{{ article.title }}

Pilots Rally Past Concordia

Feb. 21, 2007

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Pilots scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning en route to a 4-3 win over the Concordia Cavaliers at Joe Etzel Field on Wednesday. Sophomore catcher Paul Crowder drove in the winning run.

Portland evens its record at 3-3 this season, while Concordia drops to 0-3.

Portland reliever Josh Roberts (2-0) picked up his second win of the season in a game that featured eight pitchers. Roberts allowed one run on one hit in 1.1 innings of work.

Ryan Preston (0-1) picks up the loss for the Cavaliers. He allowed one run on two hits in 0.2 of an inning.

Tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth, junior center fielder Billy Krause led off with a base hit to left field off of Preston, who came in to start the inning. Senior outfielder Justin Pierce followed with a punt single back to the mound to give Portland runners on first and second with no outs. Senior Jesse Rodgers followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners.

After Chad Lucas relieved Preston, junior left fielder Eric Brown was intentionally walked to load the bases. Crowder then grounded out to second base allowing Krause to score and give Portland the 4-3 lead. Lucas then struck out freshman shortstop C.J. Cullen to end the inning.

In the top of the ninth, Concordia was able to get runners on first and second with one out. Cody Harrick sent a Roberts' offering deep into foul territory off the third base side. Rodgers, the third baseman, then made a spectacular running catch while reaching back across his body.

Roberts then induced a game-ending ground out to second base from pinch hitter James Mannion.

Concordia scored the game's first two runs with a pair in the top of the first. Jimmy Rudig knocked in the first run with a base hit off Portland starter David Gruener. Ryan Sussenguth then scored an unearned run on a Portland error to give the Cavaliers a 2-0 lead that they'd enjoy until the bottom of the sixth inning.

Still trailing 2-0, the Pilots cut the lead in half with a run in the sixth. After drawing the walk, senior Adam Kerr advanced to third on the base hit from sophomore first baseman Chase Powell. Pierce then knocked in Portland's first run on a ground out to the shortstop off of reliever Davin Muramoto.

The Pilots then claimed the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and runners on first and second, pinch hitter James Allan sent a grounder to short. The throw from James McLeod got away from the CU first baseman allowing two runs to score and give Portland a 3-2 lead.

Concordia tied the game with another score in the top of the eighth. With runners on first and second and one out, Roberts relieved senior Sean Sargent on the hill for Portland. Shawn Turner promptly tied the game up with an RBI single to right field. Roberts then ended the threat by striking out Paul Jaques, a pinch hitter.

The Pilots used three pitchers on the day. Gruener, in his first start with the Pilots, lasted seven innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on eight hits. He struck out three.

Concordia used five pitchers and outhit the Pilots 10-7. Both teams committed an error.

The win came on the 105th anniversary of the first baseball game played between the University and a team from another school. That game was played on the UP campus on February 21, 1902, against Bishop Scott Academy, later known as Hill Military Academy.

The Pilots next host the Pacific (Ore.) Boxers on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Joe Etzel Field.