Concordia Chicago hands TLU its first World Series loss

Concordia Chicago scored the first six runs of the game, and Keaton Conner and Mike Formella combined on a four-hitter Saturday night in defeating the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs 8-3 at the NCAA Division III World Series.

The Cougars produced one run in the first inning, another in the second and four in the third to take charge at 6-0. The Bulldogs rallied to within 6-3 but couldn’t get any closer.

When TLU scored a run in the third and two in the fifth, Concordia tacked on single runs in the sixth and seventh to put the game out of reach.

Bryan VanDuser, Joe Silva, Andrew Massey and Kevin Coppin each had two hits for the Cougars, who snapped the Bulldogs’ 11-game winning streak. Silva and Coppin each had a couple of RBI.

Conner (5-2) earned the victory by working six innings on the mound for the Cougars. He gave up three runs on three hits in outdueling TLU starter Dylan Drgac.

Drgac (11-2) suffered a tough outing, yielding six runs on five hits in two and 2/3 innings.

The tournament is being played at Appleton (Wis.)

Records

Concordia Chicago 40-13
Texas Lutheran 39-10

In the aftermath

It was a pivotal game for both teams in the tournament.

With the win, Concordia Chicago ran its record to 2-0, needing only one victory to win Pool B and advance to the championship series.

The loss drops TLU to 1-1 and into the losers’ bracket, from which it must win three games to reach the championship series.

TLU is scheduled to play Swarthmore (Pa.) on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. in an elimination game.

If TLU can win, it would play Concordia again on Sunday night.

Two wins on Sunday for TLU would force another matchup against Concordia on Monday for the Pool B title and the right to play in the championship series.

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