River Forest, Ill. – Looking to start their NACC regular season title defense on a strong note, No. 2 Concordia Chicago opened conference play on the road today at Edgewood College. CUC got strong pitching throughout the day, shutting out the Eagles for a 10-0 win in game one. Cole Carman followed the game one performance with eight innings of one run ball as CUC was able to take game two 7-3 to sweep the series.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORES:
- Kyle Strepek and Noah Dressler combined to shutout Edgewood in game one. The Eagles recorded just three hits.
- Cole Carman put together a big eight inning outing in game two. He allowed just one run on five hits while striking out four.
- Bryan VanDuser led the way with four hits and four RBI's on the day.
- Despite not having a hit, Jose Mercado was able to reach base and steal four bases on the day.
- With the win CUC has now won 13 straight games.
GAME ONE: WIN 10-0
CUC came off the bus ready to go in game one. Mercado opened by getting hit by a 3-2 pitch. He then stole second and was brought home on a Brayden Benavides double to right center. VanDuser followed with a double down the left field line to quickly make it 2-0. Two outs later with two in scoring position Justin Rodriguez dropped a single into center field on a 1-1 pitch scoring two to make it 4-0 CUC.
CUC added on with two in the fourth. Matt Fauth and Mercado were both hit by pitches to begin the inning and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. An RBI groundout scored Fauth and a sac fly scored Mercado to make it 6-0 CUC.
The Cougars added two more in the sixth. VanDuser got things started with a one out single. One out later Connor Brandon tripled to right center scoring VanDuser. A throwing error on the Edgewood shortstop allowed Brandon to score and extend the lead to 8-0.
The CUC offense continued to roll in the seventh. Mercado led off the inning with a walk and was quickly brought around with a VanDuser triple to right. Van Duser was then brought home on a RBI groundout making it 10-0 CUC.
Strepek and Dressler combined to work all seven innings and allowed just three hits.
GAME TWO: WIN 7-3
While the CUC offense was trying to get going, Carman was able to sit down the first nine Edgewood batters down in order.
CUC helped their starter out with a big fourth. A hit by pitch and walk put two out to start the inning. A double steal then put two in scoring position for Van Duser who singled through the left side, scoring one. Brody Mariotti and Brandon each followed with RBI singles to push the lead to three. Keegan Tyrell delivered the only extra base hit of the inning, a double down the left field line which scored both Brandon and Mariotti to push the CUC lead to 5-0.
Edgewood finally broke through against Carman with a run on two hits in the fifth. CUC got the run back in the sixth. Michael Zavoli worked a four pitch walk to begin the inning and worked his way around to score on a wild pitch.
The Cougars added on an insurance run in the ninth. With two out Zavoil doubled down the right field line scoring Brandon who walked earlier in the inning.
Edgewood tried to make things interesting in the ninth against the Cougar bullpen. They worked two walks, and then reached on an infield single to load the bases with two outs. They were able to get one run back on a wild pitch, which forced head coach Mike Stawski to go to his bullpen once again. Mike Tobin came on and was able to get the final out on a fielder's choice after the tying run was brought to the plate when a second run in the inning scored on a CUC error.
CUC has now won 13 straight games. They will put the streak on the line once again tomorrow afternoon. They will welcome Marian University to River Forest for their home opener beginning at 12:00pm.