Bookend Innings Cost Cobbers

Third baseman Sean McGuire waits to put the tag on a St. Thomas base stealer in the first game of the Cobbers' DH with UST.
Third baseman Sean McGuire waits to put the tag on a St. Thomas base stealer in the first game of the Cobbers' DH with UST.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (5/08/21)---Concordia was done in by the first inning of Game 1 and the last inning in Game 2 as they lost 6-1 and 9-3 to league-leading St. Thomas in the final home doubleheader of the regular season.

The Cobbers conceded three runs in the top of the first in the opener and was forced to chase the entire seven innings of the first game. CC then had a 3-3 tie broke open in the ninth in the second game when the Tommies plated six runs that all came with two outs in the frame.

The other theme on the day was St. Thomas' success with two outs in an innings. UST scored 10 of their 16 runs on the day with two outs and had a .423 batting average with two outs in an inning.

The two losses end a streak where the Cobbers had won five of their last seven games. CC is now 15-15 overall and 9-11 in conference play. Concordia remains in sixth place in the league standings. St. Thomas has now won eight straight and ups its record to 22-5 in all games and 16-2 in the MIAC.

Concordia fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning in Game 1 when St. Thomas posted four hits in their first five at-bats.

The Cobbers got their only run of the opener in the bottom of the first when Thomas Horan came through with a 1-ount single to center field, advanced to second on Andy Gravdahl's single and scored on Sean McGuire's RBI single to center field.

The game turned into a pitcher's duel after the first inning with the two starting pitchers allowing a single run and only two hits until the sixth inning. The Tommies would add the final two insurance runs in the sixth inning to bring the final score to 6-1.

The Cobbers had three hits in Game 1, all of which came in the first inning.

Sophomore Ashwin Stratton got the start for CC and went the distance. He gave up five earned runs and walked only one batter.

Concordia started slowly in the second game and fell behind 2-0 when the Tommies plated single runs in the second and third innings.

The Cobbers' offense got its first hit of the nightcap in the third inning. After CC went through the order the first time without a base runner, leadoff hitter Matt Gruber recorded the team's first hit when he doubled into the left center gap. He came around to score when Horan and Gravdahl both walked and then McGuire hit a fielder's choice ground ball to second base.

St. Thomas retook a 2-run lead in the sixth inning before the Cobbers tied the game in the seventh inning.

Concordia took a page out of UST's playbook as they were able to score both runs in the seventh when there were two outs. With two outs and the bases loaded, Max Boran came through with a clutch single to center field that scored Mason Penske and Ben Swanson. CC then had runners on first and second but couldn't come up with a hit to take the lead in the game.

The ninth inning started harmlessly for the Cobbers with the first two hitters being retired on a ground out and a fly out. Then danger struck. St. Thomas had the next seven batters reach base via a hit or error and when the dust settled they had scored six runs to claim the 9-3 win.

Concordia had four different players record one hit each in Game 2.

Sophomore pitcher Gabe Duncan had the best outing of his college career. He went 8.0 innings and only allowed a single earned run. He was able to scatter eight hits and work out of traffic on the base paths.    

UP NEXT: The same two teams will finish off their 3-game series, and the conference regular season, when they play a single, 9-inning game on Sunday, May 9 at St. Thomas.

PLAYOFF DETAILS: There is a new wrinkle for the MIAC playoffs for this season. All 11 teams in the league will play in a "Round of 12" series. The team that wins the regular-season title will get a bye and then the remaining 10 teams will all play in best-of-3 series in the "Round of 12". The No.2 team will play the No.11 seed, the No.3 seed will play the No.10 seed and so on down the line. The teams will play a single game at the team with the lower seed on Saturday, May 15 and then play two games (if necessary) at the higher seed on Sunday, May 16.

The winning teams of the "Round of 12" will then be placed in order of finish in the regular season with the highest seed getting a bye into the double elimination tournament while the remaining four teams will be seeded for a single-game play-in.             

RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Great Clips. Cobber athletics would like to thank Great Clips for their support of Concordia student/athletes.