A Run For The Roses Saturday Sweep
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (5/07/16)—Concordia's bet on the No.11 horse to win paid off big as the Cobbers scored 11 runs in each game at St. John's and swept the Johnnies 11-1, 11-9 in the final doubleheader of the MIAC season.
Not only was Concordia making the runs for the plate on Saturday they were also parlaying their hit cards for 28 base knocks in the twinbill. The 22 runs and 28 hits are the biggest offensive production in an MIAC doubleheader this season.
The two wins down the home stretch gives the Cobbers an 11-9 finish in conference play. Concordia crosses the finish in fifth place. The Cobbers also earn their 20th and 21st victories of the year to push their overall record to 21-17 for the year. The two losses keep St. John's from the chance at winning the MIAC regular-season championship. It is the first time that SJU has been swept at home this season and drops their conference mark to 13-7. They will now enter the conference playoffs with a 25-12 overall mark.
Concordia started out cautiously from the starting gate in the opener. They let St. John's set the pace and get out to the early lead. The Cobbers stayed off the lead pace until around the first turn when they scored three runs in the fourth, four in the fifth and then three more in the sixth.
With sophomore Tanner Kluis taking the reins on the mound, Concordia was able to cruise to an 11-1 win. Kluis kept the Cobbers in the lead by pitching a complete game and allowing a single run and striking out four.
Five of the top 6 hitters in the Cobber lineup all had at least two hits in the first race. Turner Storm led the 13-hit attack by going 3-for-4 and driving in a run and scoring a run. Chad Johnson and Cody Rahman both had three-run home runs in the 11-run output. Johnson went 2-for-4 and drove in four runs while Rahman was 1-for-4 and had three RBI.
The Cobbers used a different tactic in the second game to get to the finish line first. Concordia took an early lead but then watched as the Johnnies passed CC on the backstretch. Concordia then waited until the home stretch to make a late charge. The Cobbers scored five runs in the final three innings to erase a 9-6 lead in the seventh inning.
Concordia's winning kick was fueled by the long ball and two-out hits. Jordan Domine had a three-run homer in the seventh with two outs and then Alex Sandahl singled home Rahman with two outs in the eighth for the eventual game-winning run before Storm singled home Ryan Heisler in the ninth to tack on an insurance run.
Concordia had 15 hits in the nightcap which is a team high in an MIAC game this season. The Cobbers went 7-for-13 (.538) with runners in scoring position and 7-for-14 (.500) with two outs in an inning in Game 2.
Rahman and Sandahl had three-hit games for CC as every Cobber starter had at least one hit. Both players went 3-for-4. Sandahl drove in three runs while Rahman scored three runs. Domine had four RBI in the finale.
Concordia used four pitchers in the second game. Cole Christensen started the game and went the first three innings. Sam Mattson came on after three batters in the fourth inning and allowed only one earned run in four innings pitched to record the victory. Ross Merriman entered the game in the eighth with a runner on first and retired the next three batters he faced. Tim Carlson then held SJU without a hit in the ninth to earn his first collegiate save.
Concordia is now 21-17 on the season which marks the second straight season the team has won at least 20 games in a year. It is also the seventh time in the last 15 years that the Cobbers have reached the 20-win mark.
HIT LIST HORSE RACE
Several Cobbers improved their positions on the school's all-time list. Senior Phil Kuball had three hits on the day and now has 157 career hits which is five shy of the program record of 162 held by head coach Chris Coste. Tim Carlson upped his total by one to 132 and is 10th on the all-time list. Jordan Domine went 4-for-7 in the two games and now has 104 hits which moves him to the No.21 spot on the list.
AND WE'RE WAITING...
Cody Rahman is perched on the brink of becoming the 24th player in school history to reach the 100-hit mark. Rahman went 4-for-8 in the two games and now has 98 career hits.
Tim Carlson's lone hit of the day was a double in the four-run fifth inning in the first game. That two-bagger now gives him 38 doubles for his career which is one shy of the school record of 39 set by Michael Olson from 2011-14.
HOME RUN TRIFECTA
Concordia hit three long balls in the second game and two in the opener to give them 28 for the season. That total leads the MIAC in all games. CC also leads the league in HR's in conference games with 21.
Concordia will finish off the 2016 campaign when they head across the Red River to play North Dakota State on Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Newman Outdoor Stadium. The Cobbers lost to the Bison 10-1 on May 3.