A Two-Game Battle To Finish Florida
AUBURNDALE, Fla. (2/28/16)--- A four-run fourth inning in the second game helped Concordia earn a split in their doubleheader with John Carroll (Ohio).
The Cobbers dropped the opener 4-3 but then came back with the big inning in the finale and posted a 4-3 victory over the Blue Streaks who won 25 games last season.
The split gives Concordia a 6-4 record for their Florida spring trip. John Carroll is now 1-1 after their first two games of the season.
It was a rare case of pitchers getting the best of the hitters on a spring trip. The teams didn't have a triple or home run on the day and neither team used more than three pitchers in a single game.
Concordia had leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in the first game before John Carroll came back to score a single run in the sixth inning and then two in the bottom of the sixth to take the 4-3 win.
The Cobbers scored a pair of runs in the third inning when Phil Kuball doubled home Ross Merriman who reached on an error to lead off the inning. Joe Hallock, who went to third on the Kuball two-bagger, then scored on a Tim Carlson ground out.
Merriman would score the team's third run in the top of the fifth frame. He once again led off the inning and once again reached base on an error. He would come home from second when Aaron Green singled to left field with two outs.
Concordia was outhit 8-6 in the opener with five different CC players getting a hot. Hallock was the only Cobber with more than one hit. He went 2-for-3 and scored a run.
Kyle Connelly started the game for Concordia and went the first 5.0 innings. He only allowed two runs and struck out five. Sam Mattson pitched the sixth frame and was saddled with the loss.
The Cobbers refused to allow the Blue Streaks to come from behind in the second game. Concordia trailed 1-0 after the third inning but then scored four times in the bottom of the fourth inning and then used Carlson and Hallock to close the door in the last two innings.
Concordia failed to get a hit in the first three innings but then exploded for three hits and four runs in the fourth. The two big hits in the inning came off the bats of Chad Johnson and Turner Storm. Johnson had a two-run double to right field and then Storm drove in the eventual game-winning run when he singled home Johnson and Jordan Domine.
The CC pitching staff would take care of the rest of the game. Billy Jacobson went the first 5.0 innings. He only allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out five. He got out of a second-and-third no out situation in the sixth when Carlson came on in relief and got a ground out and then two strike outs to end the inning.
Hallock would pitch the seventh inning to earn his third trip of the spring trip.
The Cobbers had four hits in the second hit and had four different players put up single-hit games.
Concordia finished the 10-game spring trip with four regulars hitting better than .300 and another with a .297 average. Tim Carlson leads the team in hitting with a .368 average. He hit safely in six games and had five multiple-hit games and three multiple-RBI games. Aaron Green is second on the team with a .350 average. He had a hit in nine of the 10 games and had five multiple-hit games. Jordan Domine had a .325 average while Phil Kuball posted a .304 mark.
AND HE PITCHES TOO
Tim Carlson also made his collegiate debut on the mound for Concordia and didn't allow a run in his two appearances. He only allowed one hit and struck out a pair.
Concordia had five different pitchers get wins in Florida. Billy Jacobson led the staff with two victories as he went 2-0 and had a 4.50 ERA. Cole Christensen, Fletcher Andel, Kyle Connelly and Ross Merriman also recorded victories. Christensen appeared in two games and has a team-best 1.00 ERA. Merriman is tied for the team lead in innings pitched (12) and leads the Cobber hurlers with 12 K's.
Concordia will now return home and have to wait another month before getting the opportunity to play again. The Cobbers' next game is scheduled for Mar. 25 when they travel to Wheaton to play Carroll College (Wis.).