Concordia tops Park for MIAA C baseball championship; Parker strikes out nine, hits 3-run homer


2021 MIAA C CONFERENCE BASEBALL CHAMPIONS

CONCORDIA PREP SAINTS


Luke Nelson was impressive for Concordia baseball Tuesday. The senior hit a three-run homer and struck out nine as the Saints won their second straight MIAA C title with a victory over Park in Towson.

By Demetrius Dillard

Special to VSN

It was a perfect ending for Luke Nelson Tuesday afternoon.

Playing for the final time on Concordia Prep’s turf diamond, the senior dominated on the mound and the plate, driving in three runs to lead the Saints to a 12-1 victory over Park School for a second consecutive MIAA C Conference championship.

The Towson school dominated from the opening pitch, racing out to a 10-0 lead after only two innings. The Saints (17-1 overall) finished with 11 hits and no errors in the five-inning victory.

Nelson couldn’t have culminated his career with Concordia Prep any better, totaling nine strikeouts with one allowed hit and an earned run. He blasted a three-run homer to center field in the second, bringing Braden Hofstetter and Nick Blazek in.

“This has been the most dominant team that I’ve ever been associated with,” said Concordia Prep coach Mike Murtha. “My pitcher Luke, I think he’s the best player in the conference… The guys were ready to play. That’s a testament to these guys.”

Following Nelson’s home run, Jacob Hofstetter scored a run off a ground ball double by Sam Weiland. Andrew Couser’s pop-up single brought Weiland in for a run to give Concordia a 10-0 advantage heading into the third inning.

The Bruins’ only run of the contest came in the top of the third. Lucas West ripped a triple to right field, and Jonah Chang lined a RBI single to right center.

Jacob Hofstetter’s RBI groundout scored Jaden Marine, giving the Saints an 11-1 advantage heading into the fourth. Freshman outfielder Caleb Couser Nelson belted a solo homer to left field in the bottom of the fourth to cap the Saints’ surge.

Weiland, Marine and Couser all went 2-for-3, and combined for six RBI. Nelson, who had recorded three no-hitters during the season, yielded no hits in the final two innings as Concordia concluded its season with an exclamation.

“There was one play that was questionable, but it was [a team effort]. We hit good, we fielded good, the catcher called great pitches all game,” said Nelson, who will play at Frederick Community College next year.

Park School, which defeated Key School and Beth Tfiloh on its way to the final matchup against Concordia, finished 5-10 on the spring.

“We came in as a No. 7 seed in the playoffs, and to be able to beat the No. 2 and No. 3 to get to the championship to play the No. 1, it says a lot about their heart and their belief in each other,” said Bruins coach Andy Scott.

Nelson was a sophomore when Concordia Prep won the MIAA C championship. The 2020 campaign was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Saints lost their 2021 season opener and won their last 17 games.

“Back then, I was looking up to the seniors on the team,” said Nelson. “And now to lead them felt really good.”