A Fitting Finish To Florida
AUBURNDALE, Fla. (3/03/15)—It was only fitting that Concordia finished their Florida spring break trip by continuing their offensive showcase and producing another win by scoring in double figures.
For the first eight games of their spring break trip the Cobbers put up huge offensive numbers and the ninth game was no different as they pounded out 19 hits and scored 12 runs in a 12-9 win over Rose-Hulman.
The win caps the most successive start to the season since 1995. Concordia is now 8-1 on the year for the first time since the '95 squad went 12-0 to start the season on their way to winning the MIAC title.
The 19 hits and 12 runs was the icing on the cake for the Concordia offense's spring breakout period. The Cobbers finished the nine-game stint by scoring 98 runs and collecting 130 hits. As a team CC batted .414 and had a .624 slugging percentage.
Concordia had at least 10 hits and two extra base hits in every game in Florida.
The win over Rose-Hulman was the biggest of the nine games. The Fightin' Engineers lost in the final game of the NCAA Regionals last season and received votes in the D3baseball.com and American Baseball Coaches Association preseason national polls this year.
Concordia handed Rose-Hulman its first loss of the season by scoring in six of the eight innings and plating three runs in the third and seventh frames. That continued another trend for the Cobber offense in Florida. CC put up at least three runs in an impressive 18 innings during the nine-game Florida swing.
The three-run third broke open a 2-1 lead for the Cobbers and then the three-run seventh proved to be the decisive scores after the game was deadlocked at 8-8. Both teams added a single run in the eighth to bring the final total to 12-9.
The top two hitters in the Concordia batting order both extended their early-season hitting streaks. Sophomore leadoff hitter Aaron Green went 2-for-6 and had three RBI while shortstop Phil Kuball, batting in the No.2 spot, went 2-for-5 and scored a pair of runs/ Both players have now hit safely in all nine games this year.
Green had one of the biggest hits of the game as he delivered a one-out three-run homer in the seventh that proved to be the game-winning runs. For Green it was his team-leading second HR of the trip and he leaves Florida with a .421 batting average.
The hottest hitter in the Concordia lineup also extended his hitting streak. Junior first baseman Nick Bornhauser went 4-for-5, drove in two runs and scored twice. He has hit safely in all eight games he has played in and owns a team-best .643 batting average. He is 9-for-11 in the last three games and has five RBI and seven runs scored in that stretch. All this after hitting .167 last season.
The two Carlson/Carlsen's also had big mornings for Concordia. Junior designated Tim Carlson was 4-for-5 hitting from the No.3 spot in the order. He scored three runs and drove in a pair. Carlson is hitting .486 for the season and has a team-best eight doubles on the year. Senior outfielder Eric Carlsen was a perfect 4-for-4 and drove in three runs. He upped his average to .556 for the year and is second on the team in slugging percentage at .778.
Concordia used four pitchers in the game. Freshman Tanner Kluis started the game and went the first 4.2 innings. The relief trio of Sam Mattson, Ryan Heisler and Bryce Feia finished the game by combining to throw the final 4.1 frames. They allowed only two earned runs and four hits. Feia pitched a scoreless ninth inning to record his third save of the season.
The Cobbers will now head back home and start the northern part of their schedule when they play at Nebraska Wesleyan for four games on Mar. 21-22.