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Cobber second baseman Grant Toivonen dives to try and apply a tag to an NDSU base runner during Concordia's game with the Division I Bison.
Cobber second baseman Grant Toivonen dives to try and apply a tag to an NDSU base runner during Concordia's game with the Division I Bison.

First-Inning Jitters Foil Cobbers

FARGO, N.D. (5/03/16)— A six-run first inning spoiled Concordia's step up into Division I competition on Tuesday. The Cobbers surrendered six runs in the opening inning and lost 10-1 at North Dakota State University.

After Concordia got rid of their pre-game jitters, they were able to hold the Bison to just four runs in the final eight innings.

The loss in the Cobbers' penultimate non-conference contest drops CC's overall record to 19-15. NDSU wins for the fifth time in the last six games, a stretch that includes a victory over No.19-ranked University of Minnesota, and improves to 24-19 on the year.

After the Cobbers were sent down 1-2-3 in the top of the first, the Bison sent nine men to the plate, collected five hits and scored six runs which were all unearned after a one-out error.

Concordia scored its only run of the game in the second inning when the first three batters in the frame all reached base. Jordan Domine led off with a walk and then Turner Storm singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. Aaron Green then came through with a double to right field which plated Domine. Unfortunately CC was unable to capitalize in the remainder of the inning as the next three hitters were sent down in order.      

The Cobbers used three pitchers against the Bison. Freshman Fletcher Andel got the start and went the first 4.1 innings. He allowed seven runs but only one was earned and wound up striking out three hitters. Sam Mattson hurled the middle 1.2 innings before Justin Anderson capped off the nine-inning affair with the final two innings.

Concordia finished with five hits in the game and all five came off the bat of a different player. Phil Kuball, Green, Storm, Ryan Heisler and Alex Sandahl all had single hits for CC.

Phil Kuball's leadoff single in the eighth inning was the 153rd of his career. That total is nine shy of tying head coach Chris Coste's school record for hits in a career. Coste finished with 162 base knocks in his three-year career.

40 FOR 40 FOR 40
Kuball's hit against the Bison was also his 40th of the season which marks the third straight season he has had at least 40 hits. Kuball had 44 as a sophomore, 41 last season and has 40 this year.

Concordia has had success after the fifth this season. The Cobbers have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 95-70 once the sixth inning starts. Unfortunately CC is being outscored 143-128 in the first five innings.

Concordia will host one of the biggest doubleheaders of the season when they square off against St. Mary's on Wednesday at 1:00 and 3:30 p.m.  The Cobbers are currently in fifth place in the MIAC standings just one game behind the Cardinals. CC has a 9-7 league mark while SMU holds down the fourth, and final, playoff spot with a 10-6 mark.