Panthers split doubleheader with Wamego
North Central Kansas League losses have been a rarity for the Concordia Panthers over the past four seasons.
Concordia, 35-3 in winning four straight NCKL championships, pounded out a 12-3 win over Wamego in the first game of a doubleheader on Frdiay to extend its League winning streak to 20 games.
That streak came to an end one game later when Wamego took advantage of six Concordia errors to post an 8-1 win in the second game of the twinbill at the Concordia Sports Complex.
The Panthers reeled off nine consecutive League wins after a loss to Marysville in 2011, and then went 10-0 last season.
Wamego halted that run by scoring eight unearned runs to win game two.
“We can’t commit six errors and expect to win a game, especially against a quality opponent,” Concordia coach Brandt Hutchinson said, “That was just the physical errors. We had one or two mental errors.”
Concordia banged out 12 hits on its way to the win in game one, and is now 3-1 overall and 1-1 in League play.
The Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Drake Hake singled, advanced on an error and scored on a base hit by Jordan Mehl.
Trevor Nordell followed with a single, and Mehl got home on a passed ball.
Nordell scored on a fly ball by Skyler Hittle.
Mehl doubled home Hake in the second inning, and Concordia led 4-0.
Wamego made it 4-1 with a run in the top of the third inning.
Nick Thomas tripled with two out in the bottom of the third, and scored on a wild pitch to put the Panthers up 5-1.
Concordia tacked on two runs in the fourth inning.
Nordell tripled to drive in Hake and scored on a single by Nathan Gieber.
Wamego closed the gap to 7-3 with two runs in the top of the sixth inning.
The Panthers answered with five runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Mehl led off with a single and Nordell walked.
A fly ball by Gieber plated Mehl.
Hittle singled, and with two out, Tanner Gilbert singled to drive in Nordell.
An error would allow Hittle to score.
Derek Pearson walked and Will Strommen reached on an error.
Hake singled home Gilbert, and Pearson scored on an error to make it a12-3.
Gieber pitched the first five innings to get the win. He gave up one unearned run on three hits, struck out six and walked two.
Braden Johnson allowed two runs on three hits, struck out two and didn’t walk any in two innings.
Mehl had three hits, drove in two runs and scored two for the Panthers.
Hake was 2-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored.
Nordell had two hits and scored three runs.
Thomas had two hits.
“The first game, that was a completely different game. It was the opposite of the second game. We played solid defense, we hit well,” Hutchinson said.
Wamego grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning in game two.
An unearned run in the top of the third inning put the Red Raiders on top 3-0.
Concordia left the bases loaded in the bottom of the third.
It was still a 3-0 game when Wamego scored three runs in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 6-0.
The Red Raiders added a pair of runs in the seventh.
Shut out on six hits through the first six innings, the Panthers finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh.
Gilbert led off with a walk and scored on a fly ball to make it an 8-1 game.
“We had opportunities in the second game to score. We just couldn’t deliver,” Hutchinson said.
Mehl went five and two-thirds innings in taking the loss. He gave up six unearned runs on five hits, struck out two and walked one.
Hittle allowed two unearned runs in an inning and a third. He gave up one hit, struck out two and walked one.
Hake, Mehl and Pearson had two hits each for Concordia.
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