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Five spot in fourth enough for Concord baseball in 5-3 win over St. Elizabeth

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Nick Welch slides into home to score for Concord against St. Elizabeth. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Dialog reporter

WILMINGTON – On a frigid day at Canby Park, Concord’s baseball team warmed up its bats just enough to take a 5-3 nonconference baseball victory over St. Elizabeth on April 3. It was the Raiders’ first win of the season.

The bats on both sides were nearly as cold as the temperatures. Each team scored all of its runs in single half innings. For Concord, that was the fourth.

Nick Welch slides into home to score for Concord against St. Elizabeth. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

With one out, William Rhodunda singled to left off Vikings starting pitcher Justin Brooks. He moved to second on another knock to left by Johnathan Ford, the Raiders’ starting pitcher, who was removed for a pinch runner. Brian Downey picked up the team’s third straight single, this one to right, to score Rhodunda and send pinch runner Zachary Allman to third.

A walk to Nick Welch loaded the bases. Brooks picked up the second out on a strikeout, but Cade Pfander stroked a two-run single to right. With runners on first and third, Pfander took off for second base. On the throw to second, Welch started toward home. The throw back to the plate got past catcher Chris Strickland, and Pfander advanced to third on the error. He scored on another error on a ground ball, and the Vikings were in a 5-0 hole.

A St. Elizabeth run scores on a walk. The Vikings scored all three of their runs on six walks in the fifth inning. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

St. Elizabeth got three of those back in their half of the fifth inning without the benefit of a hit. Ford walked Craig Small and Jason Mock to lead off the inning, prompting a pitching change. Reliever Hunter Outten struggled to find the strike zone, walking the first three batters he faced as the Vikings climbed within 5-2. He rebounded to get a strikeout, but another walk, this one to Jaden Dickerson after getting ahead by two strikes, brought head coach Tim Hamberger off the bench.

Downey came in to relieve Outten and ended the Vikings’ rally, striking out the next two hitters.

That was the last of the scoring, although both teams received some help from their defenses to help keep it that way. In the top of the sixth, Dickerson made a diving stab in left field to rob Steven Cornog of a hit with a man on base. In the bottom of the inning, centerfielder Rhodunda raced to his left to steal a double from St. Elizabeth’s Nate Thomas with a runner on first.

The Vikings (1-2) were held to two hits, a double by Mock in the second and a single by Tom Maddams in the third. They did reach base nine times via the walk, and another batter was hit by a pitch. St. Elizabeth returns to action Thursday at 1 p.m. vs. Hodgson at Wilson Field in New Castle.

Concord (1-2) finished with nine hits, and the Raiders’ hurlers struck out a total of 11 Vikings. The Raiders were scheduled to play again on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Wilmington Friends and again on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at A.I. DuPont.