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Sophomore Turner Storm gets ready to connect on his second home run in Game 2 of the Cobbers' unthinkable split with St. Olaf.
Sophomore Turner Storm gets ready to connect on his second home run in Game 2 of the Cobbers' unthinkable split with St. Olaf.

An Astonishing, Unthinkable Windy Day

MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/03/16)—The only way to describe Concordia's doubleheader with St. Olaf is to go to www.thesaurus .com and type in the word "unbelievable".

The site search spits back: astonishing, implausible, impossible, improbable, inconceivable, incredible, outlandish, preposterous, unimaginable and unthinkable. All those words describe the two games played between the Cobbers and Oles in the wind-aided split of the first twinbill of the conference season.

At the end of the day there were 50 runs scored, 46 base hits, 10 home runs, 3 grand slams, 24 extra base hits, 12 pitching changes.
Yes, the wind was blowing out at Bucky Burgau Field.

Playing on a day with a 15-25mph wind blowing out to right field, Concordia rallied from a 12-0 deficit in the sixth inning to win the opener 14-13 in eighth innings and then lost a 5-1 lead in the fifth inning and fell 12-11 in the second game.

The split pushes Concordia's overall record to 10-7 on the season. St. Olaf moves to 5-9 on the year.

The first game looked totally lost for the Cobbers as they trailed 12-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Oles hit all the open spots and scored two runs in the fourth, four in the fifth and six in the sixth to take the seemingly insurmountable 12-0 lead. Of the 12 St. Olaf runs, six came courtesy of long balls by freshman Sam Stuckmayer as he clouted a pair of three-run homers.

Concordia cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth. A pair of doubles scored four of the six runs. Aaron Green plated two runs with no outs and the bases loaded. Turner Storm then hit another two-run, bases-loaded two-bagger two batters later. A Matt Ziebarth ground out suddenly put CC within six at 12-6.

The Cobbers gave up a single run on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh and then put up an unthinkable seven-spot in the bottom of the seventh.

Tim Carlson started the comeback with a two-run homer into the wind. Concordia would eventually load the bases with two outs. Down to their final out and trailing 13-8, the Cobbers' No.9 hitter Tanner Kluis coaxed a walk to bring in a run and get CC within four runs at 13-9.

Senior Phil Kuball then delivered the shot heard around south Moorhead as he lifted a pitch into the wind stream towards right field. The ball carried, and carried and carried until it landed over the fence. The grand slam set off a huge Cobber celebration and the game was unbelievably tied at 13-13.

Cobber closer Joe Hallock came on in the eighth and got the only 1-2-3 inning since the second frame and set the stage for the win.

The game-winning run was the most anti-climactic part of the whole game. Carlson doubled to start the inning. That was followed by an intentional walk and a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Domine that he beat out to load the bases. Cody Rahman won the game with the dreaded walk-off walk on a 3-2 pitch and the Cobbers' unthinkable 14-13 comeback win was complete.

St. Olaf outhit the Cobbers 16-7 in the opener and both teams stranded seven runners on base. Hallock earned his second win of the year with his perfect eighth inning.

The second game was won in the fifth inning when St. Olaf hit two grand slams and scored 11 times. The Oles sent 15 batters to the plate as they erased a 5-1 deficit.

Concordia bolted to the 5-1 lead after Storm hit home runs in the second and fourth innings.

The Cobbers almost duplicated their unimaginable comeback in the second game by scoring five times in the bottom of the fifth and then adding a single run in the sixth to get to within a single run at 12-11.

Concordia had the tying run on second base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Carlson lifted a long fly ball to left-center field. The ball carried deep and was eventually caught at the base of the fence. If the ball had been hit to right field it would have gotten into the wind and carried over the fence.

The Cobbers outhit the Oles 12-11 in the second game. CC had five players come away with two hits in the game.

Concordia used five pitchers in the nightcap. Billy Jacobson started the game and lasted 4.1 innings. Sam Mattson, Cole Christensen and Hallock combined to throw the final two innings and not allow a run.

The ganme-tying grand slam from Phil Kuball and walk-off walk of Cody Rahman in Game 1.

Senior Phil Kuball went 2-for-5 in the first game. His grand slam homer in the seventh might have been the biggest hit of the game but it was his leadoff single in the sixth inning that made history. Kuball's base knock put him on top of the Kuball family all-time hit list. Phil's Dad, Kent Kuball was a Cobber Hall of Fame player from 1982-85 and collected 134 career hits. Phil's single gave him 135 career hits. Kuball finished the day with two hits and now has 136 for his career.

Sophomore Turner Storm went 3-for-6, scored five runs and drove in five runs on the day. His two home runs in Game 2 were his first long balls in high school or college. Storm has now hit safely in four straight games and is hitting .423 for the season. Storm has a .769 slugging percentage.     

Sophomore Chad Johnson had a hit in each game and has now hit safely in nine straight games. That is the longest hitting streak by any CC player this year. He has also reached base safely in 11 straight games…Tim Carlson has a five-game hitting streak after Sunday. He went 4-for-8 on the day and drove in four runs. He leads all CC regulars with a .373 average and a tidy .672 slugging percentage. Carlson has also reached base safely in eight games…junior pitcher Joe Hallock hasn't allowed a run in five straight appearances.

Concordia will have a busy week weather permitting. The Cobbers are scheduled to play a single non-conference game at Minn.-Morris on Tuesday. They will then face a pair of tough MIAC road doubleheaders. CC will play at Bethel on Wednesday and then face No.21-ranked St. Thomas on Saturday.