Baseball Breaks Scoreless Slump, Splits With Concordia

Posted on April 22nd, 2015 by

Josh Chatfield makes a leaping catch in game one to save two likely go-ahead runs from the Cobbers. (Photo courtesy of C.J. Siewert, SPX Sports)

SAINT PETER, MINN. – After a stretch of 29 innings in which it was not able to bring a run across, the Gustavus Adolphus baseball team’s bats came alive on Wednesday afternoon at the Gustie Baseball Field where it earned a split in a doubleheader with Concordia College. The Gusties took home a 6-5 game one victory before nearly making a ninth inning comeback in game two, but eventually fell short in an 11-9 loss. Gustavus is now 4-10 in the MIAC and 10-19 overall, while Concordia moves to 7-5 in conference play and 19-8 overall.

GAME ONE: Gustavus 6, Concordia 5
Gustavus was able to break its lengthy scoreless drought in the bottom of the third inning when it exploded for four runs. With the bases loaded, Garrett Fuchs (Sr., Cold Spring, Minn.) drew a walk to bring in a free run to tie the game at 1-1. Then, with two outs, a Max Fidler (Sr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) double to the gap in right-center cleared the bases and brought the Gustie lead to 4-1.

The Gusties added two runs in the sixth to make it a 6-2 lead, but the Cobbers would not go quietly, as they also scored twice in the sixth, and left two on base in the seventh after scoring a run to cut the lead to 6-5. However, Sam Carlson (So., St. James, Minn.) was able to hold the Cobbers in place and earned his first save of the season after taking over for the final two outs of the game.

Senior Chris Kelly (Savage, Minn.) got his first win of the season after throwing 6.1 efficient innings in which he gave up five runs, but stuck out seven. After seeing his ERA rise to 7.36 on March 23, Kelly has settled in nicely to lower that ERA to 4.64.

GAME TWO: Concordia 11, Gustavus 9
Game two was a story of the comeback for Gustavus, as it found itself in an 11-2 hole heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. Carlson started the game on the mound for the Gusties, but was forced out after 3.1 innings in which he gave up six runs on six hits. Justin Cunningham (Sr., Red Wing, Minn.) came on relief, but the Cobbers proved relentless and brought across four additional runs (three earned) in Cunningham’s 3.2 innings. Jacob Volness (Jr., Cokato, Minn.) pitched the eighth and ninth and gave up just one run, but the damage looked to be done, as the Cobbers had taken a nine-run lead with just three outs to get.

However, the Gusties put their rally caps on and began the inning with five singles, a double and a walk before Concordia was able to record an out, and by that time had cut the lead to cut the lead to 11-7. Despite the outburst, the Cobbers stuck with pitcher Sam Mattson after he was able to strike out Joe Melles (Jr., Hopkins, Minn.) to earn the first out of the inning. However, Kelly singled in the next at-bat to load the bases. Danny Carlson (So., Plymouth, Minn.) then grounded what looked to be a game-ending bouncer to the shortstop. The Cobbers forced Kelly out at second, but Carlson’s hustle down the first base line looked to be key in forcing a rushed relay throw to first that skipped low and out of play, which allowed Fidler and Sam Warner (Jr., Chanhassen, Minn.) to score and bring the Cobber lead to 11-9. Regular Cobber closer Bryce Feia then came on to relieve Mattson and promptly walked Isaiah Welckle (So., Minneapolis, Minn.) to load the bases and set the stage for a potential dramatic walk-off. But Feia was able to strike out Dalton Mattson (So., Princeton, Minn.) to earn his eighth save of the season and salvage a split for Concordia.

Fuchs lead Gustavus at the plate on the day, as he went a combined 5-of-7 at the dish, including two doubles, a triple and four RBI. The triple gives Fuchs four on the season and puts him in a tie for the conference lead in that category with Bethel’s Bryce Marquardt.

Gustavus will be back in action on Saturday when it will travel to St. Paul to take on the Scots of Macalester (0-14 MIAC). That doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m.

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