MOORHEAD — Concordia Cobbers senior Sean McGuire flashed his versatility against North Dakota State in a nonconference baseball game earlier this month.
He played all nine positions on the diamond as the Cobbers lost to the Division I Bison by a single run.
“That was a really fun game,” said McGuire, who also went 4-for-4 with two RBIs against NDSU.
The Cobbers infielder is one of the reasons Concordia is making its first appearance in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoffs for the first time since 2015.
The No. 6-seeded Cobbers play at No. 3 seed St. Mary’s at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, in the single-elimination round of the MIAC tournament. The winner advances into the double-elimination round of the tournament.
“Our seniors haven’t played these types of meaningful games yet,” Cobbers head coach Chris Coste said.
The Cobbers (17-18) won the first two games (before the Oles won the third) in a best-of-3 set at St. Olaf last weekend to earn a spot in the MIAC playoffs.
“We’re confident that we can compete with anyone,” said McGuire, from Fergus Falls, Minn. “We had to find that ability to be confident with each other that we could compete with anyone. We’ve kind of found that here down the stretch.”
McGuire, who went to high school at Fergus Falls Hillcrest, is thankful for his senior baseball season after last spring’s season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. He also lost his senior football season with the Cobbers last fall due to COVID-19. McGuire played quarterback for the football team.
The 6-foot, 205-pound McGuire felt there was a good chance he would have been Concordia’s starting QB had there been a football season last fall.
“It was really disappointing to lose my senior of football, but you could kind of see it coming,” McGuire said. “I was really hoping that baseball would happen and it did.”
McGuire is batting .358 with seven doubles, three triples, three home runs and 22 RBIs in 34 games this season. He’s got a .423 on-base percentage heading into the MIAC postseason. McGuire leads the team in batting average.
“His multisport competitiveness is what makes him a great athlete,” Coste said. “He’s an amazing leader and it shows. Even as a freshman, he had extraordinary leadership skills.”
McGuire has been on the football and baseball teams for all four seasons during his time at Concordia. A three-sport athlete in high school, he said it was too hard to decide between football and baseball once he got to college.
“I loved them both,” McGuire said.
Coste said McGuire’s competitive mindset translates to the baseball diamond.
“When the game is on the line, he’s a quarterback,” Coste said. “He has that mentality.”
Even though he has the option due to an NCAA eligibility waiver, McGuire said he isn’t going to return to Concordia next school so his college career will end at the conclusion of this baseball season. He plans to attend medical school.
Coste said McGuire is the epitome of a Concordia athlete with his ability to play multiple sports along with excelling in the classroom.
“He’s an amazing athlete, he’s going to be a doctor and he’s ultra competitive,” Coste said.
McGuire said it’s “weird” to think his college athletic career is soon coming to an end, and come next August, he won’t be preparing for a football season for the first time in about a decade.
“I will have the month of August (free) for the first time in 10 years because of football,” McGuire said. “It will be strange. It will sink in and we’ll figure it out.”
In the game in which he played all positions against NDSU, McGuire first played catcher. He then pitched, played first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left field, center field and right field.
“I started at catcher because I wanted to get that one out of the way,” said McGuire, who has primarily split time between first and third base this season.
McGuire has relished his final baseball season with the Cobbers, especially after having an abbreviated junior campaign due to COVID-19.
“This year has been so fun to be able to play,” McGuire said. “We’ve been able to play a ton of games. It has been a lot of fun to compete with the guys. Competition is what you work so hard for all four years.”