Unlikely Hollywood Ending To Storybook Career
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (5/07/14)—In a storybook ending that not even a Hollywood writer would dare write and promote - Concordia beat NCAA Division I opponent the University of Minnesota 3-2 in the final game of Cobber head coach Bucky Burgau's 36-year career.
The victory was the first in the history of the Concordia program over the Gophers and is Burgau's 711th win of his storied career.
"It is a pretty special way to go out," remarked Burgau. "This is a memory I will have for a very long time. It was like the players on this team willed the victory."
Video of final out and Cobber celebration
The Cobbers entered the game 17-16 and were beaten in every statistical category except for the final score. Concordia was outhit 9-3 but a quartet of CC pitchers were able to get out of run-scoring jams, stranded 12 Minnesota runners in the nine-inning game and held the DI Gopher offense without a run for the final six innings.
Concordia finishes the 2014 season with an 18-16 record marking the 32nd season in which Burgau's CC teams have won at least 15 games.
Burgau gave the four pitchers a pat on the back saying, "I give those four guys a lot of the credit. They battled through many tough situations and beat one heck of a lineup."
Concordia struck quickly by plating a pair of runs in the first inning. Eric Carlsen led off the game with a double down the left field line and scored on a ground out. Braden Rahman then scored the second run after reaching on a fielder's choice and coming home on a two-out double to right field by Devin Johnson.
The Gophers would counter that two-run inning with a pair of scores in the bottom of the third. They threatened to break the game open with runners on second and third with only one out but relief pitcher William Jacobson was able to get a strike out and fly ball to right field to end the inning.
Jacobson came on in relief for starter Justin Anderson who pitched the first 2.1 innings. Jacobson proceeded to throw 2.2 perfect innings. He retired all eight batters he faced and struck out three.
Jacobson's perfect outing earned the win which was his first colelgiate victory.
Jacobson gave way to Ross Merriman in the fifth inning and the sophomore right hander pitched the next three frames and only gave up one hit. Merriman then turned the ball over to closer Bryce Feia who closed out his career by earning his sixth save of the season. Feia allowed a pair of hits and had the potential game-winning run at first base but then induced a fly ball out and fielder's choice ground out to finish off the improbable upset victory.
The Cobbers' offense produced three runs on three hits and didn't have a base knock after they scored the game-winning run in the fourth inning. Sophomore catcher Tim Carlson drove in the game-winning run when he grounded out to first base. Carlson's ground out winner plated Johnson who singled to start the inning, advanced to second on a walk by Jordan Gefroh and then to third on a passed ball.
Johnson was 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI against Minnesota. Carlsen's leadoff double in the first was the only other hit for CC in the game.