the hot corner.

The Orioles finally got some breathing room in the bottom of the fourth. After Matt Gatewood led off with a walk and Spencer Brown reached on a fielder’s choice, Moore and Cameron Cooper drove in both by reaching on back-to-back errors at shortstop.

Mueller brought Moore and Cooper home on a two-run single into shallow right field that capped the big inning.

Blake Bunch got one back for Wellington by leading off the top of the fifth with a double and scoring. But Concordia padded the lead for good in the bottom half. Gatewood and Brown got back-to-back base knocks and scored on a hit from McGinnis.

Cooper, McGinnis and Gatewood each had 2 hits. Cooper had 2 stolen bases, and McGinnis and Mueller drove in a pair of runs each.

Mueller allowed no earned runs in six innings as the starter, giving up 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. McGinnis pitched a perfect final seventh.

Concordia 2
at Crest Ridge 2 (F/14)

A marathon game broke out in Centerview on Wednesday, April 12. Caleb Pfannkuch led off the top of the third with a walk and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to center by McGinnis to get the Orioles on top first, but the Cougars tied things right back up in the bottom half.

Crest Ridge grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fourth, but Concordia would respond to tie the game back up in the top of the sixth. McGinnis smacked a leadoff double and scored the very next at-bat after a two-base knock from Mueller.

The game would stay knotted for a staggering 8 more innings. The game could have gone on even longer, but daylight faded after the 14th, and due to a lack of lights at the Crest Ridge field, the game was called a tie.

Mueller was the top performer at the plate with 3 hits, but it was the combined pitching efforts of Pfannkuch and Tate Bittiker that proved to be the difference.

Bittiker went above and beyond the normal complete-game effort in his start, stretching out to 8 innings; giving up just 4 hits and one walk; and punching out 7. Pfannkuch only allowed one hit over the last 6 innings and struck out 5.

Concordia 6
at Sweet Springs 2

Cooper led off the game on Tuesday, April 11 with a single and scored on a base hit by Moore, but the Greyhounds jumped in front in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs.

The Orioles busted things open with a big fourth inning. Mueller led off with a double, Moore singled up the middle, and John Sparks beat out the throw for an RBI bunt.

After a base hit by Gatewood, Brown reached on an error to score a run, and Cooper whacked an RBI single into right to complete a four-run fourth and finish the scoring.

Cooper, Mueller and Moore each had a pair of knocks. Sparks and Brown joined the previous three in each driving in a run.

Mueller was solid in the first 2 innings, giving up a pair of hits and a pair of walks each while striking out 4. Gatewood was electric in the final 5 innings, racking up 11 K’s and only yielding one hit.

The Orioles also blew past Slater 15-0 in the last week, raising their overall record to 7-2-1. Concordia earned the top seed in the I-70 Conference baseball tournament that will get started on April 24.

The upcoming schedule before the tourney for the Orioles includes a showdown with St. Paul; matchups with Santa Fe and Leeton; and a game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City against Heritage Christian Academy.

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