Article reprinted courtesy of Fargo Forum and reporter Eric Peterson.
FARGO—Concordia shortstop Phil Kuball is chasing a Cobbers legend, who also happens to be his coach.
Kuball is second place on the program's career hits list behind Concordia head baseball coach Chris Coste, who went on the win a World Series ring with the Philadelphia Phillies after his college career.
"To be up there in a record for the most amount of hits next to Coste, it's an honor and it's crazy," said Kuball.
North Dakota State scored six runs in the first inning to fuel a 10-1 victory against the Cobbers on Tuesday, May 3, in nonconference play at Newman Outdoor Field.
Kuball went 1-for-4 with a walk against the Bison. He also made a spectacular over-the-shoulder sliding catch in shallow center field in the second inning.
"You could probably put him anywhere on the field, but when you watch him play for 10 minutes, you can tell that he is a 'true' shortstop, not just a guy you have to put at shortstop," Coste said.
Coste, who played with the Cobbers from 1993-95, was a three-time Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference most valuable player.
Coste finished his career with 162 hits. Kuball has 153.
"I would love for, not just my records, but all of our records to be broken every year because that means we're really good," Coste said. "Phil is one of those amazing high-character guys. .... If there was a guy that I would want to have break any record, it would be a guy like Phil."
Kuball, from Hutchinson, Minn., is a four-year starter for the Cobbers, who has had at least 40 hits in three seasons.
"(Coste) has the record and he only played three years here," Kuball said. "That's crazy. ... It's really cool to be mentioned in that list with him, but he's unbelievable."
Kent Kuball, Phil's father, also had standout baseball career for the Cobbers. Kent is a member of Concordia's Athletic Hall of Fame, graduating from the school in 1985. He was a four-year letter winner in baseball and also a return man on Concordia's 1981 national championship football team.
"He was a great second baseman," Phil said of his father, who he also called his biggest baseball influence.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Kuball has played shortstop since grade school. In high school, he also loved to play basketball, but baseball was always his best sport, he said. The biology major with a minor in chemistry and neuroscience recently graduated from Concordia and is headed to medical school at the University of Minnesota-Duluth next fall.
The Cobbers have five games remaining in the regular season, including four MIAC contests. Concordia is in fifth place in the MIAC. The top four teams in the league make the conference tournament.
"When our season ends and he moves on, we will be hard-pressed to find a better shortstop than him," Coste said. "It will be very difficult to have anybody in my next 20 years to be as gifted of a baseball player as he is."