Cobbers Finish Off Florida Trip

Senior catcher Alec Sames finished Florida with a .308 batting average and had a a hit in five of the seven games he played.
Senior catcher Alec Sames finished Florida with a .308 batting average and had a a hit in five of the seven games he played.

STORY LINE: Concordia finished off their annual spring break to Florida by dropping a pair of games to Mount Union (Ohio). The Cobbers lost 10-1 in the first game and then came up short on their seventh-inning rally in the second game and lost 5-2.

RECORDS: Concordia finishes their time in Florida with a 5-6 record. The Raiders win for the third straight time and move to 7-1 on the season.     

RUNNING INTO ON-FIRE STARTING PITCHERS: The Cobbers ran into three starting pitchers who were on top of their game in the final three games in Florida. CC was limited to one run in their loss to New Jersey City after their starting pitcher threw 7.0 scoreless innings, allowed only three hits and struck out eight. On Tuesday, the two Mount Union starting pitchers combined to throw 13.0 innings and only allowed eight hits while striking out 13 batters.

LATE-INNING OFFENSE: Concordia scored all three of their runs against Mount Union in the sixth and seventh innings. The Cobbers lone run in the opener came in the sixth when junior Eric Watt walked, took second on a balk and then advanced to third on a ground out before scoring on a wild pitch. CC then scored both of their runs in Game 2 in the seventh. Freshman Billy Lynch's double to right field brought in two runs to make the score 5-2. Concordia scored 87 runs in their 11 games in Florida and 52 of those came in the fifth, sixth or seventh innings.

YOUTH IS SERVED: Concordia had several freshmen step up in Florida. The two first-year position players that saw the most playing time were outfielders Max Boran and Andy Gravdahl and both hit over .300. Boran finished the trip by hitting .320 and had a .433 on-base percentage. He played in nine games and reached base safely in eight of his nine games. Gravdahl also played in nine games and hit .310. He also reached base safely in eight games and leads the team in stolen bases. He was a perfect 8-for-8 in swipe attempts.

BATTING BITS: Concordia finished Florida with a .319 team batting average and had nine players with at least 19 at-bats hit over .300. Senior Nate Hoeft led the team in hitting with a .526 average but was limited to only 19 at-bats due to a lower leg injury. He also led the team in slugging percentage (.632) and on-base-percentage (.625).

FIRST FIVE/LAST FIVE OFFENSIVE DIFFERENCE: Concordia was on fire at the plate in their first five games in Florida as they scored 76 runs and hit .423 as a team. They also had a .522 slugging percentage and a .529 on-base mark. Baseball is a game of streaks and the offense slowed in the final five games. In the last half of their schedule in Florida the Cobbers scored nine runs, hit .204, had a .286 slugging percentage and a .273 on-base percentage.

PITCHING PROWESS: The Cobber pitching staff was solid throughout their time in Florida. Concordia had 13 pitchers take the mound and finished with a team ERA of 3.28 and had four pitchers who threw at least 5.0 innings post an ERA under 2.50. Austin Ver Steeg and Kyle Knaeble didn't allow a single earned run on the trip in their 13.1 innings of work. Ty Syverson and Cole Christensen both tossed a team-high 12.0 innings in Florida. Syverson came away with a 1.50 ERA while Christensen led the team in Ks (15) and posted a 2.25 ERA.

SWIPE STATS: Concordia had one more stolen base on Tuesday and finished Florida by swiping 25 bases. CC went 25-for-28 in stolen base attempts. The 25 swipes is eight shy of their total from last year.

DEFENSIVE DOINGS: The Cobbers were also solid in the field in Florida. They only committed 14 errors in the 11 games and finished with a .960 fielding percentage. Sean McGuire split time at first and second base as well as shortstop and didn't commit an error in 35 chances.

UP NEXT: Concordia will return to Moorhead and start the northern part of their schedule when they compete in the Wheaton (Ill.) Invitational.  The Cobbers will face Concordia-Chicago and host Wheaton on Friday, Mar. 22 and then play MIAC foe St. Mary's on Saturday, Mar. 23.