10-Game Road Trip Hits Midway Point
ST. PAUL, Minn. (4/10/16)—Concordia had the script flipped on Sunday against No.19-ranked St. Thomas. Since playing in Illinois, the Cobbers have played in nine games that averaged 16 runs between the teams. Against the Tommies there were only 10 runs scored in the entire doubleheader as Concordia lost 4-3 in 10 innings in the opener and then fell 3-0 in the second game.
The two losses push the Cobbers' losing streak to three games. Concordia is now 12-10 overall and 2-4 in conference play. St. Thomas wins for the sixth straight game and moves to 13-3 in all games. UST remains unbeaten in conference play at 6-0.
The trend of nail-biting openers continued for Concordia. Sunday's twinbill marked the fourth doubleheader of the season and three of those have been decided by a single run. Of the three one-run games, two have gone to extra innings.
The majority of the scoring in Game 1 came in the first two innings. Concordia opened the game with a single run in the top of the first and then the Tommies came back with two runs in the bottom of the frame. The teams traded runs in the second inning before CC was able to finally tie the game in the fifth inning.
Senior Phil Kuball had a hand in all three of Concordia's runs in the game. He led off the game with a single to center field and then came around to score on a double by Jordan Domine. Kuball then drove in the second run of the game in the second inning. He hit a single up the middle which plated Matt Ziebarth who had doubled down the left field line. Kuball tied the game in the fifth inning. He led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and then came home on when Domine singled up the middle.
Ross Merriman and Joe Hallock held the St. Thomas in check for nine innings. Merriman got the start and went 6.2 innings. He scattered eight hits, allowed three earned runs and struck out six.
Hallock entered the game in the seventh with a runner on second and shut the door until the 10th. He sent the Tommies down in order in the eighth and then got out of a jam in the ninth when UST put a runner on third with no outs in the frame.
The Tommies won the game in the tenth after Hallock retired the first two batters and then allowed a single and double.
Concordia got two more quality outings from a pair of pitchers in the second game. Billy Jacobson started the game and pitched the first 4.2 innings. Sophomore Zack Nelson finished the final 1.1 innings and didn't allow a hit. Jacobson allowed only two earned runs, five hits and struck out four.
The Cobbers had four hits in the second game. CC didn't have more than one hit in an inning. Their best chance to score came in the seventh when they had runners on first and second with no out but a fly ball and double play ended the game.
Cody Rahman had two of the four hits for CC as he went 2-for-2 and also had a walk.
HIT LIST TOP 3
Senior Phil Kuball's two hits in the first game moved him into a tie for third place on the school's all-time hit list. Kuball now has 140 career hits and is tied with Kyle Johnson who earned league MVP honors in 2009.
Cobber Baseball All-Time Hit Leaders
1. 162 - Chris Coste – 1993-95
2. 147 - Michael Olson - 2011-14
3. 140 - Kyle Johnson - 2006-09
4. 140 - Phil Kuball - 2013-16
Sophomore Turner Storm had his six-game hit streak end in the first game when he went 0-for-3. He did have two walks in the game. In the second game he went 1-for-3 and has now reached base in nine straight games. Storm leads Concordia in hitting with a .450 average…Joe Hallock had his scoreless inning streak come to an end in the opener. He entered the day having not allowed a run in 4.2 innings and six appearances. He ran the streak to 7.2 innings before giving up the game-winning run. Hallock leads the team in ERA with a 3.86 mark.
A LONG STRANGE TRIP
The two games in St. Paul marked the half-way point of a 10-game road trip for the Cobbers. CC is now 2-3 in the first five games of the season's longest northern road trip.
Concordia added another non-conference game on Tuesday. The Cobbers will once again head to Morris to take on Minn.-Morris. The single game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.