Shutout Split In MIAC Opener

Super senior Cole Christensen recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts and pitched 8.0 scoreless innings to help the Cobbers gain a split with Augsburg in the MIAC opener.
Super senior Cole Christensen recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts and pitched 8.0 scoreless innings to help the Cobbers gain a split with Augsburg in the MIAC opener.

STORY LINE: Concordia split a pair of shutout games in their MIAC-opening series against Augsburg at Gustavus. The Cobbers fell 2-0 in the first game and then came back to post a 3-0 blanking in the second game. The doubleheader was played at Gustavus after being postponed from Saturday, Mar. 30 due to snowy field conditions in Moorhead.

RECORDS: With the split Concordia moves to 7-9 overall. The Auggies move to 5-10 on the season.

GAME 1 RECAP: The opener was determined by a pair of single-run innings in the second and sixth frames. Augsburg broke open a 0-0 tie with one run in top of the second inning. They added an insurance run in the sixth frame. The Auggies finished the game with eight hits and six of those came in the second and sixth innings combined. Concordia's best chance at a run came in the very first inning when Andy Gravdahl reached on an error and then went to second on a walk by Alec Sames. Gravdahl stole second after a fly out but was stranded on a ground out to the pitcher.

Concordia finished with three hits in Game 1. Brett Erickson went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Sames had the other base knock. Austin Ver Steeg pitched the first 5.2 innings and struck out seven. He only allowed the two earned runs on eight hits. Tanner McBain pitched the final 1.1 innings and didn't allow a hit.

GAME 2 RECAP: It was the Cole Christensen show in Game 2. The super senior was dominant in his 8.0 innings of work. He struck out 12 and allowed only four hits. He only allowed one runner to get past second base and that came with two outs in the third frame. Christensen retired nine of the final 11 batters her faced.

Collin Richards earned his first collegiate save after pitching a perfect ninth inning. He struck out the final batter of the game to give CC the win.                

The Cobbers got the game-winning run in the second frame when Sean McGuire singled home Eric Watt after Watt started the inning with a single to left field and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Brett Erickson. CC added their insurance runs in the seventh frame. Austin Ver Steeg started the inning with a walk and then Erickson was beaned to put runners on first and third. McGuire singled to bring home Ver Steeg and then Erickson scored on a balk.

Concordia outhit the Auggies 6-4 in the second game. McGuire was the only Cobber with more than one hit. He went 2-for-3 and drove in two of the three runs.

KOLE WITH A K: Cole Christensen's 12-strikeout performance was a career high in a single game. His previous single-game high came earlier in the year when he fanned 10 batters against Beloit on Mar. 10. Last year Christensen's single-game strikeout best was four. Christensen leads the Cobbers with 31 strikeouts on the season. His 31 Ks is second in the MIAC this year – one shy of the most in the conference.

MULTIPLE-HIT, MULTIPLE-RBI MCGUIRE: Sean McGuire added to his multiple-hit, multiple-RBI game total in Game 2. McGuire now leads the Cobbers with five multiple-hit games and four multiple-RBI contests.

SEVENTH-INNING SUCCESS: Concordia's two runs in the seventh inning continued a season-long theme of success in the seventh frame. The Cobbers have outscored their opponents 23-2 in the seventh inning of games this year.

UP NEXT: Concordia will continue with their weather-forced road trip when they play at St. John's on Thursday, Apr. 4 at 2:30 p.m. The DH was originally schedule to be played at Concordia on Wednesday, Apr. 3 but was moved to SJU because of the snow accumulation on Bucky Burgau Field. The Johnnies are currently 16-5 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC.