Speed On The Bases Leads To 8-1 Win

Senior catcher Jack Naugle catches the third strike on the second out of the ninth inning in the Cobbers' 8-1 win over Minn.-Morris.
Senior catcher Jack Naugle catches the third strike on the second out of the ninth inning in the Cobbers' 8-1 win over Minn.-Morris.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (3/26/21)---You knew it was going to be a good day at The Buck when Andy Gravdahl led off the bottom of the first with an uncontested triple and little-used, base-path threat Ben Swanson stole two bases in the same inning.

Those two offensive gems, paired with a Canaan Fagerland home run and another multiple-strikeout pitching performance from Ty Syverson added up to an 8-1 win for Concordia over Minn.-Morris.

The Cobbers put up multiple-run innings in the third, fourth and seventh innings to pull away from the Cougars and record their first home win of the year. Concordia is now 4-2 on the season while Morris drops to 0-5.

Sophomore Ashwin Stratton started on the bump for Concordia and pitched a scoreless first inning. He gave up a leadoff single but then picked the runner off second after a stolen base. He proceeded to strikeout the next two batter to set the table for Gravdahl in the bottom of the inning.

Gravdahl turned on a fastball and laced a line drive into the right-field corner. From the moment the ball went to the fence, Gravdahl knew he would be headed to third and his heads-first slide was unnecessary as the ball was cutoff as it got to the infield.

Gravdahl scored two batters later when Swanson lifted a sacrifice fly to center field.

Swanson would then be responsible for the base-running highlights of the afternoon as he stole second and third in the third inning after getting on board via an RBI single to right. The stolen bases were the first of his college career.

The steal of third came on a strange play. Swanson was at second and Matt Gruber was at first after Gruber walked. Mason Penske was at the plate and was motioned by the umpire to take first on a walk call after only three balls. Penske went to first with Swanson and Gruber moving up a base. The Morris coach then questioned the ball-strike count and it was confirmed that there were only three balls at the time. Penske went back to home to hit but Swanson and Gruber were awarded third and second on stolen base attempts.

Swanson would score on a wild pitch as part of the 2-run third inning.

Fagerland started the 3-run fourth when he lined a shot over the left field fence. It was his first as a Cobber and the second homer of the year by a CC player.                 

Gravdahl came through with an infield single, stole second and scored on a Thomas Horan base hit. Horan would come around to score when the bases got loaded and Penske coaxed his second walk in as many innings.

Concordia would finish off their eight runs in the seventh when a Gravdahl ground ball to the first baseman was dropped for the third out and allowed Toby Sayles and Dawson Leer to score.

Syverson took the ball from Stratton in the second inning and cruised through 4.0 innings of work. He only allowed two hits and struck out eight.

Penske, Max Boran and Sayles followed Syverson. Penske pitched 2.0 innings and allowed two hits and one earned run. Boran worked out of a jam in the eighth before Sayles pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

The Cobbers outhit the Cougars 10-6. Gravdahl, Horan and Swanson all had 2-hit games. Swanson had the lone multi-RBI game for CC. He went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs.

SENIOR STRONG: Syverson continues to showcase his stuff as one of the top arms in the MIAC. His 4.0-inning stint marked the third time this season he has fanned at lead eight batters. He now has 26 Ks for the season which is second most in the league. He is now 3-0 for the year and his three wins are tied for the most in the MIAC. His 1.32 ERA is third best among starters with at least 10.0 innings pitched.  

TOP 10 QUARTET: Gravdahl, Horan, Swanson and Sean McGuire are all in the Top 10 in the MIAC in batting average. Gravdahl and Horan are tied for the team lead with identical .476 averages and are tied for fourth in the MIAC. Swanson is hitting .421 and is seventh while McGuire is tied for 10th at .400. Gravdahl's three triples lead the MIAC and he is second in stolen bases with five.

STREAK STUFF: Swanson and Horan extended their team-best hit streaks to six games. Gruber went 1-for-4 and has hit in five straight games.

UP NEXT: Concordia will host its third straight non-conference game when they face Valley City State on Wednesday, Mar. 31 at 3 p.m.    

RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Erbert and Gerbert's. Erb and Gerb's have been Cobber athletic sponsors for years and have always supplied first-class sandwiches for the Cobber baseball team. Like Sonny Gulsvig's bologna sandwiches in the 80's, Erbert and Gerbert's sandwiches can't be beat.