May 13—CHARLESTON — The Concord University baseball team used a combination of strong pitching and a few timely hits to move to 2-0 at the Mountain East Conference Tournament with a win over Frostburg State, 5-2, Friday afternoon at GoMart Ballpark.
Graduate outfielder Kyle Keenan was responsible for three of Concord (29-19) runs scoring in the contest. Trailing 2-1 in the third, Keenan fielder's choice and subsequent throwing error by FSU (31-19) brought in junior infielder Zack Saryeldin after he had walked early in the frame. Two batters later, Keenan came around to score on an RBI single by sophomore infielder Brendan Brady, pushing the Mountain Lions back in front.
Keenan was in the middle of the scoring in the fifth inning too. Two of the three batters of the frame reached by way on a leadoff single from sophomore utility MJ Hunter, and a one-out walk to graduate outfielder Josh Adkins. Keenan roped a single into center field to double the Concord lead, 4-2.
On the first pitch Keenan saw with one out in the seventh, the Fredericksburg, Va. native sent his sixth home run of the season out to left field.
Meanwhile, the Concord pitching staff was locked in after a small hiccup in the second inning, a two-run homer by Frostburg State.
Junior pitcher Eddie Blake retired seven of the final nine hitters he faced before passing the baton off to fellow junior pitcher Andrew Neff.
After giving up a single on the first pitch he threw, Neff became unhittable as he retired the next 11 batters he faced while striking out five. Neff (12-2) would be the pitcher of record as he gave up the lone hit, walk no one and struck out five.
After 3.2 scoreless innings, Neff handed off to sophomore Rylee Nicholas who retired six of the seven batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings for his second save of the season. He struck out two.
Keenan was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Brady was also 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Adkins was on base three times, including recording his team-best ninth home run of the season two batters into the game.
In Thursday's MEC tournament opener, the Concord University baseball team scored the final four runs of the game as it stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to down Wheeling 4-3.
Trailing 3-0 into the seventh inning—and with just two hits to their credit—the Mountain Lions (28-19) rallied for three runs to tie the game. Nicholas cracked a one-out double to right field, and came around to score on a two-out base hit from Hu.
After back-to-back walks to Saryeldin and Josh Adkins loaded the bases, graduate outfielder Keenan came through with a two-run single to knot the game.Wheeling (28-21) wiggled out of further trouble to keep the game, 3-3.
Concord escaped trouble in the top of the eighth as Nicholas stranded the bases loaded. And the momentum carried over to the bottom of the half.
DJ Christian led off the frame with a single to right field. He movede to second on a balk and got to third on a bunt. With an 0-2 count on senior catcher Hunter Steel, Christian scurried home on a wild pitch.
The one-run edge was enough for Nicholas in the top of the ninth as he struck out the first two batters before inducing a flyout to Adkins in center field.
Wheeling scored three batters into the game on a solo home run, and added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take the lead to 3-0.
Keenan finished 2-for-4, including a first-inning triple, to go with two RBI. Christian and Hunter both had two hits on the day.Nicholas (7-5) was the winning pitcher for Concord as he tossed two scoreless of relief while striking out two.
The Mountain Lions will resume MEC tournament play at 2 p.m. today and will face either either Frostburg State or West Liberty.