Complete-Game Cole Helps Earn Split

Cole Christensen pitched a complete-game four hitter and retired the final 11 batters he faced in the Cobbers' split at Hamline.
Cole Christensen pitched a complete-game four hitter and retired the final 11 batters he faced in the Cobbers' split at Hamline.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (4/22/17)--- Cole Christensen pitched a four-hit complete-game shutout in the first game and helped Concordia earn a split in their doubleheader at Hamline.

Christensen, and a three-run double off the bat of Joe Hallock, earned the Cobbers a 4-0 win in the opener. Unfortunately a five-run first inning from the Pipers sent Concordia to a 9-4 loss in the second game.

It is the second straight conference split for the Cobbers who are now 8-6 in league play and 19-13 overall. The win in Game 2 ends a five-game losing skid for Hamline who moves to 4-8 in the MIAC and 11-19 in all games.

Christensen allowed only four hits and didn't give up a walk as he went the distance for the second time this season.  Christensen didn't allow a hit after the fourth inning and retired the last 11 batters he faced.

The bulk of the Cobber offense in Game 1 came in the third inning. Alec Sames singled to lead off the inning but then two quick outs had Concordia facing its third straight scoreless frame. Turner Storm singled and then Nate Hoeft walked to load the bases for Hallock. Hallock promptly roped a ball into the left center field gap to clear the bases and give Christensen a 3-0 cushion.

The defensive play of the game came in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs and a runner on second, Concordia right fielder Nate Leintz made a tremendous diving catch to end the inning and preserve Christensen's shutout effort.        

Concordia would tack on one more insurance run in the fifth inning when freshman Eli Johnson scored on an error.

The Cobbers had seven hits in the opener with Sames going 2-for-3 to record the only multiple-hit game of the first game.

Hamline struck early in the second game off of CC starter Fletcher Andel. They plated five runs on five hits to jump out to a 5-0 lead.

Concordia would cut the lead to 5-3 when they scored three runs on four hits in the third inning. The big hit of the inning came from Hoeft who had a two-out single to right field which scored two runs. Sames then walked to record the third run.

The teams traded single runs in the bottom of the fourth and top of the fifth innings. Concordia's run came via a double from Cody Rahman who eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Brett Swanson.

Hamline then put the game out of reach with three runs in the seventh to bring the final score to 9-4.

The Pipers outhit the Cobbers 15-9 in the finale. Turner Storm, Hoeft, Rahman and Leintz all had two-hit games for CC.

Concordia used three pitchers in Game 2. Andel recovered from the rocky first inning and only allowed two more runs in his 6.0-inning stint. Hallock came on in the seventh and then Rahman finished off the final 1.0 innings.

FINISHING KICK: Cole Christensen has now gone at least 6.0 innings in his last three starts. He has pitched 20.0 innings in that stretch and has lowered his season ERA to 3.12. His ERA is a team best among starters and 10th best among starters in the MIAC.   

A TALE OF TWO-OUTS: Christensen held Hamline hitless with two outs in the first game. The Pipers were 0-for-7 in Game 1. In the second game Hamline hit .364 (4-for-11) with two outs in the inning.

On the other side the Cobbers went 3-for-11 (.273) with two outs but then went 2-for-12 (.167) in the second game. CC was also 2-for-13 (.154) with runners in scoring position in Game 2.

EXTRA BASE HITS, EXTRA BASE HITS, WHERE FOR ART THOU EXTRA BASE HITS: Concordia only had two extra base hits in the two games vs. Hamline. The Cobbers haven't had more than two extra base knocks in the past six games.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will stay on the road in conference play when they play at Gustavus on Tuesday, Apr. 25 at 2:30 p.m. The Gusties are just ahead of the Cobbers in the league standings with a 7-5 record. Gustavus swept St. Olaf on Saturday.