FRANKLIN, Wisconsin – The MSOE baseball fell behind early and could not claw all the way back in dropping a pair of games to Concordia Wisconsin Tuesday afternoon at The Rock Complex.
The Raiders (17-19, 8-10 NACC) dropped the opener 6-4 and then could not undo a six-run third inning by the Falcons (25-9, 15-3 NACC) in an 8-5 loss in game two.
Senior Brandon McCumber had two hits in each of the two games as the MSOE offense knocked out 11 and 13 hits, respectively. Six different players posted multi-hit games, including sophomore Nick Gross' three-hit performance in game two.
The Red & White struck first on the day with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first inning. Three-straight singles combined to drive in the run with junior Owen Burnikel driving in junior Jimmy Carrington.
CUW responded with runs in each of the next four innings, scoring once in the second, twice in the third, another run in the fourth, and two more times in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead in the game.
MSOE rallied again with two outs, pulling three runs back in the sixth inning. Two 2-out errors bookending junior Garrett Willems' single loaded the bases and opened the door for a big inning. Junior Max Kemp then singled through the left side and was followed by a bases-loaded walk by freshman Joe Gilpin. After a pitching change, McCumber was hit by a pitch to force in another run and make it 6-4.
The Raiders threatened again in the eighth inning, putting runners on second and third base with just one out. A hard-hit ground out to third base prevented any runs from scoring and another ground-ball out capped the inning and got the Falcons out of danger.
Despite suffering the loss, senior Jacob Roley (2-4) went the distance with a strong outing. He allowed five earned runs over 9.0 innings, striking out three, and walking just one.
Carrington and sophomore Andres Oselio also had two hits in the game for the Red & White.
Three errors undid the Raiders in a big third inning for Concordia Wisconsin in game two. The visitors struck for six runs, just one earned with just three hits, a walk, and a hit batter.
MSOE did not back down, going right to work cutting into the 6-0 deficit with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. A hit batter and Gross double put two in scoring position right off the bat. A fielder's choice by Carrington scored the first run. Willems then singled two batters later and McCumber followed with another base hit to make it 6-2. Oselio made it three-straight hits to load the bases but that's where the rally ended with a fielder's choice to end the frame.
Junior Ryan Newman pulled the team within 6-4 with a two-out, two-run home run in the sixth inning. Gilpin started another two-out rally with an infield single. Newman then homered to left field to cut the deficit in half.
CUW responded with an insurance run in the seventh inning but Carrington immediately negated it with a lead-off home run in the bottom half of the inning.
After the Falcons once again scored an insurance run, this time in the ninth, the Raiders put a pair of runners on in their final at-bat. After an error to lead off the inning, the Falcons went to their closer. He got a strikeout but then walked Willems to bring the tying run to the plate. Another strikeout and a ground ball out, though, got him out of danger and secured the win.
Junior Brandon Rankila (1-2) allowed just two earned runs in 6.1 innings of work. He worked around seven hits and a pair of walks while striking out five in the start. Sophomore Matt Mohapp closed out the game with 2.2 innings of relief.
Burnikel and Willems joined McCumber and Gross with multiple hits in the second game, tallying two hits each.
The Raiders close out the regular season Saturday, hosting Rockford in two games at The Rock Complex. First pitch is at noon.