ST. PAUL, Minn. (4/15/09)--Seniors are supposed to lead by example. Cobber senior pitcher Scott Schumacher did exactly that as he threw a complete game and hit a grand slam in the second game against Hamline to help Concordia salvage a split with Hamline on Wednesday in St. Paul. Schumacher's nightcap heroics highlighted an 18-3 win including a 13-run fifth inning. CC dropped the first game 7-2 after allowing four runs in the bottom of the first frame.
The split keeps Concordia's conference record even at 3-3. The Cobbers are now 9-6 overall and have won three of their last four games. Like CC, Hamline is also at .500 in the MIAC as they are now 5-5. The two teams are part of a six-team logjam for fifth place in the league standings. HU is now 13-14 overall.
In both games the Cobbers flexed their sandbag induced power as they clouted five home runs in the series, including four in the second game. Concordia now has 17 on the season which is already more than their total from last season. The school record for home runs in a single season is 29 set back in 2004.
Hamline touched up Cobber starter Eddie Massee for four runs in the first inning of the opener. That would be a hole that Concordia would never be able to crawl out of. Concordia got back to within two at 4-2 in the third inning on a Kyle Johnson home run in the top of the inning. For Johnson it was his team-leading fifth HR of the year. He now has 10 in the past two seasons and 14 for his career. The Cobber comeback would be silenced in the fourth and fifth innings when Hamline scored once in the fourth and then two more in the fifth. One of the turning points in the game came in the top of the fifth when CC loaded the bases with only one out. Kyle Johnson then popped up the first pitch behind second base and the Cobber rally would die one batter later after a foul out.
The Piper's three insurance runs cemented the first game and starting pitcher Matt Mullendore then tip-toed his way through the sixth and seventh innings to pick up his fourth win of the year.
Hamline tried to duplicate their feat in the series finale as they scored three runs in the first two innings and even took a 3-2 lead into the fifth inning. That's when Concordia ripped the wheels off the Piper cart by scoring 13 runs in the fifth and putting their claim to the series split. In the inning, Concordia scored 13 runs, seven of which were unearned, knocked out 10 hits, had a pair of long balls and sent 18 batters to the plate. Schumacher started the barrage by hitting a grand slam after an error helped CC load the bases with one out. Tony Emmerich also hammered out a dinger in the inning, his second of the season.
Besides Schumacher and Emmerich, junior Jake Krause and Nick Lewis also went deep for the Cobbers. For Krause it was his first collegiate home run.
Schumacher also had the Pipers' number on the mound. After surrendering the early three runs, he settled down and found the groove and allowed only two hits in the final five innings. After the second inning he only allowed one runner past first base. He retired the final six Hamline batters of the game to earn his second win of the year. Overall he gave up six hits while striking out three in his second complete game of the season.
At the plate Concordia had 18 hits in the second game and posted a double-digit run total for the third time in the past four games. Lewis was 3-for-4 in the nightcap and had four RBI's. He was one of three CC players to collect three hits in the second game - all three were in the final four spots of the batting order. Besides Lewis, Emmerich went 3-for-5 with three RBI's and Erick Sykora was 3-for-5. Sykora also had two hits in the opener and was 5-for-8 in the series. He upped his season average to .311 and is one of eight Cobber regulars hitting over .300 for the year.
Concordia will hopefully host their home opener on Thursday, Apr. 16 when they face Macalester at 2:30 p.m. Both teams are a part of the logjam in fifth place and the series will be another in a long line of key double dips in conference play.