Merriman, Ziebarth & Domine Shine
MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/26/16)—The trio of Ross Merriman, Matt Ziebarth and Jordan Domine worked the handle of the broom that Concordia used to sweep Gustavus in a key MIAC match-up.
Merriman pitched a complete-game shutout to help the Cobbers to a 5-0 win in the opener and then Ziebarth and Domine hammered out home runs in the eighth inning of the second game as CC rallied to post a 4-2 victory.
The two wins keep Concordia at the back of the pack in the race for the four conference playoff spots. The Cobbers are now at the .500 mark in league play at 7-7 and are tied for fifth place in the MIAC standings. CC is now 17-14 in all games.
Gustavus has their two-game win streak come to an end and is 13-17 overall and 4-10 in the league.
Merriman was masterful for the second straight start. He hurled his second consecutive complete game and earned his second straight win. Merriman didn't allow a run in the seven innings and scattered eight hits while striking out three.
Merriman was at his best with runners on base. He held the Gusties off the board in the first inning after they loaded the bases. Gustavus ended up stranding eight runners in the game. He didn't allow a hit (0-for-6) when GAC had runners in scoring position.
Concordia scored all their runs in three innings. They scored the first two runs in the second inning. Ziebarth started his big day with a two-out double to left field. Domine and Turner Storm came home on the two-bagger.
CC then added a single run in the third when Domine singled to third base which allowed Phil Kuball to score. The Cobbers then finished off the scoring in the fifth on Domine's two-run double down the left field line.
Concordia had six hits in the opener. Domine went 2-for-2 and had three RBI. Ziebarth had the other two RBI and went 1-for-3.
The twinbill looked it would end in a split as Gustavus scored two runs in the fourth frame and then kept Concordia's offense off the board, and off balance, for the first seven innings of play. CC only had two hits heading into the seventh inning and at one time had 11 straight batters retired.
The game changed in a span of five minutes in the eighth inning. Ziebarth led off the inning when he bashed the very first pitch over the left field fence. The ball was into the wind which had been knocking balls down all day.
Alex Sandahl then laced a triple to right-center field and scored on a wild pitch in the very next at-bat. After Kuball lined out to right, Chad Johnson walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Tim Carlson lined out to left field and Domine finished off the comeback when he powered a pitch into the pine trees in left field.
Concordia used four pitchers in the finale. Billy Jacobson went the first four innings and gave up the two earned runs on four hits. Zach Nelson, Carlson and Joe Hallock combined to keep Gustavus off the board in the final five innings. Nelson went three innings and then Carlson earned his first collegiate win by pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Hallock came on in the ninth and posted a 1-2-3 final inning.
The Cobbers also had six hits in the second game. Domine was the only CC player with more than one hit. He went 2-for-4.
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG
Ross Merriman has been on top of his game in his last two outings. He hadn't pitched a complete game in his first six appearances of the year but has posted two complete games in his last two starts. In his last two appearances he has pitched 14 innings, given up two runs and struck out 11. He has also lowered his ERA to 5.11 for the season and is now 4-1 on the year. His four wins are the most on the team and he has now won 15 games in his college career.
Jordan Domine continued to add to his impressive offensive numbers on Tuesday. Domine had multiple-hit games in both contests and now has a team-leading 15 multiple-hit games this year. He also leads the team in multiple-RBI games with seven. Domine's 4-for-6 afternoon bumped his batting average to .350. He has had at least one hit in 23 of the 31 games this year and has had four multiple-hit gamaes in the past eight contests.
Senior Phil Kuball went 1-for-3 in the first game of the DH and is now No.2 on the school's all-time hit list. He has 148 career hits and needs 13 more to pass head coach Chris Coste as the school's all-time hit leader.
WAITING IN THE WINGS
Senior Tim Carlson cracked the 100-hit mark earlier and now has 123 career hits which is 13th on the school's all-time list. Carlson has a pair of teammates who are about to join him in the 100-hit club. Cathcer Jordan Domine needs only two more hits to reach 100 while second baseman Cody Rahman has 93 career hits.
THE ARM OF THE BEAR
Tim Carlson was best known for his catching skills and hitting prowess in his first three years. In his senior season he has added his arm to his arsenal. Carlson recorded his first collegiate victory on Tuesday and has a team-best 1.86 ERA. He has struck out eight batters in 9.2 innings of work.
Concordia will stay at home and hope to continue their upwards trek towards the playoff when they host Macalester on Saturday, Apr. 30 at 1 p.m.