The 700-Club Has A New Member
DICKINSON, N.D. (3/28/14)— Bucky Burgau entered an elite group of head coaches after Concordia swept Dickinson State. The Cobbers' 2-1 win in the first game gave Burgau his 700th career win, while the 9-1 victory in the finale added a cherry on top of the milestone sundae.
Burgau becomes only the 25th coach in the history of NCAA Division III baseball to record 700 career wins. He is the 12th active coach to attain the lofty status. Burgau is now 701-608-6 in his 40 years of coaching college baseball.
The two wins up Concordia's overall record to 8-5 on the year. The Cobbers have now won five straight which is the longest win streak since the beginning of the 2009 season.
The victory in the opener, which gave Burgau win No. 700, came from the left arm of senior starting pitcher Jackson Meland. Meland gave up a lone hit and run in the first inning of the day and then went on to retire 20 of the next 21 batters to earn his second victory of the year. At one point Meland set down 16 straight Blue Hawk batters.
Meland finished the day by not allowing an earned run, giving up only one hit and striking out six. He lowered his season ERA to 3.24 and is 2-0 on the year.
With Meland painting the corners on the plate, the only offense the Cobbers would need came in the top of the second inning. Concordia scored both runs with two outs in the frame. Michael Olson reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and then went to third on a ground out. Jordan Gefroh then came through with a clutch two-out double to left-center field which scored Olson. Freshman first baseman Ryan Smith then provided the game-winning RBI when he singled to center field.
Smith led the Cobber nine-hit attack in the first game. He went 3-for-3 to record the first multiple-hit game of his career. Olson was the only other CC hitter with more than one hit in the game. He went 2-for-3 and scored the team's first run.
Concordia's offense took the drama out of the second game. The Cobbers scored at least one run in the first four innings and had at least one run in all but the sixth inning. CC bolted to a 5-0 lead in the top of the fourth. After a scoreless fifth, Concordia scored two runs in each of the sixth and seventh frames.
The Cobbers came away with 11 total hits in the nightcap. A trio of CC players had two-hit contests. Smith and Olson both had their second straight multiple-hit game while Ross Merriman went 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs.
Smith's two hits push his season batting average to .455. He has now hit safely in six straight games. Olson continues to feast on pitching in his senior season. He was 4-for-7 on the day and is now hitting .440 for the year. Olson also has an impressive hitting streak going. He has hit safely in all 13 games in 2014 and has at least one hit in 18 straight games – in a streak that dates back to the end of season.
Burgau received his second straight quality start of the day. Shawn Krueger pitched the first 6.0 innings and gave up one run and only four hits. He struck out three batters. Bryce Feia came on in relief and pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
The Cobbers will now open up conference play when they travel to St. John's to take on the Johnnies on Wednesday, Apr. 2 at 2:30 p.m.