Big-Run Split At St. Olaf

Senior Nate Hoeft had a hit in Game 2 of the Cobbers' split at St. Olaf.
Senior Nate Hoeft had a hit in Game 2 of the Cobbers' split at St. Olaf.

STORY LINE: Concordia and St. Olaf traded big-run victories in a battle of teams contending for playoff position in a doubleheader that was originally supposed to be played on Apr. 13. The Cobbers used a 9-hit, 9-run attack to down the Oles 9-1 in the opener and then St. Olaf came back with a 12-0 victory in 7 innings in Game 2.

RECORDS: The win in the first game was the third in the last four completed games for Concordia who moves to 10-13 overall after the split. The Cobbers are 4-5 in league play. St. Olaf entered the day on top of the MIAC standings and is now 6-2 in the conference. The Oles are 15-6 in all games.

GAME 1 RECAP: Concordia scored four runs in the first two innings and bolted to a 9-0 lead before coming away with the 8-run win. The Cobbers opened the scoring with a single run in the first when senior catcher Alec Sames drove home Nate Hoeft with a sacrifice fly to center field. The Cobbers would tack on three more runs in the second when they recorded three hits and were helped out by two St. Olaf errors. Andy Gravdahl, Eric Watt and Grant Toivonen drove in the runs for CC. Concordia would match their 3-run second with a 3-run fifth. The big base hit came from Gravdahl who drove in two runs with a single through the right side.

While the Cobber offense was putting up three field goals, All-Region pitcher Austin Ver Steeg was in his 2018 form as he only allowed two hits and no runs over his 6.0 innings of work. He struck out sic and retired 10 straight batters from the first to fourth inning when the Oles recorded their first hit of the game. Drew Olsonawski pitched pitched the seventh inning and struck out one.

GAME 2 RECAP: St. Olaf turned the tables on Concordia as they scored once in the first inning and then used a multiple-run second inning to seize control of the game. The Oles would then back that up with a similar stretch in the fourth and fifth frames. The Cobbers were held to five hits in the finale. Brett Erickson went 2-for-2 while Gravdahl, Toivonen and Hoeft combined for the other three CC hits.

VER GOOD: Austin Ver Steeg has now picked up wins in his last two starts after going 0-3 to start the year. Ver Steeg went 7.0 innings against Macalester and backed it up with his shutout performance against the Oles. He has pitched 13.0 innings in his last two starts and has only allowed two earned runs and fanned 12 batters.

GRAVDAHL GRAVITATES UP THE CHARTS: Freshman Andy Gravdahl had a hit in both games and went 3-for-7 with three RBI. He has hit safely in seven straight games and has four multiple-hit games in that stretch. Gravdahl is now hitting .315 on the year which is third on the team.

THE HIT MAN: Brett Erickson also had a hit in each game and extended his hit streak. Erickson went 3-for-6 with a run scored and an RBI. He has now had at least one hit in six straight games and is hitting .309 on the year.

UP NEXT: Concordia was scheduled to play at Gustavus on Wednesday, Apr. 17 but that DH was postponed until Thursday, Apr. 18. The Cobbers will then finish their suspended game against Hamline in St. Paul on Friday, Apr. 19 before playing at St. Mary's on Saturday, Apr. 20.