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Cougars Earn Split with Concordia-St. Paul

Henry Ojeda, University of Sioux Falls Cougars
University of Sioux Falls

ST. PAUL, MN — Right-handed pitcher Henry Ojeda (3-4) threw a strong game and senior Damian Kardas went 3-for-5, with two homers and three runs batted in, to lead Sioux Falls (16-22, 12-12 NSIC) to a split with Concordia-St. Paul (15-11, 8-6) in the Golden Bears’ home opener at Barnes Field.

The Cougars dropped the opener 5-2 but came back to rout the Golden Bears 10-2 in game two.

CONCORDIA-ST. PAUL 5, SIOUX FALLS 2
Concordia-St. Paul junior righty Adam Kramer (5-1) took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning before yielding Trevor Crow’s lead-off chopper through the left side of the infield. He allowed two runs on one hit with three strikeouts and two walks before handing the ball over to Adam Fredericks, who retired the Cougar side in the seventh to earn the save.

Meanwhile, the Golden Bears jumped on USF junior Derek Fischer early with a four-run first inning. They tacked on an insurance run in the fourth on a fielder’s choice after opening the frame with back-to-back base hits.

USF scored its only two runs in the sixth. After Crow broke up Kramer’s no-no, Durkin was hit by a pitch and Ireland reached on a muffed throw to load the bases. Corey Vasquez sacrificed home Crow and Durkin later scored on a passed ball.

Fischer (3-8) was charged with the loss. He worked six innings and allowed five runs on eight hits. He sfanned nine and issued three walks.

SIOUX FALLS 10, CONCORDIA-ST. PAUL 2
A home run fest propelled the Cougars to a 10-2 romp over Concordia-St. Paul.  The Cougars got five homers from four different players and Damian Kardas belted two while USF got a stellar effort on the mound from Henry Ojeda.

It was the Golden Bears that started the game of long ball, when Greg Larpenter blasted a solo shot to left field that gave Concordia a 1-0 lead after one.

Kardas’ moon shot in the second tied the game and the Cougars took a 3-1 lead in the fourth when Jeremy Varner singled and was plated with Kelby Beste’s round-tripper.

Ryan Fobes would drive home Beste in the sixth, who had laced a one-out double to left field. Noah Durkin drilled a lead-off homer in the seventh before Vasquez and Kardas singled and stood at the corners for Varner. The Cougars’ third-sacker did not disappoint, blasting a three-run homer to dead center to give USF the 8-1 advantage.

Concordia scratched a run across in the eighth before Kardas capped the Cougars’ scoring onslaught with a two-run homer in the ninth.

Ojeda was sensational the entire afternoon, scattering five hits with the solo homer being his only blemish. He walked four and struck out four. Fagely took the loss for the Golden Bears, falling to 3-3. He worked 6.1 innings and was charged with eight runs on 12 hits with three strikeouts.

The Cougars out-hit the homestanding Bears, 14-6 and the three through seven spots in the USF lineup combined to hit 11-20 with four of the five USF homers. Kardas paced the Cougars, going 3-for-5 with two homers, three RBI and three runs scored. Varner finished 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and two runs scored. Beste was 3-for-4 with a walk, drove in two Cougars and scored two runs.

USF and Concordia will wrap up the four-game series Monday with a double-header that is scheduled to begin at noon.

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Courtesy:University of Sioux Falls

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