Clutch Offensive Explosion

Sophomore Alec Sames slides safely into hom in the second game of the Cobbers' DH with St. Thomas. Hoeft was 3-for-3 in the game.
Sophomore Alec Sames slides safely into hom in the second game of the Cobbers' DH with St. Thomas. Hoeft was 3-for-3 in the game.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/08/17)--- Concordia's bats arrived at Bucky Burgau Field one game too late as the Cobbers were held scoreless in the opener against St. Thomas and lost 3-0 but then went on to beat the Tommies 10-8 in the nightcap.

The Cobbers could only come up with four singles in Game 1 and then exploded for a season-high 17 hits in Game 2.  

The win in the second game ended a three-game losing streak for Concordia. The much-needed victory pushes the Cobbers' overall record back to the .500 level at 11-11. CC is now 2-4 in the MIAC and remains in the thick of the conference playoff race.

The victory also ended the Tommies' seven-game win streak. It is also the first loss in league play. St. Thomas finishes the day with a 12-9 record in all games and a 5-1 MIAC mark.

The opener was all pitching and defense. The Cobbers turned three clutch double plays to get out of jams in the first, third and fifth frames. That helped starting pitcher Fletcher Andel last 6.0 innings and only allow two earned runs. He scattered seven hits and struck out one. Freshman Alex Erickson pitched the seventh and gave up the final run on one hit.

Unfortunately for the Cobbers, St. Thomas pitcher Henry DeCaster was on top of his game. Concordia was only able to come up with four singles and only got one runner to third base in the game.

It took Concordia two innings before they could get their offense kick started. The Cobbers trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the second and then senior Cody Rahman doubled to lead off the inning. He would come around to score on the first of four hits by Nate Hoeft.

Concordia then went full 1927 Yankees when they score two in fourth, four in the fifth and then three more in the seventh.

The trio of runs in the seventh looked to be just more icing on the offensive cake but they turned out to be the winning margin. Hoeft drove in the eventual game-winning run and Grant Toivonen came up with a single to stake CC to a 10-2 lead.

St. Thomas would come up with a grand slam in the eighth and a pair of runs in the ninth before senior Joe Hallock finally shut the door and got a fly ball to left field to finish off the victory.

Every Cobber in the batting order had at least one hit in the finale. Concordia also had five hitters record multiple-hit games. Hoeft led the 17-hit attack by going 4-for-4 with four RBI.

Alec Sames nearly matched Hoeft's 4-for-4 outing. He went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored.

Toivonen, Rahman and Nate Leintz all had two hits for CC with Leintz driving in two runs.

Junior Cole Christensen came up big for the Cobbers on the mound when the team needed it the most. He allowed single runs in the first and second but then shut the UST offense down for the next 5.0 innings. He retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced.   

Christensen allowed eight hits in 7.0 innings and struck out three to earn his third win of the year.

HIT STREAK STUFF: Grant Toivonen and Cody Rahman both extended their hits streaks in the doubleheader. Both players had at least one hit in both games. Toivonen has now hit safely in nine straight games and Rahman pushed his streak to eight games. Toivonen has five multiple-hit games during his streak and is hitting .412 during that stretch.

HOTTER THAN TOIVONEN: Sophomore Alec Sames is starting to find his stride at the plate. Sames has four multiple-hit games in his last six and is hitting .471 during that stretch.

DANDY DEFENSE: Concordia committed only one error on the day and turned three double plays. The biggest defensive moment of the day came in Game 2 when Nate Hoeft ranged deep into the hole at shortstop and dove to snare a line drive. He then rolled over and threw out the runner from his backside.

The Cobbers are currently third in the MIAC in fielding percentage. CC has a .964 fielding percentage in their first 22 games of the year.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will hit the road for a pair of games at St. Olaf on Tuesday, Apr. 11. The Oles are coming off a huge sweep over league-leading Bethel and are 9-10 on the year.     

POSTGAME INTERVIEW: Postgame interview with winning pitcher Cole Christensen