Penske & Kloster Co-Star In Win

Senior Mason Penske (L) and sophomore Justin Kloster were the co-stars of the Cobbers' win over Macalester. Penske pitched all nine innings & Kloster hit the game-winning HR.
Senior Mason Penske (L) and sophomore Justin Kloster were the co-stars of the Cobbers' win over Macalester. Penske pitched all nine innings & Kloster hit the game-winning HR.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/26/21)--- If you were writing the credits to the Cobbers' movie of their 5-3 win over Macalester, you would have a hard time figuring out who to cast as the lead character. Senior Mason Penske pitched a 9-inning complete game while sophomore Justin Kloster hit his first collegiate home run which accounted for the game-winning run.

The individual credits won't matter to Concordia as they earned a much-needed win, claimed the best-of-3 series against the Scots and remained in the hunt for a conference playoff spot.

The Cobbers, who split with Macalester on Saturday, are now 11-11 in all games and 5-7 in the MIAC. They are in eighth place in the league standings, but only 1.5 games out of the sixth, and final, spot for the conference tournament. The Scots fall to 6-12 in both the MIAC and overall games.

The 9-inning game on Monday started like it would be a double-digit scoring spree. Macalester scored a run in the top of the first before Concordia countered with four runs in the bottom of the inning.

The Cobbers put their first three runners on base and then tied the game on a Sean McGuire sacrifice fly to right field. After another fly out, the stage was set for Kloster to step into his co-starring role. He didn't wait long as he swung at the first pitch he saw and deposited it over the right center-field fence. His 3-run shot was the first of his collegiate career and gave CC a 4-1 lead.

The fifth run in the game for the Cobbers came in the third when Ben Swanson's 2-out single scored McGuire from second base.     

The 3-run margin would be all that the other co-star would need. Penske was able to navigate through the Macalester order and not allow clutch hits with runners on base. He pitched out of a pair of bases loaded jams and stranded 13 Scot runners on base.

Penske's complete game earned him his first win of the year and second of his college career. He also lowered his ERA to 2.49 which is second on the CC pitching staff.    

The only hiccup for Penske came in the fifth when he gave up two runs on two hits after thee were two outs in the inning. Penske didn't give up any hits in the sixth and eighth frames and got a great defensive play by right fielder Max Boran to get out of a jam in the seventh.

The Cobbers were outhit 12-6 in Game 3 between the two teams. Matt Gruber was the only CC player with a multiple-hit game. He was 2-for-4 and scored a run. McGuire was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Kloster finished the day by going 1-for-2 with three RBI and a pair of walks.

HOME RUN HISTORY: Kloster's first-inning yard shot was the team's ninth long ball of the year. That is the most for a CC team since the 2017 season when they produced 11 HRs on the year. The program record for most home runs in a single season by the team is 42. Concordia connected on 42 long balls in 2009 and was led by Kyle Johnson who clouted 14 home runs that year.

UP NEXT: Concordia won't have much time to celebrate the win as they will play at league-leading Gustavus on Tuesday, Apr. 27 in a DH starting at 1 p.m. The Gusties are 18-2 overall and 13-2 in the MIAC this season.