NAPERVILLE, Ill. – After being named the number one team in the first regional rankings of the season the No. 1 Concordia Chicago Cougars continued their busy stretch at North Central. Noah Dressler, Salvatore Biondo and Mike Tobin limited the Cardinals to just five hits on the day as the Cougars used a two out RBI single by Connor Brandon in the eighth to down North Central 3-2.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- Dressler put together his second straight quality start, working seven innings while allowing just two runs on five hits.
- Biondo and Tobin threw two scoreless innings of relief, with Tobin picking up his fifth save of the season.
- Brandon went 4-4 on the day with two RBI's including the go-ahead single in the top of the eighth.
After the two sides went down in order in the first, CUC broke through in the second inning. With one out Brandon ripped his first hit of the day into left center. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a throwing error by the Cardinal's catcher. He came in to score on a Keegan Tyrell single through the left side to make it 1-0.
The pitchers continued to dominate into the middle innings. CUC finally got on the board again in the top of the sixth. With one out Bryan VanDuser and Brody Mariotti were both hit by a pitch. Brandon continued his hot day with a RBI single to left to make it 2-0 Cougars.
Dressler continued to cruise until the seventh. North Central was able to plate two runs on four hits with all of their damage coming with two outs.
CUC answered back in the top of the eighth. With one out Brayden Benavides singled to center. VanDuser followed with a single to put two on. After a fielder's choice put runners at the corners with two outs Brandon delivered the go-ahead single to left to make it 3-2.
Biondo came on in relief for Dressler in the bottom of the eighth and worked around a one out walk to put up a zero. Tobin then pitched the bottom of the ninth for CUC, working around a leadoff error to pick up his fifth save of the season.
The Cougars will return to NACC action on Saturday afternoon. They will welcome Aurora University to River Forest with first pitch scheduled for 12:00pm. CUC can clinch the #1 seed in the NACC Tournament. The Cougars can clinch the NACC regular season championship outright with two wins Saturday coupled with a Benedictine loss on Wednesday or Saturday.