CHICAGO – The Concordia University Wisconsin Baseball team dropped another close game Thursday, this time falling by a 6-4 score in non-conference action against North Park University.
The Falcons have had some tough luck lately and Thursday was no exception. In its last seven games, CUW has lost six, all of those setbacks coming by two runs or less. Four of those six games were decided by a single run.
Junior Joel Sharon (Glendale, Wis.) and senior Jay Kuczynsky (Cedarburg, Wis.) had strong games for the Falcons against the Vikings. The duo combined for seven of the team's 11 hits and drove in three runs. Sharon finished the game 4-for-5 with a double, run scored and an RBI, while Kuczynski drove in two and went 3-for-4 with a double.
The Falcons went with a pitching by committee approach in using five players on the mound, none of whom threw more than two innings in an attempt to save arms for four Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference games this weekend. Freshman Andrew Heideman (Bakersfield, Calif.) got the start and struck out five in two innings. Senior Austin Baglow (Walled Lake, Mich.) took the loss, throwing two innings and surrendering three runs, one earned.
Freshman Dylan Gausman (Eagan, Minn.) and sophomore Tyler Gross (Wauwatosa, Wis.) combined for three scoreless innings in relief. Gausman threw the sixth and seventh while Gross came on for the eighth. Also pitching on Thursday was junior Tyler Adams (Jackson, Wis.).
The win went to the Vikings Jason Meger who threw six innings and allowed three runs. Kenny Blanchard then came on for the three-inning save and was dominant in recording seven of his nine outs via the strikeout.
The teams traded runs in the second and third innings as the score was tied 3-3 after three complete. Kuczynski put the Falcons on the board first with an RBI double, plating junior Kyle Hegeman (New Berlin, Wis.) in the second, but NPU answered with one of their own. CUW then added two in the third, the second on Kuczynski's RBI single, but NPU scored two in the bottom of the frame, including a solo home run off the bat of Mario Creecy.
NPU (16-9) would take the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a run and extended its lead to three with two more coming in the bottom of the fifth. Pitching would then take over as the only run scored from that point on came from CUW in the top of the ninth on an RBI single from Sharon.
CUW (6-12) will travel to Rockford University Saturday for a NACC twinbill. First pitch between the Regents and Falcons is set for noon.