Gorloks Rout Cougars, Set Course for Iowa

More news about: Concordia-Chicago

May 25, 2019 - Yesterday, the Webster University Gorloks used pitching and defense to defeat the Concordia University Chicago 4-3 in game one of this super regional. Today, with weather conditions not doing the pitchers any favors. Webster resorted to an abundance of hitting and routed CUC 17-6 to sweep the super regional and claim one of the eight spots in next weekend's Division III World Series in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The game began with warm 76-degree temperatures and a wind blowing out to center, and flashbacks of last weekend's 14-13 game between CUC and Baldwin-Wallace came to mind in the first couple of innings, starting when the third batter of the game, Webster's Ben Swords, drilled a two-out homer (his seventh) to center. CUC answered on a lead-off double to the wall by Jose Mercado. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Keegan Tyrell's sacrifice fly. One out later, Brody Mariotti got hold of a pitch and hit it deep for his 13th homer, almost to the identical spot as Swords' homer, and the Cougars led 2-1 after one inning.

The lead lasted only minutes, as Kyler Kent led off the Gorloks' second with a no-doubt rocket to right for his seventh homer. Webster then took the lead in the third with four straight singles after the first two batters were retired. However, CUC quickly erased that two-run deficit, as Mercado led off with his second double in as many at-bats. Tyrell was hit by a pitch, and Bryan VanDuser singled to right, scoring Mercado and sending Tyrell to third. Mariotti then went deep center again, but not as far this time. His fly was caught just in front of the warning track, but Tyrell scored easily to tie the game at 4-4.

Webster would take the lead for good in the fifth on Aron Hopp's two-out single. The Gorloks then began to open it up, as they scored three times in the fifth. Concordia-Chicago looked to rally in the bottom of the inning, and they got one run back in singles by VanDuser, Mariotti and Connor Brandon. However, WU pitcher Brendan May struck out the next two batters to keep his team in an 8-5 lead. The Gorloks then pulled away with two runs in the sixth, six runs in the seventh and oone in the eighth for a 17-5 lead. The Cougars tallied the final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth as Abelardo Paz Agudelo scored on a wild pitch.

The Gorloks (37-11) amassed 22 hits, with all nine starters getting at least one hit. Kent went 4-6 with four runs scored and four driven in, while Swords went 3-5 with five runs scored. May earned the win with 6 1/3 innings of relief after Mariotti's homer had chased WU starter Dakota Borman. The Cougars rapped out 11 hits, with Mercado. VanDuser, Mariotti and Justin Rodriguez collecting two each. Zach Litke took the loss, the first of six CUC relievers following starter Alex Crinigan.

For CUC, the loss brought an end to a remarkable season in which they won 24 games in a row, won a seventh consecutive regular-season conference championship and finish 42-10. The game brought to a close Mike Stawski's fourth season as head coach, and he and his graduating seniors show a four-year record of 150-51.