Well Worth The Wait
MINNETONKA, Minn. (5/08/15)---Senior Bryce Feia is known for his arm and late-inning pitching heroics. In the first game of the MIAC playoffs he added hittng and base-running to his repertoire and helped Concordia outlast St. John's 9-8 in 11 innings.
Feia pitched the final three innings to earn the win for the Cobbers and then scored one of the two runs in the top of the 11th after drawing a lead-off walk.
Feia's prowess on the mound, and at the plate, helped Concordia advance to the winner's side of the double elimination tournament where they will face St. Thomas on Saturday, May 9 at 2 p.m.
The Cobbers were almost sent to the loser's side of the bracket after allowing a single run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Concordia trailed 7-6 heading to the ninth but then used some heads-up base running from Chad Johnson and an error in the outfield to tie the game at 7-7.
Feia then kept the Johnnies off the board in the bottom of the ninth and 10th before the Cobbers plated a pair of runs to win the game 9-8.
The story of the game was the ability of the Cobber pitching staff to strand SJU runners on base and then the six St. John's errors which led to four unearned runs – including the game-tying run in the ninth and game-winning runs in the 11th.
Cobber starting pitcher Ross Merriman worked the first 5.1 innings and allowed six runs, four of which came on a grand slam home run in the sixth inning. He was continually able to work out of jams as he left eight runners on base in the first four innings of work.
St. John's wound up leaving 12 runners on base in the game but the Cobbers bettered that mark by six. Concordia stranded a season-high 18 runners in the 11 innings.
Feia earned his first win of the season after pitching 3.0 innings, not allowing a hit and striking out three batters.
Nate Wendorf was one of the unsung heroes of the day. He came on in relief of Merriman and allowed just two hits and one earned run in 2.1 innings of work. He was able to bridge the gap to get to Feia.
Concordia had 12 hits in the game and was led by "Mr. Minnetonka" Devin Johnson. Johnson went 4-for-6 and drove in four runs while scoring twice. Johnson enjoys hitting at Veterans Field. In 2012 he hit a walk-off two-run homer in the MIAC semifinals to help CC advance to the championship game.
Aaron Green was the only other Concordia with more than one hit in the game. He went 2-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Nick Bornhauser added to his school record single-season double total. The senior first baseman, who caught the final out of the game, hit his 19th two-bagger of the year.
Eric Carlsen, Cody Rahman, Jordan Domine and Tim Carlson also had single hits for the CC offense which has now posted double-digit hit totals in 27 of their 35 games this season.
Concordia will now face St. Thomas in the winner's round of the MIAC playoffs. The winning team will advance to the championship game on Sunday while the losing squad will play at 6 p.m. on Saturday for the right to advance to Sunday's championship tilt.