Three Home Runs Power Concord to Split at WV State - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Three Home Runs Power Concord to Split at WV State

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After losing game one to West Virginia State, 4-2, the Concord University baseball team slugged a season-high three home runs in game two to defeat the Yellow Jackets 7-5 and salvage the split Friday afternoon at Calvin Bailey Field.

Concord (12-12, 7-4) was led on the day by freshman centerfielder Andrew Seigel, who went a combined 4-for-7 from the plate with one run scored and one RBI.

Junior outfielder Bret Blevins and senior outfielder Devin Smith each stole two bases Friday. Blevins leads the WVIAC with 16 steals on the year. He is already just three steals shy of matching his career-high.

The Mountain Lions were held to just six hits and two runs off of an RBI-double by sophomore third baseman Ryan Johnston and a run-scoring single by Seigel while West Virginia State's bats scored four runs in the second inning and Yellow Jacket pitchers stranded 10 CU base runners to claim the win.

Seigel was 3-for-4 in the opener with his aforementioned RBI. Johnston, senior shortstop Josh Wenger and freshman catcher Charlie Goss all had one-hit games as well.

Junior pitcher Tyler Coyle (2-3) took the loss on the mound for Concord after giving up seven hits and four runs (three earned) in five innings. Freshman pitcher Brandon Tucker struck out two batters in a perfect inning out of the bullpen.

Game two saw junior first baseman Joey Miller, sophomore second baseman Jerrod Groves and senior designated hitter Jacob Mays all hit home runs.

Meanwhile, junior pitcher Chris Baker (3-0) entered the game with two outs in the fourth inning and proceeded to allow just three hits in one run over the final 3.1 innings of the day to pick up his third win of the year.

The Yellow Jackets struck first with a two-run second inning, but Groves, who ranks third for CU in RBI on the year with 18, quickly responded for Concord with a two-run shot in the bottom half of the inning to tie the contest at 2-2. The home run was Groves' first of the season.

Concord and West Virginia State continued to trade two-run innings in third inning to make it a 4-4 game heading into the fourth where Seigel would put the Mountain Lions up for good by reaching base on a single, moving to third base off of a fielding error and eventually scoring on a wild pitch.

Miller added to the CU lead with a leadoff home run in the fifth inning. The bomb was his team-best seventh of the year. Miller, who also leads Concord with 28 RBI, was 1-for-3 with a walk in game two.

WV State cut Concord's lead to 6-5 with a home run of its own from Alex Payne in the fifth inning, but Mays pushed the lead back to two runs with a solo home run to right field in the top of the seventh.

Baker stranded Yellow Jackets runners on first and third in the bottom of the inning to preserve the Concord triumph. Baker has won three games since March 14 and has given up just two runs in his last 9.1 innings pitched.

Mays reached base a Concord-best three times in the victory. His on-base percentage of .467 ranks second on the team behind Wenger's .485 OBP.

Concord will for the series victory with a win 1:00 p.m. Saturday in what is scheduled to be a nine-inning game.