WHEATON, Ill. -- Despite taking an early lead over Concordia College (Minn.), the Concordia-Chicago Cougars struggled to keep a consistent offense rolling before a late RBI double helped secure a 4-3 victory over the Cobbers.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- With this morning's win, CUC extends its winning streak into double-digits. The Cougars are now 10-1, with their last loss coming on March 1.
- Concordia-Chicago was exceptional from the hill this morning, as Alex Crinigan picked up the win and Mike Tobin earned the save. Between the two, the Cougars struck out nine Cobbers.
- The Cougars had just five hits during game one.
- An eighth inning RBI single from Bryan VanDuser plated the go-ahead runs and allowed CUC to earn the 4-3 win. VanDuser went 2-4 against Concordia College and collected two RBIs.
The Cougars' offense showed up early this morning, as Jose Mercado led off the game with a walk and Brayden Benavides found his way to first right after being hit by a pitch. The following two CUC batters would be retired in order, but a double steal from Mercado and Benavides brought Keegan Tyrell to the plate with runners in scoring position. From there, the senior smashed a ball through CC's outfield to score the two-run double.
Crinigan went to work in the bottom of the first, tallying one strike out and two fly outs from the mound.
In the bottom of the second, the Cobbers plated a run with two hits and a fielder's choice, but the rally was short lived as Crinigan recorded his third strikeout of the day to send CUC into the top of the third.
Both teams battled back and forth for the next five innings, as neither team could bring a runner around to add to the score.
Finally, in the top of the eighth, Mercado reached on a single to right field and Benavides reached on an outfield error that pushed Mercado to third. On the very next pitch, Benavides stole second and gave VanDuser the chance to score the go-ahead runs.
After battling through the count, VanDuser finally connected on a pitch that shot up the middle and easily scored Mercado and Benavides, giving CUC a much-needed cushion, with a 4-1 lead.
As Crinigan's day was done, Mike Tobin entered the game for CUC on the mound. Striking out the first batter he saw, the Cougar defense later struggled to make the plays behind him and allowed the Cobbers to score an unearned run. Despite the struggles, Tobin responded with a two-out strikeout and sent the game into the ninth inning with the Cougars leading 4-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Cobbers struck again with a lead off double. The following batter reached on an error, placing runners on first and third and threatening CUC's chance at a victory. Tobin continued to work through the jam and produced a ground ball double-play, allowing just one of Concordia College's runs to score. With the bases cleared, Tobin fanned his final batter of the game and solidified the Cougar victory.
The Cougars will return to the field this evening at 5 p.m. to take on Wheaton College. For more information, visit cucougars.com/coverage.