Eagles News
Baseball - Thu, May. 10, 2012
Aaron Gates had a RBI against Doane
Aaron Gates had a RBI against Doane

Eagles Can't Hold on in Ninth

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The #9 Concordia Eagles opened up the NAIA Opening Round in Marion, IN in tough fashion on Thursday night, May 10 against Doane College (NE).  The Eagles led most the game, but allowed two runs to score in the bottom of the ninth inning on wild pitches to lose 4-3.

Brent Clapper was the tough-luck loser for Concordia, as he went eight and one third innings, allowing 10 hits and four runs, three earned.  Sean Buford pitched to the final three batters, but didn't retire any.  One scored on a wild pitch and the winning run came across as Doane failed to execute the bases-loaded squeeze play, but the ball bounced awry and the run scored anyway.

Aaron Gates went two-for-five with one RBI and Spencer Ofelt added two hits, including a double.  Tony Harkey, Jr. had a double for an RBI, and Ty Holm, Kyle Konicek, and Ryan DiMascio each had one hit.  The Eagles were two-for-four on stealing bases and each team left 12 men on base.  CU had many opportunities to score more runs, but could not find the big hit.  They had eight hits as a team, but had a couple costly errors in the field.

"I think we came into the game a little tight offensively," head coach Mike Grahovac said.  "Doane played hard and won the game.  We will be ready to go tomorrow night."

Ty Holm singled to lead off the game, but was caught stealing to end the threat.  The Tigers led off the bottom with a double to right center.  They followed with a RBI singled through the right side to make it 1-0.  Two fly outs, a single, and a groundout ended the inning.  Ofelt singled through the right side to start the second.  Chris Kuber walked with one out and DiMascio was hit by a pitch to load the bags.  Ofelt scored on a wild pitch.  Two Eagles struck out to end the frame.

Clapper worked around a hit batsman in the second inning.  Gates singled up the middle with two out in the third.  Ofeld doubled and Dave Peterson walked.  But CU could not score a run.  Clapper retired three straight after a leadoff single in the bottom half.

Concordia was hitless in the fourth, and Clapper retired the final batter after a two-out single and walk in the bottom.  Holm walked to leadoff the fifth and went to third on Konicek's single to right center.  Gates dropped a RBI-single down the left field line, but got caught trying to take second, and Konicek ended up getting gunned at third on the play.  Gates stole second and moved to third on a groundout, but again the Eagles left him stranded.  Clapper worked around a two-out double in the bottom half.

DiMascio singled to lead off the sixth inning and was sacrificed to second.  Harkey doubled to right center to plate DiMascio to make it 3-1.  The Eagles failed to bring in Harkey.  Clapper sent them down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth.

Kuber walked with two-out in the seventh and was replaced by pinch-runner John Doering, who was caught stealing second.  Doane reached on an error with one out in the bottom half.  After a walk, CU forced two straight groundouts to the pitcher.  DiMascio reached on an error to start the eighth, stole second, but was left stranded.  Doane reached second with one out in the bottom frame due to a CU throwing error.  A single to left scored the run.

Concordia left runners on first and second in the top of the ninth.  Doane hit two straight one-out singles in the ninth.  They walked and scored on the first wild pitch.  After an intentional walk, the final run scored.  Clapper dropped to 7-3.  Tiger starter Chance Brull threw 150 pitches in the no decision.  Nathan Roth improved to 5-4.

Concordia will play the winner of #Mount Vernon/#3 Taylor at 5 pm PST tomorrow in loser-out action.  Follow live stats at http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Tournament/TournamentPage.aspx?association=10&sg=MBA&tour=835.  Taylor video stream - http://athletics.taylor.edu/news/2012/5/9/BB_VideoStream.aspx.  Mount Vernon radio - http://www.wnzr.fm/studio/sports.php.


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