A Clutch Conference Split At Concordia South
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (4/21/14)—For the second time in less than a week Concordia split a pair of conference games at St. John's. The Cobbers, playing as the visiting team on the SJU field for the first time in the past two seasons, lost the first game 5-2 against the Johnnies but then brought out the bats to win the nightcap 11-3.
Last week Concordia hosted Hamline at St. John's in a make-up doubleheader that was originally scheduled to be played in Moorhead. It marked the second time in as many years that the Cobbers were the hosts on the St. John's field.
The split on Monday keeps the Cobbers in the race for one of the four conference playoff spots. CC is now 5-7 in league play and currently in seventh place. Concordia stays ahead of the .500 mark in all games and is 13-12 on the year. St. John's splits their third straight league twinbill and is now 7-5 in the MIAC and 15-6 overall.
The clutch win in the second game was a combination of solid pitching from a trio of pitchers and a 13-hit offensive attack. The 13 hits for the Cobbers is the second most in conference play this season and the third time they have had more than 12 hits in a game.
Shawn Krueger got the all-important win on the mound for Concordia in the finale as he pitched 6.0 innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out four. He now owns a team-best 5-1 record.
Krueger was relieved by Nate Wendorf who pitched in the seventh and eighth innings and did not concede a run. He gave up two hits and struck out a pair. Cooper Wilson recorded a scoreless ninth inning.
The heart of the Concordia batting order produced 11 of the team's 13 hits. Braden Rahman, the No.2 hitter in the lineup went 4-for-5 and scored three runs. Michael Olson, batting right behind Rahman, was 3-for-4 with four runs scored while cleanup hitter Devin Johnson went 1-for-3 and Jordan Gefroh was 3-for-5 with four RBI hitting from the No.5 spot in the order. All told, the four players went 11-for-17 (.647) and scored eight runs and drove in eight runs.
Rahman and Olson also had home runs in the second game. They went back-to-back in the third inning to give Concordia a 2-1 lead after the Johnnies scored a single run in the second.
The opener came down to the bottom of the sixth inning when St. John's scored three runs to break open a 2-2 tie game. The Cobbers started the day on a promising note by scoring two runs in the very first frame. The Johnnies tied the game with single runs in the third and fourth innings before winning the game in the sixth.
Concordia only had three hits in game No.1. Rahman, Kyle Kraemer and Tim Carlson all had single hits in the seven-inning game.
Rahman went 5-for-8 on the day and has a team-best 10 multiple-hit games on the year. He also upped his season average to .352. He is currently third on the team in batting average, trailing only Gefroh (.403) and Olson (.374).
Jackson Meland went the distance on the mound for the Cobbers. He allowed 11 hits and struck out a pair and was saddled with his second straight loss.
Concordia will have little time to rest as they host Gustavus on Tuesday, Apr. 22 in a conference doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.