Baseball Sweeps CUW to Clinch NACC Tourney

Baseball Sweeps CUW to Clinch NACC Tourney

MEQUON, Wisconsin – Freshmen Brad Demkovich and Caleb Willert each threw complete games to lead the MSOE baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Concordia Wisconsin Saturday afternoon at Kapco Field.

The Raiders (22-16, 12-6 NACC) took the opener 7-2 before downing the Falcons (20-16, 9-9 NACC) 5-2 in game two.

In the second game, senior Jimmy Carrington became the first player in team history to 200 hits and senior Ryan Newman tied the school record for career runs scored (120).

While MSOE scored first in game one, CUW took a 2-1 lead after the first inning.

The Red & White got on the board right away as Newman led the game off with a single and came around to score on Carrington's double to the gap in right-center field.

After the home team took the lead, the Raiders went back to work to tie the score in the second inning. A lead-off catcher's interference and a sacrifice bunt put a runner in scoring position. Senior Max Kemp then delivered an RBI single.

Senior Owen Burnikel doubled in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and MSOE went to work adding insurance runs with a pair of scores in the sixth inning. Kemp drew a walk to lead-off the sixth inning before the next two batters were retired. Carrington plated Kemp with the first of three-straight hits. Two batters later, freshman Julian Sonn hit an RBI double to make it 5-2.

With runners at the corners in the eighth inning, the Red & White added to its lead on a wild pitch and senior Garrett Willems stroked his third hit of the game to drive in another run.

Demkovich (6-1) scattered eight hits and a walk over 9.0 innings, striking out six. He was not dominant, logging just one 1-2-3 inning, but worked his way through the Concordia Wisconsin lineup effectively. He induced five double plays in the game, including in each of the final three innings.

Sonn joined Willems with three hits in the game while Carrington had two hits, two runs, and two RBIs.

Willert (5-2) hurled his third complete game of conference play, allowing his first earned runs of the league campaign while striking out three. He worked around seven hits and three walks over 9.0 innings.

The Raiders once again scored in their first time at bat, striking for single runs in each of the first three innings.

Newman led off the game with a double and scored three batters later on an error. Then, in the second inning, a lead-off hit batter came around to score on freshman Justin Bickman's triple. Burnikel came up with an RBI single in the third inning after back-to-back base runners on a walk and a single.

MSOE built its lead to 5-0 with two more runs in the sixth inning. With one out, Newman singled and Carrington doubled. Willems and Sonn then hit back-to-back RBI singles.

The Falcons rallied for single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to cut their deficit to 5-2 but Willert settled back in and retired eight of the final nine hitters of the game to stifle any comeback attempts.

Junior Nick Gross collected three hits in game two while Newman, Sonn, and freshman Nick Stricker had two hits each.

Newman scored twice to equal Matt Merk's school record for career runs. He also pulled extended his hitting streak to 19 games to move into sole possession of second place in career hits on the day, trailing only Carrington. Carrington finished the day at exactly 200 career hits, the first baseball or softball player to the milestone in school history.

With a third-straight trip to the NACC Tournament already booked, the Raiders will look to lock down a high seed when they close out the regular season Sunday at Benedictine. MSOE can clinch the No. 2 seed with a sweep of the Eagles while one win could create a tie with as many as three teams for second in the standings.

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