Concord Takes Twinbill at Pitt-Johnstown, 3-1, 6-3 - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Concord Takes Twinbill at Pitt-Johnstown, 3-1, 6-3

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The Concord University baseball team combined strong pitching with timely hitting Tuesday to sweep a doubleheader at Pitt-Johnstown, 3-1 and 6-3. The wins were the first back-to-back victories away from home for CU since winning a pair of neutral site contests at the CIAA-WVIAC Challenge in February.

Concord's record improves to 21-15 overall and 16-6 in West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. The Mountain Lions are ranked second in the WVIAC-South Division with a power rating of 120.45, trailing only West Virginia State (16-14, 14-6 WVIAC / 134.5 PR). Pitt-Johnstown falls to 17-15 overall and 8-12 in the WVIAC.

After depending on dominating offense for the majority of the season, Concord showed the ability to win a low-scoring contest in game one as sophomore pitcher Kevin Mack had a great outing, going six innings and allowing just one run on five hits while striking out one batter.

The victory pushed Mack's record to 3-0 on the year and dropped his ERA to a team-low 3.62. Mack has allowed just two runs in his last 11 innings pitched.

Junior pitcher Chris Baker (5-0) entered the game in the seventh inning to shut down the Mountain Cats and pick up his second save of the year.

Supplying the CU offense were sophomore second baseman Jerrod Groves, senior shortstop Josh Wenger and senior outfielder Devin Smith.

Groves and Wenger hit sacrifice flies to score sophomore third baseman Ryan Johnston and freshman designated hitter Joe Camp in the second and sixth innings, respectively, while Smith connected with a run-scoring double down the left field line that brought home sophomore catcher T.J. Brockway in the seventh inning to put CU up 3-1.

The lead was more than enough for Baker, who closed the game by striking out two UPJ batters in the seventh.

Wenger and freshman Andrew Seigel both had two hits for Concord with Seigel also stealing one base, his 18th of the year. Seigel needs just two more steals for him and Brett Blevins, who has 22 stolen bases, to become the only two teammates in the WVIAC with at least 20 stolen bases each.

Pitt-Johnstown controlled game two early on, taking a 3-0 lead over Concord heading into the sixth inning.

However, Seigel singled and Smith walked to lead off the inning, paving the way for Blevins to launch a ball over the right field fence for his second home run of the season to tie the game at 3-3.

Concord took the lead for good in the seventh when Smith drove in freshman catcher Charlie Goss with a single to put CU up 4-3. Johnston finished off the Mountain Cats with a two-run triple that scored Smith and Blevins to put Concord ahead 6-3.

UPJ put runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but junior relief pitcher Tim Leather (S, 2) struck out Drew Ebersole to close out the game and give CU the doubleheader sweep.

Leather relieved freshman pitcher Chris Kelly (3-0), who started game two for Concord and lasted six innings. Kelly, who struck out three batters on the day, gave up just two hits after the third inning and pitched perfect fifth and sixth innings.

Johnston went 3-for-4 with two RBI and came just a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Smith was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI. Smith has drove in 15 runs in his last eight games played and Johnston has tallied three-hit games in two CU's last three contests.

Concord will stay on the road for its weekend series at Davis & Elkins starting with a doubleheader 1:00 p.m. Saturday.