Clutch Cobbers

Junior Nate Leintz had a walkoff grand slam in the first game and then the game-tying single in the bottom of the ninth in the second game in the Cobbers' sweep over Augsburg. Both hits came with two outs and two strikes.
Junior Nate Leintz had a walkoff grand slam in the first game and then the game-tying single in the bottom of the ninth in the second game in the Cobbers' sweep over Augsburg. Both hits came with two outs and two strikes.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/15/17)---Concordia was at its best when they needed it the most. The Cobbers trailed with two outs in the last inning of both games against Augsburg and managed to get clutch hit after clutch hit to sweep the conference doubleheader.

The Cobbers got a walkoff grand slam off the bat of Nate Leintz to win the first game 8-4 and then Turner Storm's single down the left field line won the finale 6-5 in 10 innings.

The two wins push Concordia's overall win streak to six games – CC has now won five straight MIAC games. The Cobbers are 16-11 overall, and after starting the league campaign 1-4, Concordia is 6-4 in conference games.

The Cobbers trailed 4-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh in Game 1. The first two CC batters quickly recorded outs. Leadoff hitter Grant Toivonen then started the six-run rally with a solid single to right field. Storm then hit a seeing-eye double to left center field which somehow eluded the retreating shortstop and oncoming left and center fielders.

Joe Hallock was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Chad Johnson tied the game with a single to left center field. The Auggies then intentionally walked senior Cody Rahman to get to Leintz.

Leintz fell behind 1-2 before cranking a fastball high in the sky towards left field. The ball held up in the wind and carried over the fence to earn the walkoff grand slam.

Leintz, who had never hit a walkoff home run in his career, summarized the at-bat by stating, "With two strikes I was just looking to put the ball in play and I ended up barreling it. I didn't know if it was going to go out."

Leintz then had a hand in the second dramatic comeback of the day when he tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. 

Storm walked to lead off the inning and then advanced to third on a fly ball for the second out. Down to their final out and with two strikes, Leintz drove a pitch over the top of the infield and into center field. Storm scored on the play to tie the score at 5-5.

Hallock, who came into pitch for the Cobbers in the eighth inning, retired Augsburg in the top of the 10th to set up the second walkoff dramatics.

Austin Ver Steeg started the inning by reaching on an error. Nate Hoeft then sacrificed Ver Steeg to second on a two-strike pitch. A ground out to second base moved Ver Steeg to third and then Storm pulled a two-strike pitch down the third base line to win the game and help CC gain the sweep.

Fletcher Andel went the distance on the hill for the Cobbers in the first game. He allowed a pair of runs in the second and then battled through the final five innings. He struck three in pitching his second complete game of the year. He also picked up his third win of the season.

Junior Cole Christensen started the second game and was helped by three straight inning-ending double plays. He got a fourth twin-killing in the fourth and then cruised all the way to the sixth before giving up three runs. Christensen struck out a pair in his 6.0 innings of work.

Rahman then pitched the seventh and into the eighth and allowed one earned run and just one hit in 1.0 innings on the mound.

Hallock finished off the final 3.0 innings. He didn't allow a run and held the Auggies to a single score in the eighth after he entered the game with the bases loaded and no one out. Hallock allowed two hits and struck out one to pick up his first victory of the year.

Concordia had nine hits in the first game and 12 in the finale. Storm went 3-for-4 in Game 1 and 2-for-5 in the second game. He was the only CC player with multiple hits in both games.

Leintz had two hits on the day and both were of the game-changing variety.

Johnson was 2-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored in the first game and then went 1-for-3 in the last game.

NO ORDINARY JOE: Not only did Joe Hallock get the win in the second game but he also extended his on-base streak for the season. Hallock was walked and was also beaned by a pitch in the first game and then went 2-for-5 in the nightcap. Hallock has now reached base safely in 16 straight games.

WIN STREAK WAYS: Concordia was shut out, and had only four hits, against St. Thomas in the first game of the DH last Saturday. Since then the Cobbers have won six straight and have combined to score 48 runs and pound out 71 hits. They have scored at least five runs and had at least seven hits in all six of those games.

WIN STREAK WAYS PART DEAUX: During the Cobbers' six-game win streak the team is hitting a robust .340. Nate Hoeft and Alec Sames are both hitting over .400 during that stretch. Hoeft is hitting .444 while Sames has a .409 mark. CC has seven regulars batting above .300 during the last six games.

WIN STREAK WAYS PART TROIS: Concordia has made the most of the seventh inning during the six-game win streak. They are outscoring their opponents by a combined 13-2 margin in the seventh frame.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will step outside the MIAC to host Jamestown in a non-conference game on Monday, Apr. 17 at 1 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to be played at Jamestown but was changed due to field issues with the Jimmies. The two teams played earlier in the year with the Cobbers getting a 6-5 win on Mar. 29 in Moorhead.