Concordia, KS- The T-Bird baseball team battled Pratt Community College to a series split in a four game set with the Beavers over the weekend.
Game 1: Cloud County 4 Pratt 3
Cloud won game one of the series in walk off fashion. Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th, Cloud got a one out RBI triple off the bat of Jacob Grady to tie the game. After Pratt intentionally walked the bases loaded, Bryce Lievens hit sac fly to score Grady and win the game.
The T-Bird coaching staff elected to shuffle up the rotation heading into the weekend. They started JW Maldaner in game one and got a quality start from the Freshman in his first career start. Maldaner went 5 2/3 innings and allowed just two earned runs. He struck out six and didn't allow a walk before turning it over to Cole Otto. Otto punched out three of the four batters he faced to seal the victory.
Game 2: Cloud County 8 Pratt 12
Cloud starter Nick Wordekemper was roughed up in the first inning of game two as Cloud fell behind early.
The T-Birds erased a six run deficit starting in the bottom of the third. Cloud would put up three runs in the third and five runs in the fourth to take an 8-6 lead on Pratt.
The Beaver bullpen buckled down and held Cloud scoreless for the rest of the way and Pratt would grab the lead back in the sixth when the Cloud County pitcher was called for a balk. John Stiger had entered after Wordekemper and held Pratt in check into the 6th. The freshman lefthander took the tough luck loss as he went 4 1/3 innings of relief allowing just one earned run.
Pratt would add to the lead in the 7th and hold on to win 12-8.
Game 3: Cloud County 9 Pratt 5
Cloud exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth to come from behind in game three for the win.
Luis Landaeta started the rally with a double off of the center field fence. Trace Nelson followed with a single. After a sacrifice bunt by Sherwin Salim, leadoff hitter Jake Wells was walked. Sophomore Bryce Leivens then provided the go ahead RBI with a double over the head of the Pratt right fielder. Cloud continued to rally extending their lead to 9-4 after six innings.
Closert Cole Otto came in shut the door. It was Otto's 13th appearance of the season out of the bullpen. He has allowed an earned run in just one game this season and now has a 2.12 ERA and 28 strikeouts in just 17 innings pitched.
Lievens continued his strong offensive week with a double and triple in the game. He drove in the tying and winning runs on his opposite field double in the 6th.
John Badgett got the start in game three. He earned a no decision going five innings and allowing four runs. He struck out eight.
Alex Torkelson came on in the sixth and worked a scoreless inning of relief to get the win.
Game 4: Cloud County 6 Pratt 13
Cloud grabbed an early 4-2 lead in game four of the series chasing the Beaver's starting pitcher from the game.
Pratt then went to reliever Nathan McBroom. McBroom silenced the T-Birds bats over the next five frames and Pratt grabbed the lead and pulled ahead. The Beavers put the game on ice with five runs in the 8th sparked by back to back home runs. Pratt right fielder, Julio Ibarra started the rally with his third home run of the weekend.
Cloud added two runs in the eighth but Pratt held on to win 13-6.
The T-Birds will now spend the week preparing for the difficult trip to southwest Kansas to play Seward County. The T-Birds and the Saints will play doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.