Morningside rebounded for an 8-5 victory in the second game to salvage a split with Concordia in Tuesday’s GPAC baseball doubleheader at Lewis and Clark Park.
The Mustangs, who lost the opener 10-4, escaped a major seventh inning jam when Concordia loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning of the nightcap before relief ace Elliott Conover pitched his way out of the jam to notch his fourth save of the season.
Down 8-5 in the seventh inning, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs before Conover extinguished the threat by striking out Thomas Sautel and Dylan Jacob before he enticed Even Bohman to ground out to the shortstop to end the game.
Conover struck out four of the eight batters he faced and allowed two hits and no walks in a two-inning relief stint to save a win for Cameron Wagner (2-0). Wagner rebounded from a five-run second inning to allow five runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts over the first five innings.
The Mustangs scored three runs in the first and third innings to take a 6-5 lead after the first three innings of the nightcap. Sam Huska had the Mustangs’ only hit in the first inning when he delivered a two-run single. The Mustangs struck for three consecutive RBI singles with two outs in the third inning when run scoring hits from Andrew Kasperbauer, Levi Davidson and Mitch Kellogg.
Morningside increased its lead to 8-5 in the top of the fifth inning when Huska and Kasperbauer teed-off for back-to-back home runs against Bulldog reliever Nathan Buckallew.
Huska went four-for-five with a home run and three RBIs to pace the Mustangs’ offensive attack. Kasperbauer had two hits, including a home run, and two RBIs.
Mustang starter Cameron Wagner allowed five runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts over the first five innings to get the pitching win.
Concordia never trailed after it scored four runs in the third inning of the opener. Thomas Sautel had the big hit of the inning with a two-run single, while Wade Council had a RBI infield single and Keaton Candor slugged a RBI double earlier in the uprising.
Morningside closed with 4-3 when Joe Genoways blasted a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Jordan Pierce and Nathan DeChaine were onboard for Genoway’s circuit clout after they had singled earlier in the inning.
The Mustangs scored their final run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Pierce, which brought home Carter Kratz, who was in the game as a courtesy runner for catcher Mitch Kellogg, who led off the inning with a single.
Concordia pitcher Nick Little scattered eight hits in a complete game performance to improve his record to 6-2. Little walked two and struck out eight.
Kellogg and Derek Clayton each had a pair of singles to account for half of the Mustangs’ hits. Genoways had the Mustangs’ only extra base hit with his three-run home run.
Morningside will host Hastings in a 3 p.m. GPAC doubleheader on Wednesday.