Concord secures first WVIAC title since 2011, beats West Virginia State
BECKLEY, W. Va. -- Concord scored five runs early and withstood a West Virginia State comeback attempt to claim the school's fifth West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship with an 11-4 victory Saturday at Epling Stadium.
The Mountain Lions had previously won conference titles in 2011, 2001, 1961 and 1954 -- including two by head coach Andrew Wright.
The victory also improves Concord's record to 36-18 overall -- a single-season record. Concord's championship guarantees the squad a spot in the 2013 NCAA tournament. The official selection show will take place on May 12.
The Mountain Lions’ Andrew Seigel and Devin Smith combined to go six-for-eight, with each collecting three hits. Seigel also scored three runs and drove in three more while Smith scored twice and had one RBI. Jacob Mays and Joey Miller each totaled two-RBI games and Ryan Johnstown pounded out two hits and had one RBI.
On the mound, Smith pitched 4.2 innings, allowing five hits and four runs while striking out two batters. Chris Baker (8-1) came on in relief of Smith and threw 4.1 innings of shutout baseball for the Mountain Lions.
The Mountain Lions wasted little time establishing a lead with five runs in the first two innings. Seigel was hit by a pitch to lead off the game and Smith drove a double to left field to give Concord runners on second and third with no outs. Mays then brought Seigel in with a sacrifice fly that was preceded by an RBI-double from Miller and a run-scoring single from Josh Wenger.
Concord made it a 5-0 game in the second inning off of a Seigel double and a Smith single that scored T.J. Brockway and Seigel, respectively.
WVSU broke up the shutout with an RBI-double from Garrett Kiser in the fourth inning, but CU reclaimed its five-run advantage in the bottom of the frame when Johnston ripped a single down the left field line to score Smith, who walked earlier in the inning, to put CU up 6-1.
The Yellow Jackets responded with a three-run fifth inning that knocked Smith out of the game for Baker and cut Concord's lead to just two runs (6-4).
However, CU responded in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases before Seigel delivered a two-run single that made it 8-4.
Concord continued to add insurance runs with one in the sixth and two more in the seventh. Meanwhile, Baker silenced the Yellow Jackets batters with four straight shutout innings to end the game and help claim conference crown.