Baseball clinches NACC Tournament bye in Morgan's 200th NCAA win

Photo by Samantha Dunn
Photo by Samantha Dunn

FRANKLIN, Wis. – The Concordia University Wisconsin Baseball team clinched a top-two seed in the NACC Tournament on a day where head coach Eddy Morgan recorded his 200th career win as a college head coach. The Falcons went on the road and swept MSOE, 6-4 and 8-5.

- Final Scores: CUW 6, MSOE 4; CUW 8, MSOE 5
- Location: The Rock Complex – Franklin, Wisconsin
- Records: CUW 25-9, 15-3 NACC; MSOE 17-19, 8-10 NACC

- After the Raiders went up 1-0 in the bottom of the first, the Falcons answered with six runs over their next four at-bats to gain a 6-1 advantage. Kyle Hilliard (Oak Forest, Ill.) tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the second while Matt Schubert (West Bend, Wis.) belted a two-run home run in the top of the third giving CUW its first lead of the game.

- With two outs and nobody on the Raiders took advantage of a couple of CUW errors to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth, making the score 6-4. The first game marked Morgan's 200th career NCAA victory and 95th as the Falcons lead man.

- Andrew Heideman (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Scott Plachinski (South Milwaukee, Wis.) kept the Falcons on top and help close out a win by throwing three scoreless frames. Heideman worked the seventh and eighth innings and allowed two hits with one strikeout. Plachinski then picked up his NACC-leading eighth save with a perfect ninth.

- Andrew Gibbons (Markesan, Wis.) gained his fifth win of the season by delivering 5.2 innings on the mound. Gibbons scattered nine hits and allowed four runs, although just the one in the first was earned. Jacob Roley pitched the entire game for MSOE, giving up 12 hits and six runs, five earned.

- Schubert paced the Falcons offense with three hits, all going for extra bases. He tallied two doubles in addition to his two-run home run. Hilliard added a double and each player scored twice to lead the Falcons attack. Schubert's two doubles gave him 19 for the season, a new CUW record.

- The Falcons used a six-run third inning to help secure the sweep with an 8-5 win in game two. CUW took advantage of a couple of MSOE errors in the frame as Hilliard, Peter Scott (Dayton, Nev.), Spencer Garnett (Clarendon Hills, Ill.), and Kyle Washburn (Pleasant Prairie, Wis.) all drove in runs.

- The Raiders cut the Falcons lead to 6-4 with two runs each in the third and sixth innings, the latter two off a two-run home run by Ryan Newman. CUW answered with a run in the seventh as Justin Barney (Kenosha, Wis.) singled in Schubert. MSOE would again cut the lead to two with a Jimmy Carrington home run in the bottom half but the Falcons scored the final run in the top of the ninth as Bryan Thomas (Lowell, Ind.) singled in Schubert.

- Lukas Meerdink (Oostburg, Wis.) picked up his first win of the season by throwing 1.2 scoreless innings in relief. He struck out three batters. Plachinski registered his ninth save of the season with a couple of strikeouts in a scoreless ninth. The save gave Plachinski the school record for saves in a season, which was previously held by Rusty Meyer, who tallied eight in 

- Schubert, Thomas, Hilliard, Isaac Tewes (Chaska, Minn.), and Garnett all tallied two hits for the Falcons with Thomas and Tewes picking up doubles. Schubert led the team with three runs scored.

- Morgan won 105 games in seven seasons at the helm of UW-Superior before joining CUW for the 2014 season. He has now posted 96 wins over four years with the Falcons, winning at least 23 games in each season. The Falcons had just one season with more than 23 wins before Morgan arrived, 24 in 1991.

- The Falcons also tied the program record for most wins in a season with 25. The 2015 team also won 25 games, finishing the year at 25-19.

- With two conference games remaining, the Falcons trail Concordia Chicago by one spot in the league standings. The top two teams in the NACC Tournament (May 11-14 at Kapco Park) receive first-round byes and the Falcons and Cougars have clinched those two spots.

- CUW will host Lawrence in a non-conference game Thursday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. at Kapco Park.