West Virginia State beats Concord for MEC baseball title

BECKLEY — West Virginia State defeated Concord twice on Sunday to win the 2021 Mountain East Conference Baseball Tournament title.

The Yellow Jackets won game one, 9-3, and then clinched the championship with the same scoreline, 9-3.

In the first game, Concord's Evan Antonellis gave the Mountain Lions a 2-1 lead after the first inning, and Brandon Bayne made it 3-1 in the second with an RBI double.

The score remained until the sixth inning as MEC Tournament MVP Matthew Kline had a two-run single to center to the game at 3-3. In the seventh with two runners on, Matt Harrison blasted a home run to dead center to push the lead to 6-3. Andrew Stone, the very next batter, hit a solo shot to make it 7-3. Andrew Stone had another RBI single in the ninth, and Kline capped the scoring with an RBI double in the inning.

Jacob Bradley got the win for WVSU coming on in relief in the first inning and pitching six innings giving up one unearned run on four hits. Ethan Lauchart, who was the day one starter on Thursday, pitched the final three innings for the save.

WVSU's first five hitters in the lineup were 11-for-24 eight RBI and and eight runs scored. Harrison was 3-for-5 with three RBI, while Michael Stone, Christopher Jordan, Andrew Stone and Kline each contributed two hits.

For Concord, Zack Saryeldin was 3-for-4. Antonellis and Bayne each had two hits. Spencer Hoyt took the loss after pitching 6.0 innings giving up four runs on eight hits with 10 strikeouts.

In the second game, WVSU grabbed the 1-0 lead on a groundout RBI by Brett Christian. The Mountain Lions tied things up in the sixth, but the Yellow Jackets posted five runs in the bottom half to take control of the game. Andrew Stone hit a solo home run to get things going, and then Andrew Massey each had RBI hit, and Michael Stone had a two-run triple to spark the inning. CU pulled one back in the seventh on a solo home run from Chris Satcher, but RBI hits from Kline, Trey Junkins, and Jared Hunt made it 9-2. Concord pushed one across in the ninth, but could not get anything more to rally.

Lauchart came back after his relief appearance and gave West Virginia State five strong innings giving up just one hit, but did not factor in the decision. Clark Reese pitched the final four innings to get credit for the win giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits.

Michael Stone, Andrew Stone, Junkins and Hunt each had three hits in the second game for the Yellow Jackets.

Concord went through six pitchers in the second game, and Trent Abernathy took the loss pitching 5.2 innings giving up three runs on eight hits. Richard Ortiz supplied two hits for the Mountain Lions.

MEC All-Tournament Team

Pete Costigan (UC)

Ross Salvatori (WLU)

Taylor Cook (AB)

Tylyn James (AB)

Andrew Neff (CU)

Trent Abernathy (CU)

Zack Saryeldin (CU)

Even Antonellis (CU)

Clark Reese (WVSU)

Christopher Jordan (WVSU)

Andrew Stone (WVSU)

MVP - Matthew Kline (WVSU)



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