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Season-Opening Heart Stopper

Season-Opening Heart Stopper

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (2/23/14)—If the first game of the season is any indication on how the season is going to go for Concordia, then Cobber fans should head to the pharmacy and stock up on heart medication.

Concordia wasted little time in providing a game filled with big hits and dramatic moments as they gave up four runs in the bottom of the eighth to Hanover, had the game-winning run on base in the top of the ninth and eventually lost 6-5 to the Panthers.

The Cobbers, who return eight starting field players from last year's team that went to the MIAC playoff title game, got multiple-hit games from familiar names Phil Kuball, Michael Olson and Tim Carlson. Concordia outhit Hanover 10-7 in the game and had at least one hit in five of the last seven innings.

Olson and Carlson had the only two extra-base hits for CC as they both legged out doubles and both had RBI on the day. Braden Rahman and freshman Ryan Smith were credited with the other RBI for the Cobbers.

Concordia was able to rally from a 2-1 deficit after the first inning and tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth frame. CC had a game-high four hits in the sixth and Olson's double to right field plated Rahman for the game-tying run. The Cobbers then took a 5-2 lead in the top of the eighth when Smith and Carlson both came up with run-scoring singles.

Unfortunately for the Cobbers the lead would last only until the bottom of the inning when Hanover plated four runs on four hits.

Concordia then started the top of the ninth inning with runners on first and second but were unable to get the game-tying run across the plate. CC wound up stranding 10 runners on base as compared to five for the Panthers.

Senior left-handed Jackson Meland got the opening-day start and pitched seven quality innings. He allowed only two earned runs and gave up five hits while striking out six batters.

Concordia will continue with their spring break training trip schedule when they play Alma College on Monday, Feb. 24 at 11 a.m.