Baseball edged in wild opener at Chapman

Photo by Jordan Vredeveld
Photo by Jordan Vredeveld

ORANGE, Calif. – After scoring two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 3-3 it looked as if the Concordia University Wisconsin Baseball team had a chance at a comeback win in its 2017 season opener at Chapman on Friday night. However, mistakes in the ninth inning led to a Chapman run, resulting in a 4-3 final. The host Panthers scored the winning run on a walk-off balk.

THE BASICS
- Final Score: Chapman 4, Concordia Wisconsin 3
- Location: Hart Park – Orange, California
- Records: Chapman 10-3; Concordia Wisconsin 0-1

HOW IT HAPPENED
- The score was 3-1 for much of the night Friday as it remained that way from the top of the second all the way until the Falcons stepped up for their last at-bat in the top of the ninth. That is when CUW tied the game with a pair of runs. After a leadoff walk, senior Isaac Tewes (Chaska, Minn.) doubled in senior Bryan Thomas (Lowell, Ind.) to make the score 3-2.

- Facing their final out with the tying run on second base, junior Dan Ranieri (Loves Park, Ill.) singled in junior Michael Szeszol (Lake Bluff, Ill.) to even the score up at 3-3.

- The Falcons could not carry momentum over to the bottom half of the ninth as mistakes allowed Chapman to gain the one-run win. The Panthers first batter in the ninth, Christian Cosby, reached on an error, putting him on second base. A sacrifice bunt moved him over to third and a balk allowed him to score, handing the Falcons the crushing defeat.

- The rest of the scoring came early on Friday as Chapman jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Three of the Panthers first five hitters delivered RBI hits, including doubles by Gavin Blodgett and Tyler Cook.

- The Falcons scored their first run of 2017 in the bottom of the second as Thomas singled in junior Kyle Hilliard (Oak Forest, Ill.). Hilliard began the frame with a single.

FALCONS LEADERS
- CUW outhit Chapman 9-7 on Friday and were paced by two hits from three different players. Ranieri collected a pair of hits from the top of the order, while Tewes and junior Kyle Washburn (Pleasant Prairie, Wis.) also totaled two hits.

- Senior Andrew Heideman (Bakersfield, Calif.) settled in after the first inning and delivered a career-best 10 strikeouts in a return to his home state. Heideman went 5.2 innings, allowing six hits and issuing one free pass.

- The Falcons bullpen pitched well, throwing 2.2 innings and not allowing an earned run. Junior Scott Plachinski (South Milwaukee, Wis.) pitched 1.1 innings with a pair of strikeouts.

UP NEXT
- The Falcons and Chapman will play game two of a three-game set tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. (central).