Fans' Patience Rewarded In Thrilling Home Opener
MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/28/13)—Fans waited three weeks for the home opener to come and they were rewarded for their patience as Concordia and Augsburg locked up in a pair of high-scoring, late-inning dramatic games. The Cobbers rallied in the bottom of the seventh to take the opener 7-6 before the Auggies returned the favor and claimed a 13-11 win in eight innings in the nightcap.
In the end the two teams would combine to score 37 runs and hammer out 51 hits on the day. In addition, the Cobbers and Auggies scored a combined 17 runs in the seventh and eighth innings of the two games.
Concordia (12-8/5-3 MIAC) had 26 on the day and was led by Michael Olson who went 6-for-9 on the day and had two home runs in the second game. He finished the day with four runs scored and four RBI. CC leadoff hitter Kyle Kraemer was right behind Olson as he went 5-for-9 with two runs scored and four RBI. He also had a pair of doubles.
The first game was decided by a dramatic bottom of the seventh inning. The Cobbers entered the final frame trailing 6-2. Concordia would score five runs on five hits and win the game on a Kraemer single to center field that plated a pair of runs.
Olson, Kraemer and Jordan Doschadis accounted for seven of the team's 12 hits in the game as all three had at least two hits. Doschadis was 2-for-4 and drove in two runs. Brian Guler connected on his first home run of the season when he led off the second and blasted a shot over the right field fence.
Nate Wendorf was the iron man on the hill for the Cobbers. Forced to play eight league games in six days, starting pitching performances are at a premium for CC and Wendorf responded by pitching his first collegiate complete game and earning his first win of the season in only his second start of the year. He survived a rough first five innings but then buckled down to retire five of the final six batters he faced.
The second game was the equivalent of riding the Wild Thing rollercoaster at Valley Fair. The teams traded leads three different times and scored 10 runs in the eighth inning.
Concordia sped to a 5-1 lead in the third inning before the Auggies countered with a pair of runs in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth frames. The Cobbers were able to counter every Augsburg surge and held a 7-5 lead going into the top of the seventh. Unfortunately for CC, a two-run home run by pinch hitter Abe Weckle tied the game and set up a high-scoring eighth inning.
Augsburg (17-8/5-3 MIAC) thought they had the game well in hand when they plated six runs on five hits in the top of the eighth. What makes it even more bizarre was that the Auggies were able to score five of their six runs with two outs in the inning.
Concordia then started the bottom of the eighth by loading the bases. Kramer stepped to the plate and doubled down the left field line to drive in two runs. A pair of ground ball outs plated the third run of the inning and pushed CC to their final out of the game. Olson started a two-out rally when he brought home the fourth run of the inning with a seeing-eye single to second base. That hit had the crowd feeling like the Cobbers would be able pull out another magical Houdini escape to pick up the sweep. Freshman Devin Johnson then singled to right center to set up and first and third situation with the potential game-winning run at the plate. That's when the magic ended and Auggie reliever Eren Cur was able to pick up a strike out to end the game.
Concordia will finish off their six-day, eight-game MIAC jamboree when they play at No.11-ranked St. Thomas on Tuesday, Apr. 30 at 2:30 p.m.