Andel Aces Nationally-Ranked Test
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (3/10/17)--- Fletcher Andel came up with the pitching performance of his career as he didn't allow a run, gave up only five hits and was the driving force behind the Cobbers 2-1 win over No.5-ranked Wis.-Whitewater in the first of two games held at US Bank Stadium.
Fellow starting pitcher Cole Christensen nearly duplicated Andel's feat in Game 1 but came up two outs short as Concordia fell 3-2 to the Warhawks in the nightcap.
The split with national-ranked Wis.-Whitewater moves Concordia's record to 5-6 on the year. The Warhawks, who swept St. Thomas in their season-opening doubleheader, are now 3-1 on the year.
Andel entered the game with an ERA over 7.00 and a 1-1 record and struggled in the first two innings of play. He worked out of a first and second jam in the first and allowed the only run in the second. Andel then found his stride and strung together five straight scoreless innings and held the Warhawks hitless with runners in scoring position and with two outs in an inning.
While Andel was dealing it on the mound the game still hung in the balance until the bottom of the seventh inning. Whitewater got their lone run in the second and then Concordia tied the game with a run in the bottom of the sixth when Turner Storm doubled home Joe Hallock after Hallock was beaned to lead off the frame.
The Cobbers won the game in the seventh when Nate Leintz led off with a single and then reached second on a successful sacrifice bunt from Nate Hoeft. Junior center fielder Chad Johnson was then intentionally walked and sophomore Grant Toivonen promptly singled up the middle. Leintz read the hit perfectly, rounded third on the fly and then slid under the tag for the walkoff win.
Concordia outhit Whitewater 6-5 for the game. Leintz was the only CC player with more than one hit. He went 2-for-2 and scored the decisive run.
Andel struck out three and walked two as he won for the second time in the season and lowered his ERA to 5.00.
Christensen was matching Andel outing-for-outing until the bottom of the sixth inning. The junior gave up a solo run in the first and then just three hits in the second through fifth innings. He didn't allow a runner past second base until the sixth.
Christensen got the leadoff hitter to ground out to start the sixth but then walked the next two batters and was pulled in favor of closer Hallock.
Hallock retired the first batter he faced but then had a passed ball and single score the two go-ahead runs.
Concordia got the game-tying run on base in the top of the seventh when Toivonen singled through the left side with two outs but CC couldn't string any more hits on the board and lost 3-2.
Christensen went 5.1 innings, allowed only one earned run and four hits.
The Cobbers held an 8-5 edge in hits in the second game. Toivonen went 3-for-4 while Storm was 2-for-3 to lead the CC offense.
LAND GRANT: Sophomore Grant Toivonen took over the team lead in batting average after Friday's twinbill. He is now hitting .344 and has a hit in three straight games. Toivonen hit safely in the first four games of the year, he was then held without a base knock in three straight and now has a three-game hitting streak.
COOL HAND COLE: Cole Christensen hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his four starts this year. He has only allowed two earned runs in his last three starts which encompass 18.1 innings. Christensen has a 2.14 ERA for the year.
WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will stay in the Twin Cities and square off against NCAA Division II opponent Concordia-St. Paul in a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 11 starting at 5 p.m. The Golden Bears are 6-4 on the year.