Opening-Day, Late-Game Drama Sweep

Junior Andy Gravdahl had a pair of triples in the Cobbers' 5-4 walk-off win over Wis.-Superior in Game 2 of the DH. He went 3-for-5 with three extra-base hits to lead the CC offense in the sweep.
Junior Andy Gravdahl had a pair of triples in the Cobbers' 5-4 walk-off win over Wis.-Superior in Game 2 of the DH. He went 3-for-5 with three extra-base hits to lead the CC offense in the sweep.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (3/11/21)---If the first two games of the season are any indication of what Cobber fans are in for, then 2021 is going to be very exciting.

Concordia used a 4-run seventh inning in Game 2 to erase a 4-1 deficit and earn a 3-2, 5-4 sweep over Wis.-Superior in the season-opening doubleheader. Both 1-run games were decided in the seventh inning and both had the Cobbers scoring multiple runs.

The Cobbers scored two runs in the final frame of Game 1 to take a 3-0 lead and then held on to win 3-2. The second game featured the season's first walk-off hit as Matt Gruber's single brought home Thomas Horan to cap the 4-run comeback. Gruber also got the win in the finale. He pitched a scoreless seventh inning to give CC the opportunity for the walk-off.

GAME 1 RECAP: Concordia never trailed in the opener but needed a game-saving ground out to third base with the tying run on second.

Senior Ty Syverson served notice that he will be the ace of the Cobber staff this year. He pitched the first four innings in Game 1 and struck out nine. He allowed four walks but didn't allow a runner past second base. He posted an RDO "Mow-Em-Down" inning in the first and struck out five of the first six batters he faced.

The Cobbers posted a single run in the third and then the much-needed insurance runs in the seventh. Sean McGuire scored the first run of the year for Concordia. He led off the third with a double and then advanced to third on a fly our from catcher Toby Sayles. McGuire scored on a 2-out single off the bat of Horan.

Sayles would factor in the 2-run seventh. He recorded a 1-out triple that scored Noah Pilon who pinch ran for Ben Swanson after Swanson led off the inning with a single. Max Boran plated Sayles with the eventual game-winning run when he lofted a sacrifice fly to right field.        

Concordia had to survive a scare in the bottom of the inning. The Yellowjackets loaded the bases with one out and then pitcher Mason Penske induced a ground ball to third base. CC was able to get the runner at second and then the throw to first to get a game-ending double play sailed wide and allowed a second Superior runner to score. Penske then picked up the save by getting another ground ball to third base. Gruber fielded the ball and threw to first to end the game and give the Cobbers the win.

GAME 2 RECAP: Concordia posted running-scoring innings in the bookend frames. CC scored a lone run in the first and then waited until the seventh to get the 4-spot that swept the DH.

Junior Andy Gravdahl knocked out the first of his two triples in the game to lead off the bottom of the first. He scored on a sac fly from Horan on the very next at-bat.

Superior took a 4-1 lead with a pair of runs in the second and then one each in the third and fifth.

That set the stage for the dramatic seventh. McGuire and Sayles started the game-winning journey with back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. After a lineout, Gravdahl stroked his second triple of the game to bring home McGuire and Sayles and cut the deficit to 4-3. Horan followed with a double to right field to tie the game and then Gruber drove home the game winner with a base knock to right field.

Gruber was one of six pitchers for the Cobbers in Game 2. He pitched the seventh and allowed one hit and struck out one.

Mitch Porter started the second game and was the only CC hurler to go more than one inning. He pitched the first two frames and gave up two runs but neither were earned. He struck out three and allowed three hits.

Ashwin Stratton, Luke Levasseur, Justin Kloster and Boran followed with single-inning outings. Levasseur and Boran both recorded scoreless innings. Levasseur came through with a 1-2-3 fourth inning and Boran only allowed one hit in the sixth.

THE HIT MEN: Concordia posted 13 hits in the DH and 12 of those came from the quintet of Gravdahl, Horan, Swanson, McGuire and Sayles. All five had a hit in each game with Gravdahl and Swanson coming through with three hits on the day. The High 5 went 12-for-27 (.444) and scored seven of the team's eight runs and drove in six. The other hit on the morning was Gruber's walk-off in the seventh.

DID I HEAR A NINER IN THERE? Syverson finished with nine strikeouts in the opener which was the third time in the last three starts over 2020 and 2021 that he has recorded nine Ks in an outing. Syverson has a 2.57 ERA in the last two years (4 outings) and has struck out 32 in 21.0 innings pitched.

THE YEAR OF THE TRIPLE: Concordia only had two triples in their 12 games in 2020. They beat that number in the opening DH in 2021. Gravdahl had a pair of 3-baggers and Sayles added another to give CC three for the day. Gravdahl matched his career triple total on Thursday. He had two triples in the first 47 games of his Cobber career and equaled that in two games. Sayles didn't have a single triple in his first years in maroon and gold.

UP NEXT: Concordia is scheduled to host its home opener on Sunday, Mar. 14 when they face Jamestown in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.       

RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Sanford Orthopedics Sports Medicine. Sanford Orthopedics has been the official orthopedic care specialist for Cobber athletics since head coach Chris Coste was winning back-to-back-to-back MIAC MVP honors.