Baseball posts runner-up finish at NACC Tournament

Photo by Julia Fischer
Photo by Julia Fischer

MEQUON, Wis. – For the third time in the last four years, the Concordia University Wisconsin Baseball team posted a runner-up finish at the NACC Tournament. The Falcons fell to Concordia Chicago in the league title game, 8-6, which came after a thrilling 7-5, 15-inning win over MSOE to begin the day. The Falcons will now await the decisions of the NCAA selection committee to see if they will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

THE BASICS
- Final Scores: CUW 7, MSOE 5 (F/15); Concordia Chicago 8, CUW 6
- Location: Kapco Park – Mequon, Wisconsin
- Records: CUW 28-13; MSOE 21-21; Concordia Chicago 29-11

CUW 7, MSOE 5 (F/15)
- The Falcons and Raiders needed 15 innings to determine who would play Concordia Chicago for the NACC title. Kyle Hilliard (Oak Forest, Ill.) was the hero in game one, delivering a two-RBI double in the top of the 15th, plating Matt Schubert (West Bend, Wis.) and Bryan Thomas (Lowell, Ind.).

- CUW and MSOE went to extras thanks to a four-run seventh inning by the Raiders. MSOE scored the four runs on just one hit as the Falcons staff struggled to find the strike zone with five walks and a hit batsman.

- The Falcons jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Thomas and Hilliard. Thomas finished the game with three RBIs, adding a single in the third and a triple in the fifth. The Falcons led 5-0 before the Raiders scored once in the sixth and four times in the seventh.

- Nick Hirst (Davenport, Iowa) and Scott Plachinski (South Milwaukee, Wis.) were outstanding for the Falcons in throwing the final eight innings of the game. Hirst worked 4.1 scoreless frames, allowing just two hits before handing the ball off to Plachinski. The Falcons closer picked up his third win of the season by throwing 3.2 scoreless innings, also giving up just one hit.

- Matt Schubert (West Bend, Wis.) got the start on the mound for the Falcons and threw six strong innings, giving up three earned. Schubert was also one of three CUW players to record three hits, joined by Thomas and Hilliard. Schubert and Thomas combined to score five runs, Schubert touching home safely three times.

CUC 8, CUW 6
- The Falcons would have needed to beat the Cougars twice to win the championship, but fell in the first title game, 8-6. CUW put the tying runner to the plate in the ninth, but the Cougars would hold on for the two-run win to secure their fifth straight NACC Baseball Tournament title.

- After CUC scored in the bottom of the first, the Falcons answered with two runs in the top of the second and two more in the third for a 4-1 lead. Justin Barney (Kenosha, Wis.) had a RBI single in the second while Thomas and Nathan Thyssen (Appleton, Wis.) connected on solo home runs in the third.

- The Cougars responded with a five-run bottom half of the third to take a 6-4 lead. CUW would score once in the fifth to make the score 6-5 before back-to-back Concordia Chicago home runs by Mitch Wilson and Kevin Coppin made the score 8-5 in favor of CUC.

- Matt Luft (Oshkosh, Wis.) paced the Falcons in the championship with three hits. Thyssen added two, adding a double to his home run in the third while Dan Ranieri (Loves Park, Ill.) and Isaac Tewes (Chaska, Minn.) doubled as well.

UP NEXT
- The Falcons will await the word of the NCAA selection committee to see if their season continues. The Falcons resume includes wins over the top two teams in the region (UW-Whitewater and Concordia Chicago). CUW also posted a program-best 28 wins.