MEQUON – Six runs over the first two innings from Benedictine University proved to be enough as the second-seeded Eagles held off Concordia University Wisconsin, 7-5, in rainy conditions at Kapco Park for each team's Northern Athletics Conference opener.
The Eagles built a 6-1 lead after two innings of play but CUW rallied back and had the bases loaded in the top of the ninth but Benedictine held on for the win. The game also featured a 22-minute rain delay before the seventh inning began.
The Falcons (15-26) will now play sixth-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran College tomorrow at 1 p.m. in an elimination game. Every game was pushed back one time slot because the final game Thursday was postponed to Friday morning due to the rainy weather. WLC lost 6-3 in the opening game of the tournament versus No. 1 Concordia University Chicago.
CUW started the contest against BU with a bang as senior Daniel Mueller (West Bend, Wis.) tripled to lead off and sophomore Brandon Seifert (Germantown, Wis.) singled him in, giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
Benedictine (31-8) would respond by plating three runs each in the first and second innings of Falcons starter Tyler Adams (Jackson, Wis.). Kevin Hendricks drove in a run in each of the frames, both times bringing in his brother, Tim, the 2013 NAC Position Player of the Year.
The Falcons would trim the BU lead to 6-3 in the top of the fourth when Mueller roped a two-RBI double to the left center field gap, scoring junior Taylor Buuck (Hillsboro, Ore.) and freshman Luke Scheuerlein (Thiensville, Wis.).
That score would remain through the 22-minute rain delay and into the bottom of the eighth inning when the Eagles pushed its lead to 7-4 on a sacrifice fly off the bat of John Cervantes. Cervantes scored Nick Karakosta on his RBI fly out.
CUW made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth as three walks, a hit, and one Benedictine error made the score 7-5 with just one out and the bases loaded. BU would then go to the bullpen for the third time in the game, summoning Ty Anderson who retired both batters he faced for his first save of the season.
Mike Irgang earned the win for Benedictine as he gave a gutsy effort, throwing 148 pitches, coming before and after the delay. Adams took the loss, lasting only 1.2 innings. Sophomores Matthew Brueser (Oconomowoc, Wis.) and Michael Klaver (Germantown, Wis.) threw excellent in relief for CUW as the duo went 6.1 innings, allowing just five hits and one run.
Mueller and Seifert paced the Falcons offensive attack with two hits. Tim Hendricks guided the Benedictine offense with three hits and two runs scored.
Benedictine advances to the 4 p.m. game Friday where they will take on No. 3 Aurora University, which defeated No. 4 Rockford College 1-0 in the second contest Thursday. Four games are scheduled Friday at Kapco Park, with three now being guaranteed Saturday.
For the most up-to-date information, including the schedule changes, on the NAC Tournament visit the tournament web page here.