Concordia Chicago Wins, Aurora Falls in Opening Round of NCAA Baseball Regionals

Concordia Chicago Wins, Aurora Falls in Opening Round of NCAA Baseball Regionals

RIVER FOREST, Ill./ST. LOUIS, Mo. --- The Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) split its two matchups against two of American Rivers Conference's best Friday on the opening day of the 2019 NCAA Division III Baseball Regionals.

Concordia University Chicago defended its home field with a 2-0 opening-round victory over Buena Vista University, while Aurora University fell to Coe College, 10-1, in a regional hosted by Washington University in St. Louis.

Concordia Chicago (39-7) will face Baldwin Wallace University (26-15) in a winner's bracket contest at noon Saturday at Cougar Field. The winner advances directly to Sunday's championship game, while the loser will play either Buena Vista or Saint John's (Minn.) University in an elimination game later on Saturday.

Aurora (34-10) goes up against Cornell College (26-18) in an elimination game at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Kelly Field. The winner will face either Coe or host Washington-St. Louis in another elimination game later in the day.


Concordia Chicago 2, Buena Vista 0 (Box Score)

Buena Vista provided an early challenge as the Beavers put a pair of runners on in the top of the first courtesy of a single up the middle and a pair of CUC errors, but Cougar starter Adam Gregory was able to work his way out of the jam.

Gregory and BVU starter Egan Bonde battled pitch-for-pitch over the first three innings, but mistakes began to catch up with the Beavers in the fourth. Keegan Tyrell led off the inning with a single through the left side, then moved to second on a balk by Bonde and on to third as Brody Mariotti reached on an error. With runners on the corners and one out, BVU got the ground ball they needed off the bat of Connor Brandon but couldn't turn the double play as Tyrell scored from third on the fielder's choice to give CUC a 1-0 lead.

The Beavers threatened in the seventh inning, getting a pair of two-out singles as Gregory ticked past 100 pitches. After falling behind in the count, 2-0, to Peyton Renning, Gregory recovered to throw three straight strikes to end the threat and get out of the inning.

CUC looked to tack on some insurance runs in the eighth inning. Jose Mercado was hit by a pitch to open the frame, then was sacrificed to second with a bunt by Tyrell. After a BVU pitching change, Mercado stole third and Bryan VanDuser drew a walk to put runners at the corners. VanDuser followed with a stolen base of his own to move into scoring position before Mariotti blasted a pitch to deep center for a sacrifice fly that allowed Mercado to score and give the Cougars a 2-0 advantage.

Mike Tobin retired the Beavers in order in the ninth to pick up his eighth save of the year.

Gregory was dominant on the mound, scattering seven hits and a walk while striking out six over eight shutout innings to improve to 7-0 overall. He ended up throwing 120 pitches. 

Bonde took the loss for Buena Vista. He lasted 7 1/3 innings, allowing both CUC runs while giving up just five hits.

Justin Rodriguez accounted for two of CUC's five hits, while Renning, Joe Rock, and Noah Paper each had two hits for the Beavers.

River Forest Regional
(hosted by Concordia University Chicago)
Friday, May 17
Game 1 - Concordia Chicago 2, Buena Vista 0
Game 2 - Baldwin Wallace 5, Saint John's, Minn. 4 (10 innings)
Saturday, May 18
Game 3 - Buena Vista (25-18) vs. Saint John's, Minn. (32-13), 8:30 a.m. (elimination game)
Game 4 - Concordia Chicago (39-7) vs. Baldwin Wallace (26-15), noon
Game 5 - Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3:30 p.m. (elimination game)
Sunday, May 19
Game 6 - Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 11 a.m.
Game 7 - Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser, if necessary, 45 minutes following


Coe 10, Aurora 1 (Box Score)

The Spartans got off to a good start with Davis Purviance leading off the game with an infield single. Paul Dobravec would draw a walk later in the frame, but both would be stranded.

Coe broke through with an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning, but Aurora countered with one of its own in the top of the second inning as Jeff Mayes drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs. The rally would be cut short, however, as AJ Gill struck out to end the frame.

The Kohawks grabbed the lead for good with three runs in the third inning, capitalizing on four hits and a pair of Aurora errors. Coe would add to their total with two runs in the fourth, one in the sixth, two in the seventh, and one in the eighth, while keeping the Spartans out of the scoring column.

Aurora managed to get the leadoff hitter on base in five of the first six innings and had runners on in all but two innings, but ended up stranding 11 overall.

A trio of Kohawk pitchers limited Aurora to just six hits. Starter Zach Kammin picked up the win to improve to 10-1 overall, scattering five hits and six walks while allowing one run and striking out six over the first six innings. Relievers TJ Deardorff and Lucas Robbins combined to give up just one hit while striking out three over the final three innings.

No Spartan posted multiple hits, but Dylan White had a double and drew two walks while scoring Aurora's lone run. Dobravec also had a hit and a pair of walks.

Coe finished with 15 hits, including a 3-for-4 effort from Daniel Berger. Berger hit a two-run home run in the fourth, then added an RBI single in the seventh.

St. Louis Regional
(hosted by Washington University in St. Louis)
Friday, May 17
Game 1 - Washington-St. Louis 14, Cornell College 1
Game 2 - Coe 10, Aurora 1
Saturday, May 18
Game 3 - Cornell (26-18) vs. Aurora (34-10), 8:30 a.m. (elimination game)
Game 4 - Washington-St. Louis (32-5-1) vs. Coe (35-5), noon
Game 5 - Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 loser, 3:30 p.m. (elimination game)
Sunday, May 19
Game 6 - Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 11 a.m.
Game 7 - Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser, if necessary, 45 minutes following