The Briar Cliff baseball team suffered a tough 6-5 loss in the opening round of the GPAC tournament against Concordia in Seward, Nebraska. The 8th-seeded Chargers drop to 18-33 on the season, while the top-seeded Bulldogs improve to 31-19 this year.
The Chargers got off to a hot start, scoring three times in the top of the first inning but the Cliff was only able to score twice in the next eight innings. Ryan Welsh scored the first run of the game as Michael Wagaman singled to right field to score Welsh after a leadoff double. Wagaman scored the next run on a single by Brogan Secrist and the final run of the inning was logged by Secrist on a single by Hagan Samson to put the Cliff up 3-0. The Bulldogs would pull within one run in the second inning with two more runs but Secrist would put BC back up by two runs when he drove in Jacob Hom to give the Chargers a 4-2 lead in the top of the third.
Concordia would answer with two more runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 4-4 and the Bulldogs scored two more times in the fifth to go up 6-4. Briar Cliff would make it a one run game in the sixth inning when Welsh singled to center field to score Avery Foltz but the Chargers were unable to push another run across the rest of the way, including having the bases loaded with one out in the top of the ninth inning but Desmond Pineda came into record the final two outs for the Bulldogs and notch the save to clinch the win for Concordia.
Andrew Stover got the start on the mound for the Chargers and recorded double-digit strikeouts on the night with 10 K’s in 6.0 innings of work but it wasn’t enough as Stover was tagged with the loss after surrendering 10 hits and six runs (five earned). Nicholas Cole pitched the final two innings of the game and had two strikeouts. The Cliff lost the game despite outhitting Concordia 14-11 but the Chargers had three errors, compared to one for the Bulldogs. Foltz led BC at the dish, going a perfect 4-4 with one run scored as well. Secrist was second in hits with three, followed by Welsh and Logan Adam with two apiece and Wagaman, Hom and Samson all had one hit. Four Chargers logged an RBI and five players scored one run for the Cliff.
Briar Cliff will be back on the diamond in Seward, Nebraska on Friday on day two of the tournament. BC will face Mount Marty in an elimination game at 3 p.m. with the winner playing another game right away at 6 p.m. and the loser’s season will come to an end.