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Baseball's 2019 season points to bright future

Photo by Rachel Larson
Photo by Rachel Larson

MEQUON, Wis. – The Falcons finished the 2019 season fifth in the NACC regular season standings with a 13-9 record in the conference to go along with a 20-21 overall record. They earned the No. 4 seed in the NACC Tournament, which was hosted by CUW at Kapco Park.

Concordia Wisconsin opened their tournament run on Thursday, May 9, against Marian and defeated them 3-1. With the win, the Falcons played another game that day against Concordia Chicago, the No. 1 nationally ranked team in the country, and fell 4-0. The Falcons followed up with a pair of wins on Friday, defeating Dominican 8-3 and then Marian once more 4-2. The team entered Saturday as one of only three remaining teams with No. 1 Concordia Chicago and the eventual tournament-champion Aurora. The Falcons went 3-2 in the tournament, with their only losses coming against the No. 1 team in the country.

A key factor in Concordia Wisconsin's success is how well they play at home. The Falcons finished the regular season with an 8-3 record at their home field of Kapco Park. Their home success continued into the NACC Tournament, where their playoff run improved their home record to 11-5 by season's end.

Another spark in the Falcon's success was the pitching of Lukas Meerdink. The senior out of Oostburg, Wisconsin had a 29.1 inning stretch late in the season in which he did not allow an earned run. Over that time he helped maintain his 0.00 ERA with 39 strikeouts for an average of 12.06 per nine innings. By season's end, Meerdink had struck out 79 batters with a K/9 of 12.33, both of which are the second-best single-season marks in program history.

One more factor that helped the Falcons this season was the growth of their young roster. There were 17 freshman and 11 sophomores on the team to account for 28 of the 40 players on the roster. The development of these younger players has helped build a strong foundation for the future of the program.

The Falcons had two players honored with All-NACC awards. Meerdink was named Second Team All-NACC and Austen Dart (Algoma, Wis.) earned All-NACC Honorable Mention.

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