Bats Come Alive as #6 Cougars Crush #22 Cardinals

More news about: Concordia-Chicago

March 5, 2018 - Perhaps no other sport is as different on a day-to-day basis as baseball. One day after Concordia University Chicago was frustrated by their inability to get a clutch hit in a one-run loss to Heidelberg University, the sixth-ranked Cougars broke out today in a big way with the hits and runs coming in bunches. The end result was a 12-0 seven-inning win over #22 St. John Fisher College in game two of the six-game Florida trip.

The crowd was still settling in at Chain of Lakes Stadium in Winter Haven as the Cougars came to bat in the bottom of the first. Keegan Tyrell drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a pair of balks. Joe Silva then lifted a sacrifice fly to left for a fast 1-0 lead.

"We were frustrated with our inconsistencies in the first four games, not being able to find the confidence that we normally have at the plate," said CUC head coach Mike Stawski. "But today, we did well in getting on a starting pitcher who had not pitched yet. We did not let him get comfortable on the mound, and we mixed in our running game, all of which led to good results."

In the second, the Cougars quickly loaded the bases with no out and got into the SJFC bullpen early.  Shortstop Jose Mercado greeted the new pitcher with a slow roller to the second baseman, whose throw home was too late to get Justin Rodriguez. Another run scored on a double play, and a single to right by Silva made it a 4-0 game.

The Cougars blew the game wide open in the third, sending 11 men to the plate and scoring five times. With one out and a man aboard, Rodriguez laced a double to left for a five-run lead. Kevin Garcia's second hit in as many at-bats put runners on the corners, forcing the Cardinals to go to the bullpen again. Matt Fauth, Mercado and Tyrell all delivered run-scoring hits, and a wild pitch added a fifth run, all of which turned the game into an early rout.

Concordia-Chicago added their final three runs with two out in the fourth, Tyrell doubling to the left field corner and Andrew Massey singling through the left side to score a pair. 

Not to be lost in the shuffle, lefty Adam Gregory turned in another stellar performance for the Cougars. Gregory followed his seven scoreless innings versus Concordia University Texas last week with five more today. He allowed just one hit, a clean leadoff single to left in the fourth, and walked one while fanning three. He faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings, as both of the baserunners he allowed were erased, one on a pick-off and the other on a double play. Abelardo Paz Agudelo and Adam Schmitt followed Gregory, each throwing one scoreless inning to complete the rout.

The Cougars (3-2) will enjoy the first of two off-days this week on Tuesday before retuning to action Wednesday against Penn State-Altoona.