A Senior Playoff-Clinching Sendoff
MOORHEAD, Minn. (5/02/15)—It was only fitting that senior Bryce Feia threw the last pitch of the 2015 regular season. With the pitch the senior lefthander recorded his school-record 10th save of the season, helped Concordia sweep Carleton and earn the No.3 seed in the upcoming MIAC playoffs.
Feia's scoreless ninth-inning save was the icing on a perfect piece of Senior Celebration Day cake. The eight Cobbers seniors guided Concordia to a 15-1 romp in the opener and then a 4-3 nail-biter in the finale.
The two wins give Concordia 25 for the season. That total is the highest for a single season since the 1995 campaign and tied for third most in school history. The Cobbers are now 25-9 overall and 12-6 in league play. They will finish in a tie for second place in the final conference standings which marks the second time in the past three seasons CC has posted a second-place MIAC finish.
Concordia will face St. John's on Friday, May 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Veterans Field in Minnetonka in the second game of the four-team MIAC double elimination tournament. The Cobbers lost twice to the Jonnies at the start of April but since that time CC has a 15-3 record.
The two games started the exact same way but were complete opposites after the top of the first. Carleton (13-23/7-11 MIAC) hits home runs in the very first at-bat in both games and took an early 1-0 lead after a half inning of play.
In game 1, Concordia responded with four runs in the bottom of the first, added four more in the third and then tacked on a six-spot in the fifth to cruise to a 15-1 victory.
In game 2, the Cobbers added two runs in the second but then watched as the Knights scratched out a single run in the fourth and one more in the eighth to take a 3-2 lead. CC won the game with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. The game-winning run came after a 15-pitch at-bat from senior Devin Johnson
who repeatedly fouled off two-strike pitched before lacing a single to center field which scored Aaron Green from third base.
Concordia head coach Chris Coste called the game-winning hit, "the best at-bat of the season."
Coste also complimented Johnson as being one of the best great pitcher hitters on the team. "Devin is at his best when the pitching is really good," said Coste.
Johnson's game-winning single was one of 29 hits on the day for the Cobbers. Concordia hit .432 for the two games and was 14-for-31 (.452) with runners in scoring position.
Bryce Feia Postgame Interview - May 2, 2015
Green and seniors Eric Carlsen and Nick Bornhauser led the "Cobber Crush Crew" in the first game. All three players had three hits as CC scored 15 runs on 17 hits. Green went 3-for-4 with three RBI and hit a laser over the left field fence as part of the four-run first inning.
Carlsen was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored while Bornhauser went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Bornhauser had a double in game 1 which pushed his single-season record total to 18.
Cobber junior Billy Jacobson went the first six innings and allowed a single earned run while scattering eight hits and striking out six. Freshman Zack Nelson pitched a scoreless seventh frame after allowing a single to the leadoff batter.
Concordia added 12 hits in the nightcap. Senior leadoff hitter Andrew Deters led all players with a season-high three hits. He was 3-for-4 and scored the game-tying run in the eighth inning.
Green was 2-for-4 with two RBI and finished the day by going 5-for-8 with five RBI. He is now hitting .382 for the year and has a .702 slugging percentage.
Carlsen also had his second multiple-hit game of the day. He was 2-for-5 and finished the doubleheader at 5-for-9 with two runs scored. Carlsen leads the team in hitting with a .494 average. He leads the MIAC in hitting and his average is .003 points higher than the single-season record of .491 hit by Coste in 1994.
Freshman pitcher Tanner Kluis started the game and ground out 7.1 innings of work. His only blemishes came in the first and fourth innings. He finished his eighth start by allowing six hits and two earned runs. He dropped his season ERA to 4.93.
Nate Wendorf came on in relief in the eighth inning and shut the door after the Knights had runners at second and third. He only pitched 0.2 innings and collected his first win of the season.
Feia then came on in the ninth inning and helped the seniors cap their careers at Bucky Burgau Field in style as he retired the final two batters of the inning by strikeout.
The 10 season saves betters the old season mark of nine set by Derek Dormanen in 2003. Feia also lowered his ERA to 2.37. He has only allowed one run in his past 13 outings.
Concordia will have five days to rest before embarking on their postseason journey. The Cobbers will face the Johnnies on Friday, May 8 at 6:30 p.m. CC has won their last three conference playoff openers including a 4-3 win over St. John's in 2010. CC is 1-1 against the Johnnies in the history of the MIAC playoffs which began in 2000.