Pitching Rules as Benedictine Splits with Concordia Chicago

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RIVER FOREST, Ill. - The Benedictine University baseball team christened the conference portion of the season by splitting a doubleheader with 25th ranked Concordia Chicago on Saturday.

Mark Belcastro upped his record to 4-0 on the season by throwing his second consecutive complete game, leading Benedictine to the upset victory in the series opener.

Belcastro logged seven strikeouts while limiting the top hitting team in the Northern Athletics Conference to just five hits. Benedictine opened the scoring in the first inning. Dan Zust drew a leadoff walk and swiped second base. With one out, Ryan Mullin knocked a double down the right field line to put the Eagles in front.

A four run third inning put Benedictine in command. Zust led off the inning with a double and Nick Karakosta followed with an infield single. With two outs an error allowed a run to score and keep the inning moving. John Cervantes doubled home two runs and the outburst concluded with a Uli Ortiz RBI two-bagger.

Belcatro allowed single runs in the third and fourth before the Eagles put the game away with an insurance tally in the ninth on a Karakosta sacrifice fly which plated Tim Hendricks.

The Eagles notched 10 hits in the win. Zust finished 3-for-4 at the top of the lineup while Karakosta and Cervantes also netted two hits each.

The tables turned in the night cap as Concordia's Dan Kluss flirted with a no-hitter in outshining Benedictine during a pitcher's duel.

Kluss upped his mark to 4-0 on the season by tossing a complete game, striking out nine in the win. Kluss did not allow a hit until a Cervantes double to lead off the eighth. Kluss was perfect until issuing a walk to Chris Wanderling with two outs in the sixth.

Mike Irgang was also up to the challenge on the hill for Benedictine. Irgang pitched 5.1 innings and was hit with the hard luck loss. The freshman allowed just single runs in the third and the sixth. The Cervantes double led to the lone Benedictine run on a fielder's choice off the bat of Ortiz.

Benedictine (7-8, 1-1) is 2-3 this season against teams in the D3baseball.com Top 25. The Eagles will host Aurora (12-3, 2-0) on Sunday afternoon in the home opener at The Sports Complex. Aurora is just outside the Top 25. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.