Panthers finally get season underway

RILEY — It was worth the wait for the Concordia Panthers.
Starting its season more than a week later than expected, the Concordia baseball team racked up 37 runs in sweeping a doubleheader from Riley County on Friday.
Concordia had its season opening doubleheader against Beloit postponed because of snow, and could not play against Sacred Heart on Monday due to a wet field.
Once they finally got on the field, the Panthers blasted Riley County 16-3 and 21-6.
“Always in the first game you are going to have jitters, but we were excited to be out there playing against another team. Overall, I thought we played well,” Concordia coach Brandt Hutchinson said, “There are always things we need to correct, but all of those things are correctable.”
Concordia wasted no time in getting the bats going, scoring six runs in the first inning in game one.
Nathan Gieber singled home Jordan Mehl and Trevor Nordell in the inning, and scored on a double by Nick Thomas.
Tanner Gilbert doubled to drive in Thomas, and Derek Pearson followed with a two-run home run, his first of two on the day.
Riley County scored one run in the bottom of the first inning.
Concordia extended the lead to 12-1 with six runs in the top of the second inning.
Mehl led off with a double, and scored on a balk.
Gieber and Skyler Hittle walked, and Nick Thomas hit a three-run home run.
Strommen doubled to drive in Gilbert, who had walked. He scored on an error.
Riley County made it 12-2 with a run the bottom of the second.
Four runs in the top of the fifth inning put Concordia up 16-2.
Drake Hake doubled to drive in a run in the inning.
Riley County scored a run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The game ended after five innings.
Concordia had three pitchers in the game. Hittle started, and Braden Johnson and Gilbert pitched in relief.
Thomas had two hits, drove in four runs and scored three.
Gieber was 2-for-3 at the plate. He drove in two runs and scored three.
Mehl had two hits and scored two runs.
Nordell had two hits, and Gilbert scored three runs.
In the second game, Concordia got out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Hake, Nordell and Gieber walked and scored, and Thomas had a two-run double and scored.
Taking advantage of three walks and a hit batter, Riley County put up five runs in the bottom of the first to take its first lead in the twinbill.
Concordia reclaimed the lead at 7-5 with three runs in the top of the third inning.
Hittle led off with a double, and Thomas doubled to drive in a run.
Pearson hit a two-run home run.
The Falcons closed the gap to 7-6 with a run in the bottom of the third inning.
Scoring two runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Nordell was hit by a pitch and Gieber singled.
Thomas drove in two runs with a double.
The Panthers blew the game open with six runs in the fifth inning.
Hittle and Gilbert each singled home two runs. Nordell had a run-producing single.
Concordia tacked on six runs in the seventh inning to make it 21-6.
Thomas singled twice in the inning, and drove in a run.
Pearson had a two-run single.
Will Strommen pitched the first two and a third innings for Concordia.
Johnson worked an inning and two-thirds.
Mehl, Gieber and Pearson pitched one inning each.
Thomas had five hits in five at bats, drove in six runs and scored four.
Pearson had two hits and knocked in four runs.
Hake was 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
Hittle had three hits and drove in two runs.
Nordell scored four runs.
Concordia is back on the road Monday for a North Central Kansas League doubleheader at Marysville.

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