It wasn't easy, or short, but No. 9 Concordia finished a series sweep against Arizona Christian at Eagles Field on Saturday afternoon, March 15, with a come-from-behind 15-10 win and dominant 6-2 win in game two.
Game one starter Andrew Brooks (SR, Lone Pine, CA) had a rough go, allowing 10 hits, nine runs, eight earned, in four and a third innings of work. Jake Ham (JR, Mission Viejo, CA) finished the game effectively, allowing just three hits and one run, with a career-high six K's, to earn his first win as an Eagle (1-0). The Concordia offense was explosive, tacking on 15 runs on 14 hits. Spencer Nielsen (FR, Lakeside, CA), Dillon Bryant (SR, Orange, CA), and Mitchell Esser (JR, San Diego, CA) all doubled, and Bryant had three hits on the day. Nolan Clark (SR, Ladera Ranch, CA), Esser, and Atlee Schwab (JR, Long Beach, CA) all had two hits, and Bryant led the way with three RBI.
A double scored two for Arizona Christian in the first, but a couple Arizona Christian errors allowed one back in the bottom half. A bases-loaded double cleared the bags for Arizona Christian in the third and a two-out two-RBI home run made it 7-1 Firestorm early. Nielsen doubled in the third to score one and Schwab singled to load the bags. Bryant's single through the right side scored one and Jonathan Rodriguez (SR, Anaheim, CA)'s pinch-hit RBI single kept things moving. Another scored on wild pitch and Trever Benjamin (SR, Chandler, AZ) hit a sac fly to tie the game at seven.
Clark singled in the go-ahead run in the fourth, and after an error, Shiroky laced a double to center to make it 10-7 Eagles. Arizona Christian clawed two back in the fifth and one back in the sixth to tie the game at 10. A hit batter and walk put two on for Schwab in the sixth, and he singled to right center. Bryant doubled to right field to bring home two more and another came home on an error. The Eagles added one more in the eighth to win 15-10.
Nightcap starter Robbie Ingram (JR, Flagstaff, AZ) was outstanding, allowing just three hits and two runs, with six strikeouts, to improve to 3-2. Rodriguez doubled and Concordia scored six runs on just three hits.
The Eagles did most the damage in the first inning, a walk, hit batter, and error loaded the bases. A hit batter scored one, and Rodriguez doubled to drive home three more. Rodriguez was sacrificed to third and scored on Bryant's groundout. Ingram worked 1-2-3 in the first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Clark laid down a surprise bunt for Concordia in the sixth and a passed ball and balk scored a run.
The Eagles ended the weekend 22-8 and 13-7 in the GSAC, while Arizona Christian is 10-17 and 4-15 in conference action. After the weekend, Concordia is just 1.5 games behind first place No. 12 The Master's. The Eagles host NCAA DII Sioux Falls on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 18 and 19 at 2:00 pm this week.