MINNEAPOLIS -- Concordia-Moorhead gave retiring head coach Bucky Burgau an improbable going-away present Wednesday, beating Minnesota for the first time in school history.
The 3-2 victory was the 711th of Burgau's 36-year career and marks the 32nd season in which the Cobbers have won at least 15 games.
"It is a pretty special way to go out," Burgau said. "This is a memory I will have for a very long time. It was like the players on this team willed the victory."
The Cobbers were beaten in every statistical category except for the final score. Concordia was outhit 9-3 but a quartet of pitchers were able to get out of run-scoring jams, stranding a total of 12 Minnesota runners and holding the Gopher offense without a run for the final six innings.
"I give those four guys a lot of the credit," Burgau said. "They battled through many tough situations and beat one heck of a lineup."
Concordia jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, as Eric Carlsen led off the game with a double down the left field line and scored on a ground out. Braden Rahman then scored the second run after reaching on a fielder's choice and coming home on a two-out double to right field by Devin Johnson.
The Gophers tied it with a pair of runs in the third, and threatened to add more, but relief pitcher William Jacobson was able to get a strikeout and fly ball to right field to end the inning. Jacobson came on in relief for starter Justin Anderson who pitched the first 2.1 innings. Jacobson proceeded to throw 2.2 perfect innings in picking up his first win. He retired all eight batters he faced and struck out three.
But the Cobbers came right back in the fourth. Johnson singled to start the inning, advanced to second on a walk, then went to third on a passed ball. That allowed sophomore catcher Tim Carlson to drive him in with a ground ball to first.
Jacobson gave way to Ross Merriman in the fifth and the sophomore right hander pitched the next three frames and only gave up one hit. Merriman then turned the ball over to closer Bryce Feia who closed out his career by earning his sixth save of the season. Feia allowed a pair of hits and had the potential game-winning run at first base but then induced a fly ball out and fielder's choice ground out to finish off the improbable upset victory.