Headed North On A Winning Note

Junior Cole Christensen pitched a complete-game five-hitter  to earn the win in the Cobbers' 3-1 victory over Wartburg in the final game in Florida.
Junior Cole Christensen pitched a complete-game five-hitter to earn the win in the Cobbers' 3-1 victory over Wartburg in the final game in Florida.

AUBURNDALE, Fla. (3/04/17)--- Junior pitcher Cole Christensen made sure Concordia left Florida with more than just a team full of sun burns. Christensen hurled a five-hit complete game and helped the Cobbers leave the Sunshine State with a 3-1 win, and series split, against Wartburg.

Concordia fell 6-1 in the opener against the Knights but then Christensen kept the Wartburg offense at bay for an entire seven innings as he retired 15 out of 17 hitters in a stretch from the second to the sixth innings before finally allowing a single run in the seventh.

The victory gives the Cobbers a winning record on their annual spring break trip to Florida. CC went 4-3 against other northern teams and is now 4-5 on the season in their first nine games of the year. Wartburg has now split all three doubleheaders against MIAC teams this year and moves to 4-5 for the season.

Christensen gave up a two-out bunt single in the first but then went on his 17-hitter roll to get to the seventh inning.       

The Cobbers scored all three of their runs in the game in the second inning. Cody Rahman doubled to start the frame and then scored on a Nate Leintz single. Chad Johnson then parked a pitch over the left field fence to plate Leintz. It was Johnson's first long ball of the season.

Concordia outhit the Knights 9-5 in the second game. Turner Storm was the only CC player who had more than one base knock in the final game in Florida. He went 2-for-3 from the clean-up spot in the order.

The complete game is Christensen's first of the year and he is now 2-1 in his first three starts of the season. He also lowered his season earned run average to 2.30.

The Cobbers ran into trouble in the first two inning of the opener. Wartburg plated three runs in each of the first and second innings and got a completer-game four-hitter from their starting pitcher.

Like Wartburg in the second game, Concordia's lone run came in the seventh frame. Riley Kramer pounded a single up the middle which scored Brett Erickson from third base after Erickson pinch ran for Joe Hallock who hammered a one-out double to left-center field.

Johnson and Austin Ver Steeg had the other base hits in Game 1 for CC.

Fletcher Andel and Adam Nibaur shared the pitching duties for the Cobbers in the opener. Andel made his second start of the year and last the first 5.0 innings. He gave up six earned runs while striking out three and walking one.

Nibaur pitched the sixth inning and allowed a leadoff single but then struck out the next batter and got a pair of ground outs to finish off the frame.

DO WE HAVE TO GO JUST YET? Cole Christensen might not get back on the plane to come back to Minnesota. The junior right-hander started two games, pitched 13.0 innings and came away with a 0.69 ERA and two wins in the sunshine state. Christensen allowed just 12 hits in his two starts, walked one and struck out 14.    

HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU? Senior Joe Hallock led the Cobbers in hitting in Florida. He played in all seven games, pounded out nine hits and accumulated a .375 average. He also had a team-best .542 slugging percentage and had four doubles. 

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will return to the Midwest and will head indoors for its next four games. The Cobbers will play No.7-ranked Wis.Whitewater in a twinbill on Friday, Mar. 10 starting at 11 a.m. at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. CC will then squarer off against Division II Concordia-St. Paul on Saturday, Mar. 11 at 5 p.m. at The Bank.