The No. 14-ranked Concordia Eagles got started on the right foot, or should I say the right arm of starter Andrew Brooks on Thursday afternoon, May 2, in a 5-4 win over (RV) San Diego Christian in the first round of the GSAC Tournament in Santa Clarita, CA.
Concordia head coach Mike Grahovac gave the nod to junior Andrew Brooks, and he delivered, going eight innings allowing five hits and three runs to earn the win and go to 2-2. Blake Harrison gave up one run in the ninth, but got the final out and earned his second save of the year. Concordia stuck to the small-ball game, and it worked for five runs and nine hits. Cody Smith, Ryan DiMascio, and Matt Palmer all had two-hit games. The Eagles turned three double plays behind Brooks.
San Diego Christian was threating with the score at zero in the top of the second inning. Two walks and a bunt single loaded the bases with no outs. The next batter grounded out to DiMascio at third who gunned the runner at home. The next batter grounded to DiMascio who started the double play and Brooks escaped the inning. Spencer Ofelt and DiMascio hit back-to-back one-out singles in the second. Dillon Bryant grounded out, but DiMascio beat the throw at second. Justin Hodges laid down a bunt single to score one, another runner scored on a wild pitch, and Matt Palmer singled to left center to make it 3-0.
Concordia left runners on second base in the third and fourth innings, and could not score in the fifth after loading the bases with no outs. Brooks got out in the seventh with two on and forced a double play in the eighth to keep zeros on the board. Hodges reached on an error in the seventh, was sacrificed to second, and stole third. He scored on Smith's two-out single to right. Ofelt walked and DiMascio singled in the eighth, and they were both sacrificed a base. A perfect squeeze bunt allowed the score to increase to 5-0.
A hit batter, single, and walk loaded the bases with no out for SDCC in the ninth. Blake Harrison replaced Brooks, struck the first batter, and allowed a run to score on a groundout. A double to left field cleared the bags and put the tying run on second with two outs. Harrison forced a groundout to shortstop to end the game.
Concordia improved to 34-17 and will play against The Master's at 11 am tomorrow in the GSAC Tournament. Watch the game live at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/tmc.portal#.