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Billy Jacobson (L) and Tanner Kluis had quality starts and earned the wins in the Cobbers' first sweep over St. Thomas since 1992.
Billy Jacobson (L) and Tanner Kluis had quality starts and earned the wins in the Cobbers' first sweep over St. Thomas since 1992.

Starting Pitching & Clutch Hits Lead To Tommie Sweep

MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/18/15)—Concordia received a pair of starting pitching gems from Billy Jacobson and Tanner Kluis, a pair of saves from Bryce Feia and clutch hits from Alex Sandahl and Nick Bornhauser and swept No.14-ranked St. Thomas for the first time since 1992.

The Cobbers scored three runs in the fourth inning and won the opener 3-1 and then got a grand slam from Borhauser in the fifth frame of the nightcap en route to a 6-2 victory.

Not only is it the first sweep for the Cobbers over the Tommies since 1992 but it is the first time an MIAC team has swept St. Thomas since 2011. UST had gone 41 straight conference doubleheaders without being swept. During that streak the Tommies had posted 35 sweeps and had split only six league twinbills.

The two wins complete a big week for the Cobbers as they go 3-1 against the top 2 teams in the conference. Concordia posted a split at Bethel on Wednesday. CC is now 18-7 in all games and 6-4 in league play. The Cobbers are in a three-way tie for third place in losses. St. Thomas also has four losses in the MIAC now. The Tommies fall to 8-4 in conference play and are now 17-11 overall.                              

Jacobson and Kluis were the catalysts behind the sweep as they both posted quality starts and earned the wins. Jacobson went the first 5.0 innings in game 1 and limited the Tommie offense to just one run on seven hits. He was able to routinely get out of jams and didn't give up a hit (0-fpr-6) with runners in scoring position and held the UST hitters to a mere .182 (2-for-11) average with runners on base. St. Thomas wound up stranding nine runners on base in the opener.

The five strong innings helped Jacobson record his third win of the year. He is now 3-1 in six starts and has a 3.81 ERA.  

Feia earned his first save of the day by pitching the sixth and seventh innings. He gave up three hits and struck out one on the way to his sixth save of the year. The Tommies had runners on first and second in both innings but Feia came up with a huge double play in the sixth and then two fly ball outs in the seventh to close the door.

Concordia only had three hits in the first game and all three came in the decisive fourth inning. Borhnauser collected an infield hit that sent Devin Johnson to third base after Johnson walked to lead off the inning and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Eric Carlsen.

Cody Rahman delivered a run-scoring single to left field which plated Johnson. Catcher Tim Carlson was hit with a slow breaking ball which set the stage for Sandahl's opening-game hitting heroics. He laced a ball into right field for his fourth double of the year and both Bornhauser and Rahman scored on the play.

The Cobber bats awoke in the second game and produced a 10-hit, six-run game.

The Tommies took a 1-0 lead with a single run in the third. Concordia then took the lead with a two-run fourth inning. Kluis, who has given Concordia solid No.4 pitcher in his freshman season, kept St. Thomas off balance with his pin-point off-speed stuff. He limited UST to only five hits in the first six innings and struck out five.

Bornhauser came through with the biggest hit of the day when he crushed a 1-0 pitch that cut through the wind and landed over the fence in right-center field. The 380-foot shot was his third of the year.

The four-run explosion would be all that the CC pitching staff would need. Kluis left the game at the start of the seventh and was replaced by Mitch Boser. Boser went two innings, allowed a single hit and faced only seven batters.

Kluis is now 4-0 on the year and has a 3.78 ERA while Boser has only allowed one earned run in his seven outings on the year and has a 1.04 ERA.   

Feia then came on in the ninth and pitched a 1-2-3 inning. He got a pair of fly balls and struck out a batter to record his seventh save of the year.  Feia hasn't allowed a run in his last eight outings and lowered his ERA to 2.35. His seven saves are a career-high.

Johnson and Aaron Green were the only Cobber batters to have multiple-hit games in the finale. Green was 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot while Johnson went 2-for-4 and scored a run.

Bornhauser finished with five RBI in the game and now has a team-best 29 for the season.

Concordia will look to continue their successful ways when they play at Gustavus on Tuesday, Apr. 21 at 2:30 p.m.