Cougars Begin Road Back with win Over Sabres

More news about: Concordia-Chicago

May 12, 2018 – After rain interrupted day two of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference tournament, the Concordia-Chicago baseball team were back at Kapco Field in Mequon, WI today to start their road back toward the title. The Cougars faced the second-seeded Marian University Sabres, both teams looking to bounce back from a first-round loss.  This game would be decided on the strength of CUC's pitching as the Cougars eliminated the Sabres by a final score of 4-2.

After CUC's bats were quiet on Thursday night, the prospect of playing several games over the next two days had CUC head coach Mike Stawski hoping that the offense would generate some early momentum. Stawski got his wish, following an easy 1-2-3 top of the first with two strikeouts by Brian Musielak. Jose Mercado led off against southpaw Ty Peccioli with a sharp single to left. Mercado then stole second base despite the Sabres' pickoff attempt, and he moved to third when the MU shortstop kicked Bryan VanDuser's ground ball. VanDuser would steal second before Joe Silva's grounder to short scored Mercado. Andrew Massey then delivered a two-out single to right, bringing VanDuser home for a 2-0 lead.

Marian tied the game on three straight hits with one out in the second, Sean Meyer's double that hugged the line in right field knocking in both runs. The Cougars threatened to regain the lead as they got a man to third in the bottom of the inning but could not get the clutch hit. In the third, however, VanDuser led off with a single, stole second (the Cougars' fourth steal in the first three innings) and scored on Massey's double to left.

The next few innings belonged to Musielak as he retired the side quickly in each of the next two innings. The Cougars then increased their lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth, and Massey was in the center of it again, He reached on an error, advanced on Mitch Wilson's single through the right side and scored on Keegan Tyrell's smash up the middle. Musielak went on to pitch two more innings, getting a 6-4-3 double play on his 88th and final pitch to end a Marian threat in the seventh.

Mike Formella came on to pitch the eighth and was headed to a fast 1-2-3 inning when a routine fly to left was dropped. Marian's Michael Pappas then singled to put the go-ahead run to the plate, but Formella rose to the occasion and fanned Josh Gates. He then finished things out in the ninth, allowing a one-out single but coming back to get a 6-4-3 game-ending double play. The save was Formella's 14th of the year, setting a new single-season record, and the 22nd of his career, tying the record of Steve Cox (2011-14)