AUSTIN, Texas - Concordia Texas claimed its fourth American Southwest Conference title in baseball after defeating LeTourneau in the Gold Bracket Championship in a best-of-three series Thursday and Friday at Tornado Field.
The Tornados (34-10), the second seed, took Thursday's game 16-7 over the YellowJackets (24-21), who were the eighth seed. CTX wrapped up the series Friday afternoon with a 5-1, 10-inning victory.
Concordia also won the championship in 2002, 2011 and 2018. They earned the ASC's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship, which will be the Toranados' sixth overall appearance and third in a row. The selection show for the tournament will be Monday on NCAA.com at 11 a.m.
In game one, LeTourneau took a 3-1 lead after the first inning, but Concordia took advantage of two errors with two outs in bottom of the second which led to 10 unearned runs, giving them an 11-3 advantage. TheYellowJackets went to score two in the third and fourth to cut the deficit to 11-7, but the Tornados added three more runs in the fifth and two in the eighth for the 16-7 final score.
Bryce Brueggemyer had a pair of hits and two runs scored, while Kyle Guevara and Cody Lee each drove in two runs for LETU. Carson Cox was 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs. Bret Leiferman, Jacob Stegent and Marcus Thach each had two hits for CTX. Cox and Stegent also had a triple and Thach stole two bases.
Diego Cruz-Garcia (3-1), who earned Most Oustanding Player of the series, picked up the win with eight strikeouts and only allowing two walks in 5.2 innings of scoreless relief.
In Friday's game, Concordia starter Calvin Bush took a no-hitter into the ninth inning. He lasted 8.2 innings, striking out 13 before giving up the tying run in a no decision effort.
The Tornados scored in the top of the first when Casen Novak led off with a single, moved to second on a Thach sacrifce and evetually scored on a Reed Carlton sacrfice fly. The game remained 1-0 until the bottom of the ninth.
Brandon Ramirez broke up the no-hitter by leading off the ninth with a double. The YellowJackets tied the game when Guevara drove in pinch runner Mark Sanders on a single to center field.
The Tornados pulled back ahead in the top of the 10th with four runs on three hits, inclueding a RBI-single from Leiferman, a RBI sac bunt from Carlton and two-run double from Stegent.
Michael Smith (6-1) earned the win by fanning two in 1.1 in scoreless relief. LETU starter Jared Schurig lastetd 5.2 innings, striking out four, giving up five hits, one run and one walk in a no decision.
All-Tournament Team / Gold Bracket
Most Outstanding Player - Diego Cruz-Garcia, Concordia Texas
Bryce Brueggemeyer, LeTourneau
Calvin Bush, Concordia Texas
Carson Cox, Concordia Texas
Kyle Guevara, LeTourneau
Bret Leiferman, Concordia Texas
Ryder Lognion, LeTourneau
Jared Schurig, LeTourneau
Jacob Stegent, Concordia Texas