CAROL STREAM, Ill. (3/22/18)---Concordia jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in their opening game in Carol Stream and then used a late-inning rally in the second game to come away with a sweep and extend its win streak to four games.
The Cobbers combined for 14 runs and 23 hits as they beat Beloit 6-3 in the first game and host Wheaton 8-6 in Game 2. The two wins up CC's overall record to 7-6 on the season.
Concordia scored two runs in the first inning of the opener and used a three-run seventh inning to open the game up against Beloit and then plated seven runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings against Wheaton to erase a 5-1 lead.
The offense was led by the Top 5 hitters in the Cobber order while senior Cole Christensen earned the win in the opener and Fletcher Andel went six innings to get the victory in the finale. Austin Ver Steeg has stepped into the Concordia closer role as he came away with saves in both games.
Nate Hoeft topped the Cobber offense against Beloit. He went 2-for-3 and scored two runs from his leadoff spot in the order.
Alec Sames, Chad Johnson, Turner Storm and Nate Leintz finished off the Top 5 in the order for CC and combined to record five of the team's seven hits.
Johnson would have the most productive day of any Cobber hitter. Concordia only had two extra-base hits in the two games and both came off the bat of Johnson. He had a one-run double in the seventh inning against Beloit and then went 3-for-5 with four RBI and had a two-run long ball in the sixth inning against Wheaton.
Christensen started the first game against Beloit and pitched the first 7.0 innings and allowed only two earned runs and struck out four. He didn't allow a run past the second inning as he picked up his second win of the year.
Zack Nelson, Colin Richards and Ver Steeg followed Christensen and gave up only one earned run in the final 2.0 innings. Richards got the final out of the eighth and then Ver Steeg got the final three outs.
Against Wheaton the Cobber Top 5 went 11-for-24 (.458). Sames matches John's three hits as he went 3-for-4, scored twice and drive in a run. Hoeft and Leintz both had two hits each in the game.
Andel had to grind out through the first six innings to earn his first win of the year. He struck out three, gave up five hits and five walks.
Richards allowed only one run in 2.0 innings in the seventh and eighth and then Ver Steeg got a double play to erase one of the two hits he allowed as he recorded his second save of the year.
SIX-GAME WARM-UP: Concordia struggled through their first six games of the season as they went 1-5 in Florida. Since then the Cobbers have found their groove and have won six of the past seven games to move above .500 for the first time this season.
ILLINOIS VERSE SAMES FLORIDA: Alec Sames continues t have a breakout junior season. Sames went 4-for-7 on Thursday and scored four runs from the No.2 spot in the batting order. Sames now leads the team in hitting with a .386 average. He has had at least one hit in 10 of the 13 games he has played and has four multiple-hit games in cluding a career-high four base knocks in Game 1 against Gwnedd Mercy on Mar. 3. Last year Sames hit .310.
POWER SUPPLY: Concordia has 18 extra-base hits in their first 13 games of the year and senior Chad Johnson has six of those hits. Johnson has five doubles and one of the team's two homers.
WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will finish off their trio of games in Illinois when they play Dominican (Ill.) on Friday, Mar. 23 at 11 a.m. at Wheaton. The Stars are 8-4 on the season and lost to Beloit 9-6 on Thursday.