MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/21/09)--Concordia capped their grueling stretch of eight games in five days by falling twice to Bethel 5-3, 9-4 in Moorhead on Tuesday. The two losses deal the playoff hopes of the Cobbers a severe blow. Concordia is now 4-8 in league play and three games behind the fourth and final MIAC playoff spot with eight conference game remaining in the season. CC is now 11-12 overall on the year.
The two losses were made even more painful because of how Concordia lost the first game. Leading 3-2 heading into the top of the seventh inning, the Cobbers conceded a one-out, three-run home run that proved to be the game-deciding hit. CC did put runners on first and third in the bottom of the inning but had their rally hopes dashed on a fly ball to right field to end the game.
The second game also went down to the wire. Bethel (18-16/9-7 MIAC) led for almost the entire game but the Cobbers continued to reel the Royals in throughout the game and only trailed 5-4 heading into the top of the seventh. That's when the game once again went sour for Concordia as they gave up four runs, three of which were unearned, in the inning and could never recover - falling 9-4.
Concordia senior catcher Kyle Johnson continues to make his bid for league MVP and All-American honors. Johnson went 4-for-4 in the series and clouted his league-leading ninth long ball of the year. He is now three HR's shy of breaking the single-season school record of 11 set by Ryan Hebrink in 2004. Johnson upped his slugging percentage in conference game and now has an unthinkable 1.114 slugging percentage in the team's 12 MIAC games this year.
The top of the Cobber lineup did most of the damage on the day for CC. The top five players in the batting order combined to go 12-for-33 (.363) in the series, score all seven runs and drive in all seven runs. Besides Kyle Johnson, Tony Emmerich and Scott Schumacher also had multiple-hit days for the Cobbers. Emmerich, now batting in the No.2 spot in the order, was 3-for-7 in the series and scored three of the team's seven runs. Schumacher was also 3-for-7 on the day and he drove in four of the team's seven runs.
Cobber starting pitcher Adam Johnson pitched well in the first game with his only regrettable moment coming in the seventh when he allowed the three-run home run. He pitched a complete game, allowed seven hits and just before the middle of the seventh inning had retired nine straight batters.
In the second game, lefthanded Chris Fellows settled down after allowing fours runs in the first three innings and left the game after completing 4.2 innings of work.
Concordia will have a mini-break before hosting a pair of series on the weekend. The Cobbers will welcome St. Mary's on Saturday, Apr. 25 at 1 p.m. and then play Carleton on Sunday, Apr. 26 at noon.