A MAXimum 8-Run Rally Win

Concordia overcame a 6-0 deficit, scored eight unanswered runs and beat St. Olaf 8-6 in the first game of the best-of-three series in the MIAC Round of 12.
Concordia overcame a 6-0 deficit, scored eight unanswered runs and beat St. Olaf 8-6 in the first game of the best-of-three series in the MIAC Round of 12.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (5/15/21)---Concordia overcame a 6-0 deficit, scored eight unanswered runs and beat St. Olaf 8-6 in the first game of the best-of-three series in the MIAC Round of 12.

The Cobbers fell behind after St. Olaf scored six times, five of which came with two outs in an inning, in the first six innings of the game. Concordia's offense finally came alive in the sixth when they scored three times to cut the lead in half. The Cobbers then got a 3-run homer from junior Max Boran to tie the game in the seventh. They added the game-winning run in the same frame before the eighth straight run came across the plate in the eighth.                  

The comeback victory pushes Concordia to within a single win of advancing to the conference play-in playoff round. The win also ends a 4-game losing skid for CC and ups their overall record to 16-17 on the year.  

St. Olaf (12-8) inched their way to the 6-run lead by scoring single runs in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings. Their only multi-run inning came in the third when they plated two runs after there were two quick outs in the inning. The Oles scored five of their six runs in the game with two outs in the inning. St. Olaf finished the game with 14 hits – 10 of which came with two outs. The Oles were10-for-17 (.588) when there were two outs in an inning.

Concordia only had a pair of hits in the first five innings. Mason Penske had a 2-out single in the second inning and then Thomas Horan led off the fourth with a base knock through the right side of the infield.

Not only did Boran tie the game to even the 6-run comeback, he also started the rally with a leadoff double in the sixth. Horan posted a 1-out single that brought home Boran with the Cobbers' first run of the game. Andy Gravdahl and Sean McGuire followed with line-drive singles to right field that loaded the bases. Ben Swanson then lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that plated Horan and sent Gravdahl to third. Gravdahl would finish off the 3-run sixth when he raced home on a wild pitch.

The decisive seventh inning started when Justin Kloster went through the middle of the infield for a base hit. Senior catcher Toby Sayles earned first base when an errant pitch glanced off his helmet. That set the stage for Boran who hit the very first pitch over the left field fence to tie the game at 6-6. Boran knew he got all of the pitch as soon as the ball left the bat as he raided his arm in the air and held it up all the way through second base. The long ball was Boran's first of the year and second of his career.

Concordia scored the game-winning run later in the seventh. With no outs having been recorded in the inning, Matt Gruber followed Boran's blast with a single to left field. Horan then sacrificed Gruber to second. He would advance to third on a ground out and then stroll home after McGuire lofted a double to left field that just got over the outstretched glove of the Ole left fielder.

Kloster scored the insurance run in the eighth. He led off with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Sayles and then moved up to third on a ground out. Kloster came home when Gruber reached base on an error.

Ty Syverson got the start on the hill for Concordia and battled his way through the first seven innings. He was good in the early part of the inning and then fought through the final stages. He gave up six runs and struck out a pair as he earned his seventh win of the season which is a single-season career high for the righthander. The seven victories are also tied for second most in the MIAC this year.

Luke Levassuer pitched a scoreless eighth inning and then gave way to Gruber who recorded two quick outs, but then allowed a pair of singles before getting the final out on a ground out to second base. The scoreless ninth inning gave Gruber his first career save in maroon and gold.

Concordia finished the game with 10 hits. Boran, Horan and McGuire were all 2-for-4 in the game.  

A RARE RALLY: Concordia's 6-run rally after the fourth inning was only the third time in 2021 that CC came back after trailing after four innings. The Cobbers were 2-13 before Saturday when they trailed after four frames.

ANOTHER HELPING OF GRAVY: Gravdahl upped his on-base streak to 21 games with his 1-out single in the sixth. The 21-game on-base streak is the longest by any Cobber this year.     

ANOTHER MCDOUBLE: McGuire fashioned his team-leading 13th multiple-hit game of the season. That number is tied with Gruber, but McGuire holds the tiebreaker with a team-best .367 average.   

UP NEXT: Concordia will travel to Northfield on Sunday as they try and win the series with a single win. The first game, of a possible two games at St. Olaf, will start at 1 p.m.

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