Long Ball Powers Senior Day Split

The nine Cobber seniors were honored before the DH with Carleton. L-R: Alec Sames, Grant Toivonen, Jake Stilwell, Cole Christensen, Kyle Knaeble, Fletcher Andel, Drew Olsonawski, Nate Hoeft and Tyler Kemen.
The nine Cobber seniors were honored before the DH with Carleton. L-R: Alec Sames, Grant Toivonen, Jake Stilwell, Cole Christensen, Kyle Knaeble, Fletcher Andel, Drew Olsonawski, Nate Hoeft and Tyler Kemen.

STORY LINE: A rare home run helped spark the Cobber offense and led to a split against Carleton in the annual Senior Day Celebration doubleheader. Grant Toivonen pounded a 3-run homer in the opener to help CC post a 9-1 win and then the Cobbers stranded 10 runners in the second game and lost 3-1.

RECORDS: The split is the second straight and third in the last four in conference play for Concordia. The Cobbers are now 6-10 in the MIAC and 12-20 overall. Carleton moves to 9-17 in all games and is a similar 6-10 in league play.

GAME 1 RECAP: Concordia never trailed in the opener as they scored three times in the second, two more in the third and then once more in the fourth. Toivonen finished off the 9-run outburst with a 3-run jack to right field in the sixth.  Toivonen also scored in the second and third innings when he got on base with a pair of singles.

The Cobbers outhit the Knights 11-5 in Game 1. Toivonen was a perfect 3-for-3, scored three times and drove in three. Beau Wilmer, Andy Gravdahl and Austin Ver Steeg had two hits each. Gravdahl and Ver Steeg also scored three times each and Ver Steeg drove in two runs. Brett Erickson had two RBI by plating runs in the second and third.

Ty Syverson pitched a complete game and earned his third win of the year. Syverson allowed only five hits and held Carleton hitters to a .181 average with runners on base. He also struck out five as he lowered his season earned run average to 2.36.

GAME 2 RECAP: The Cobbers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning but then the Knights won the finale with a 3-spot in the third inning. The Cobbers put runners on base in five of the last six innings but couldn't come up with the clutch hit and lost 3-1. CC went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and hit .166 with runners on base. The Knights outhit Concordia 7-6 in the second game. Gravdahl and Toivonen continued their hot streaks as they both had two hits in Game 2. Gravdahl finished the day by going 4-for-8 and Toivonen was 5-for-6. Sean McGuire drove in the team's only run with a 2-out triple in the second inning.

Colin Richards pitched the first 7.0 innings and allowed six hits and struck out six. Tanner McBain came on in relief for the final two innings and retired six of the eight batters he faced.

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: The Cobbers have lost 10 MIAC games and nine of those defeats have come by one or two runs. CC has dropped six 1-run decisions to league opponents.

GRAVY TRAIN: Andy Gravdahl continues to lead the Cobbers in hitting. He now has a .327 average and is tops on Concordia in at bats, hits, total bases and stolen bases. He has 11 multiple-hit games and is hitting .382 in league play which is seventh in the conference.

98 DEGREES: Concordia head coach Chris Coste added to his career win total and now has 98 victories as skipper of the Cobbers. He needs two more wins to become the third CC coach to reach the 100-win plateau.    

HIT A HOME RUN, GET A WIN: The Cobbers have two home runs this year and both times they have come away with the win. Alec Sames clouted a round-tripper in CC's 4-2 win in the opener at Macalester and Toivonen's shot in the first game vs. Carleton helped Concordia to a 9-1 victory.

UP NEXT: Concordia will host its final home games of the year when they square off against St. Thomas on Monday, Apr. 29 at 2:30 p.m. The Tommies are 16-11 overall and 8-6 in the MIAC. They are currently tied for the fourth, and final, spot for the conference playoffs.