Middle Men Shine In MIAC Opener

Concordia scored nine runs and clouted 16 hits in their MIAC-opening win over Hamline. Canaan Fagerland (#30) went 2-for-5 and drove in a run.
Concordia scored nine runs and clouted 16 hits in their MIAC-opening win over Hamline. Canaan Fagerland (#30) went 2-for-5 and drove in a run.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (4/02/21)---Concordia got a fourth straight stellar start from Ty Syverson and the middle of the batting order came alive in the Cobbers' 9-0 win at Hamline in the MIAC opener.

Syverson pitched six innings of shutout ball and the No.5, No.6 and No.7 hitters combined for eight of the team's 16 hits as Concordia won their third straight game to move their overall record to 6-2 on the season.

Junior Matt Gruber was the catalyst for the "middle men". He went 5-for-6 from the No.6 spot in the order. He also scored three times and drove in a run. Canaan Fagerland, No.5 in the lineup was 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI while Mitch Porter went 1-for-4 and had a team-high 2 RBI.

Syverson racked up another nine strikeouts on the day and only allowed two hits. He has now posted at least eight Ks in all four starts on the year and is 4-0.

Concordia got on the board in the second inning when Gruber and Porter came through with back-to-back, 2-out doubles.

The Cobbers put up their first 3-run inning in the third when they recorded four hits and were helped by a Piper error. Thomas Horan led off the inning with a double and Fagerland also came through with a 2-bagger. Gruber and Porter came through with RBI in the frame.

CC tacked on a single run in the sixth and opened the game up with a 3-run seventh. Gruber started the 3-hit inning with a bunt single. He came home on a ground ball out off the bat of Andy Gravdahl. Ben Swanson's infield singled plated Toby Sayles who had singled to left field.

Concordia finished off the scoring when Gruber posted a 1-out double, his fifth hit of the day, and then scored on Max Boran's single to right center.

Luke Levasseur took the ball from Syverson in the seventh and went 2.0 innings. He only allowed one hit and struck out one. Swanson then took the mound in the ninth and struck out the side in his first college pitching appearance.

CY SYVERSON: Syverson has now amassed 35 strikeouts in his 19.2 innings pitched this year. That leads the MIAC. His six shutout innings lowered his season ERA to 0.92 which is third in the conference. Syverson is now 4-0 on the year and his four wins is tops in the league. The four wins matches his previous single-season best. He won four games as a sophomore in 2018-19. Syverson's WHIP of 0.931 is second in the MIAC.

HIGH 5: Gruber's five hits on Saturday marked the first time since the 2012 season that a Cobber has put up a 5-spot in a game. The last CC player to have five hits in a game was Braden Rahman when he went 5-for-6 in Concordia's game at St. John's on April 7, 2012.

Gruber's five hits against Hamline raised his season batting average to .424. He now leads the team in hits with 14.

HE DOES IT ALL:
Swanson can hit, he fields a mean first base, he can pitch and he is the best tennis player on the Cobber baseball team. In addition to his RDO "Mow-Em-Down" inning in the ninth, Swanson went 3-for-6 at the plate and drove in a run. It was his team-leading fourth multiple-hit game of the year and he is now hitting .438. Swanson has only committed one error in 55 chances as the team's first baseman which grades out to a .982 fielding percentage. And about that tennis thing – lettered in tennis for the Cobbers his first two years at CC, and in 2019 he was second on the team in singles wins with 11. We wonder if he has ever run track?

UP NEXT: Concordia will turn around and host Hamline in a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 3 at 1 p.m. at The Buck. That is the new theme of MIAC baseball for 2021 with teams playing each other three straight times.

RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Red River Trails. When the Cobbers hit the road, it's always with Red River Trails.