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Cobbers handle Blue Hawks: Burgau wins No. 700, 701 as Concordia completes sweep against Dickinson State

Press Photos by Meaghan MacDonald Concordia College (Minn.) senior Zach Hinkemeyer beats out a play to first base as Dickinson State sophomore Jeff VanCleave, middle, and senior Joe Binstock, back, cover the play on Friday at Astoria Field and Southside Municipal Ballpark.1 / 2
Press Photos by Meaghan MacDonald Dickinson State freshman Tim Catalano pitches during the opening game of the doubleheader with Concordia College (Minn.) on Friday at Astoria Field and Southside Municipal Ballpark.2 / 2

The home opener for the Dickinson State baseball team didn’t turn out the way it was hoping.

Concordia College (Minn.) swept the Blue Hawks 2-1 and 9-1 in a doubleheader on Friday at Astoria Field and Southside Municipal Ballpark.

“It’s always hard to play this game especially when you’re down and they just kept putting on and putting on every inning …,” DSU head coach Jason Watson said. “They did a very good job of getting on base and executing.”

The 2-1 game was not just another win for the Cobbers, but a monumental victory for head coach Bucky Burgau. In his 36th season with Concordia, Burgau earned his 700th career victory and was humbled to receive it.

“I’m really fortunate first of all for Concordia to let me be their head baseball coach for 36 years and had a lot good players and a lot of good coaches have come through here,” Burgau said. “It’s not a one-man show, it takes a team and 700 is fun when I retire and look at it down the road, but right now I’m more excited about this team and building this team to do some good things.”

DSU’s sole run came in the bottom of the first as left fielder Chris Mjelstad hit a sacrifice fly to drive in second baseman Joe Binstock.

However, the first game for DSU was headlined by a solid pitching performance from freshman right-handed starter Tim Catalano.

Concordia scored its first two runs in the top of the second inning when center fielder Jordan Gefroh doubled to left-center to bring in designated hitter Michael Olson. In the next at bat, first baseman Ryan Smith singled home Gefroh.

Olson went 2 for 3 with a run while Gefroh went 1 for 3 with the other run and a RBI.

“Tim pitched very well and gave us the opportunity to win,” Watson said. “When you have one hit, it’s hard to score runs and got beat 2-1, but I was very impressed with what Tim did.”

After the two-run second, it was smooth sailing for Catalano as he threw a complete game, allowed two runs on nine hits and struck out one.

“The first game we came out good, just pieced the ball up, pitched well just tried to do our jobs,” Catalano said.

The Cobbers used the 30-minute intermission between games to jump back on the bus. Concordia got out of the cold and in turn its offense started to heat up in the second game.

Jeff VanCleave got the start for the Blue Hawks and was challenged by Concordia right away. The Cobbers scored at least one run in each of the first four innings. VanCleave was tagged with the loss after he lasted three innings and gave up four runs on eight hits.

“We didn’t do what we were working on all week and it’s kind of been the trade of the whole year,” Watson said. “We don’t do the fundamentals stuff very correctly and it shows.”

DSU didn’t get its first hit until first baseman Miles O’Donnell singled to left in the bottom of the fourth inning. The team’s lone run came an inning later as Eric Contreras ripped a RBI doubled to deep right-center, which scored Caleb Burgard.

Contreras went 1 for 3 with a RBI, while Burgard finished 1 for 3 and scored a run.

DSU continues its week of home games with its first conference matchup of the season against Valley City State. The Blue Hawks and the Vikings square off in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. today.

“Picking the sticks up, waking up the bats and just picking each other up,” Catalano said, regarding what the team needs to do moving forward. “It’s a team game and you can’t win or lose by yourself. We’re a family.”

CC 020 000 0 — 2 9 0

DSU 100 000 0 — 1 1 0

CC, Jackson Meland and Tim Carlson. DSU, Tim Catalano and Seth Flynn.

W–Meland. L–Catalano. HR–none.

Highlights: CC, Michael Olson, 2 for 3, run; Jordan Gefroh 1 for 3, 2B, run, RBI; Ryan Smith 3 for 3, RBI. DSU, Joe Binstock 1 for 2, run; Chris Mjelstad 0 for 2, RBI.

CC 211 102 2 — 9 11 1

DSU 000 010 0 — 1 5 5

CC, Shawn Krueger, Bryce Feia (7) and Jordan Domine. DSU, Jeff VanCleave, Taylor Krenzael (4), Sean White (7) and Seth Flynn.

W–Krueger. L–VanCleave. HR–none.

Highlights: CC, Ryan Smith 2 for 4, 2 runs, RBI; Ross Merriman 2 for 4, 2 runs; Devin Johnson 1 for 2, run, RBI; Michael Olson 2 for 4, run, RBI. DSU, Eric Contreras 1 for 3, RBI; Caleb Burgard 1 for 3, run.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.