Different Tales In Split At St. Mary's

STORY LINE: It was a tale of two offensive stories in the Cobbers' doubleheader at St. Mary's. Concordia had three hits and lost 1-0 in the first game and then pounded out 12 hits and won 6-4 in the second game. The Cobbers had five different players record two hits each in Game 2 as they ended a 4-game losing skid.

RECORDS: Concordia split their third conference doubleheader of the season and is now 5-9 in league play. CC is 11-17 overall. St. Mary's moves to 8-6 in the MIAC and 16-14 overall.

GAME 1 RECAP: It was a battle of starting pitchers in the opener. Cobber All-Region right hander Austin Ver Steeg hurled a complete game and only allowed three hits and one earned run. He struck out five and faced only one batter over the minimum through the first three innings of play. The Cardinals came up with the game-deciding run in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases on one hit and the next batter came away with a walk. The Cobbers' best chance to score came in the second inning when Beau Wilmer and Sean McGuire led off the frame with a pair of hits but were stranded with a fielder's choice, strikeout and pop out to third.

Both teams had three hits in the opener. Wilmer went 2-for-3 as he added another single in the seventh inning.

GAME 2 RECAP: The second inning proved to be the decisive offense spot for Concordia in the finale. The Cobbers trailed 1-0 after one and then scored four times in the second. The big hit came from senior Nate Hoeft whose 2-out single to right field scored a pair of runs to give CC the 4-1 lead. Concordia would score the eventual game-winning run in the fifth on an Alec Sames double down the left field line. CC would tack on an insurance run in the sixth when Ver Steeg doubled to left field which brought home Andy Gravdahl from third base.

Hoeft, Grant Toivonen, Gravdahl, Ver Steeg and Brett Erickson all had two hits each for Concordia. Ver Steeg and Erickson also had two of the team's four doubles in the game.

Cole Christensen scattered nine hits in 8.0 innings of work to earn his team-leading fourth win of the year. He struck out six and allowed three earned runs. Tanner McBain pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his first collegiate save.

CLOSING IN ON 100: The victory in the second game at St. Mary's gave Cobber head coach Chris Coste now his 97th career victory at the helm of Concordia. He needs three more wins to become the third coach in program history to reach the 100-win milestone.    

LIVING IN THE 90'S: Senior Nate Hoeft had a pair of hits in the second game and now has 91 base knocks in his career. He is hitting .303 for his 3-plus seasons in maroon and gold.   

UP NEXT: Concordia will have a pair of non-conference tilts during the week before returning to MIAC play on the weekend. The Cobbers will play at Jamestown on Tuesday, Apr. 23 and then got to Mayville to take on Mayville State on Friday, Apr. 26.