Drama And Close Games Continue

Senior Turner Storm went 5-for-7 with three RBI in the Cobbers' doubleheader at St. John's.
Senior Turner Storm went 5-for-7 with three RBI in the Cobbers' doubleheader at St. John's.

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (4/25/18)---It's been a season full of close games and dramatic finishes for Concordia and Wednesday's doubleheader at St. John's was no exception.

The Cobbers stranded runners in the fifth and sixth inning of Game 1 and lost 4-2 to St. John's and then staged an unbelievable seven-run rally in the seventh inning of Game 2 to erase a 7-0 deficit only to fall 8-7 in eight innings.

The Cobbers have now played eight games since Friday and seven of the eight have been decided by two or fewer runs. Concordia is 4-4 in those eight games and now 12-13 in all games in 2018. The two defeats drops the Cobbers' conference record to 5-5 on the season.

Concordia fell behind early in Game 1 as they allowed three runs in the first two innings. The Cobbers then closed the gap to one with a Turner Storm "no doubt about it" 2-run homer in the third frame.

The Cobbers would have traffic on the bases in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings but couldn't come up with the game-tying hit.

Storm and Austin Ver Steeg accounted for four of the Cobbers' seven hits in the game. Both players went 2-for-3. The home run for Storm was his first of the season while Ver Steeg came away with his sixth double of the year.

Cole Christensen went the first 5.2 innings on the mound for CC. He allowed two earned runs on eight hits and struck out three. Zack Nelson came on to get the final out of the sixth inning.

The second game appeared to be heading for a ho-hum finish. Concordia fell behind 7-0 as SJU got out to an early lead by scoring four times in the first and then adding single runs in the next three frames.

The tone of the game all changed when Brett Swanson tripled down the right field line to lead off the seventh. That was followed by six more singles. The final base knock came off the bat of Nate Leintz and brought the game to 7-6 with runners on first and second with one out. Swanson then walked to load the bases as CC batted around in the inning. Eric Watt then hit a ground ball up the first base line which tied the game on a first baseman unassisted ground out.

Concordia could have taken a two-run lead on the very next batter as Grant Toivonen scorched a line drive into the right-center field gap but the Johnnie center fielder came up with a game-saving diving catch to end the inning.

The Cobbers had runners on first and second with one out in the eighth but a line drive and ground ball out ended the top of the inning, SJU then won the game on a one-out single with the bases loaded.

Concordia outhit the Johnnies 11-8 in Game 2. Storm went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and finished the day with a team-high five hits. Leintz and Brett Erickson also had multiple-hit games for the Cobbers.

Concordia used five pitchers in the game. Alex Erickson started the contest while Kyle Knaeble went the longest of any CC pitcher. He went 2.2 innings, did not allow a hit and struck out three.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will return home to host a pair of conference doubleheaders over the weekend.  The Cobbers will square off against Gustavus on Saturday, Apr. 28 and then face league-leading St. Mary's on Sunday, Apr. 28.