Panthers rally past Falcons

Jordan Mehl singled home Braden Johnson in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Concordia High School baseball team an 8-7 victory over Riley County in the second game of a doubleheader Friday at the Concordia Sports Complex.
Concordia, which won the first game of the twinbill 14-1, fell behind 7-0 in the second game.
The Panthers scored one run in the fourth inning and five in the fifth to close the gap to 7-6.
Colby Trost and Jaden Payeur walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning.
With one out, Johnson laid down a squeeze bunt to get Trost home with the tying run.
Johnson was able to reach base safely.
Drake Hake followed with a single.
A ground ball by Tanner Gilbert forced Payeur out at home plate.
With two out, Mehl singled to drive in Johnson with the winning run.
“I was proud of the way they fought back and got back into the game, and found a way to pick up a win even though things weren't going our way early on,” Concordia coach Brandt Hutchinson said.
The game was scoreless through three innings.
Riley County sent 11 batters to the plate, and scored seven runs on six hits, a walk and an error.
Falcons' starter Noah Rignell held the Panthers hitless over the first three innings.
“He did a good job of keeping us off  balance. I think we made the mistake of going in flat,” Hutchinson said.
Concordia made it 7-1 when Gilbert walked and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Panthers made it a one run game with five runs in the fifth.
Ian Nordell led off with a single, Johnson walked and Hake was hit by a pitch.
Mehl doubled with one out to drive in three runs.
Skyler Hittle followed with a run-producing single.
Payeur doubled with two out to knock in a run.
Concordia (5-1) then scored the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Hittle pitched two scoreless innings to get the win. He gave up one hit and struck out four.
Payeur got the start, and allowed seven runs on six hits, struck out one and walked four in three and two-third innings.
Mehl got the final out in the fourth inning.
Cole Larsen pitched a scoreless fifth inning. He gave up one hit, struck out one and walked one.
Mehl had two hits and drove in four runs.
In the first game, the Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Concordia answered with five runs in the bottom of the first.
Gilbert and Mehl singled and Hittle was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Trost walked to force home a run and Payeur was hit by a pitch to get a run home.
Nordell drove in three runs with a double.
The Panthers upped the lead to 8-1 with three runs in the second inning.
Hittle had a two-run double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Trevor Tholstrup.
Concordia put up five runs in the third inning to make it 13-1.
Hittle drove in two runs with a single.
Nordell doubled to drive in a run.
Johnson walked and scored on a fly ball by Hittle in the bottom of the fourth inning, and the Panthers led 14-1.
The game ended after five innings.
Johnson allowed one run on two hits and struck out five in four innings to get the win.
Larsen struck out all three batters he faced in the fifth inning.
Hittle had two hits and drove in four runs.
Nordell was 2-for-3 at the plate with four runs batted in.
Mehl and Gilbert had two hits and scored three runs each.


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