MOUNT PLEASANT – Pedro Hernandez (Sr.-Quebradillas, Puerto Rico) supplied the game-winning hit at home for the second time in three nights and Iowa Wesleyan College fought back to open its Midwest Collegiate Conference schedule with an 8-7 win over Clarke College Thursday night.
Hernandez hit a bases-loaded two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Tigers came back from a 5-0 deficit to defeat the Crusaders and win for the fourth time in five games. IWC moved to 9-13 on the season, winning in a game moved up from Sunday to Thursday to beat potentially bad weather forecast for this weekend.
Hernandez’s hit followed up his game-winning home run in extra innings on Tuesday night against Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) College. This time the senior finished a rally in the ninth in a game IWC never led until the final score.
The Tigers trailed 7-6 going into the bottom of the ninth after the Crusaders took the lead in the top of the inning after a pair of errors by IWC. Edder Morales (Sr.-Barquisimeto, Venezuela) started the rally with one out with a single through the left side, and Dick Bargewell (Sr.-Burlington, Wash.) reached on an infield single before Lino Sampson (So.-Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela) was walked intentionally. Hernandez came up with the bases loaded and drilled the ball into the gap in left-center to the wall, and pinch runner Bryson Griffin (Jr.-Provo, Utah) and Bargewell scored easily.
Wesleyan trailed 5-0 after the Crusaders scored twice in the fourth inning, adding on after a three-run second inning to take the lead. The Tigers finally got on the board in the fifth as Adam Dubuque (Jr.-St. Louis, Mo.) and Morales both singled in runs and doubled in both of them to make it 5-4.
IWC tied the score in the sixth when Nelcicio York (Sr.-St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles) homered, but Clarke came back with a run in the top of the seventh to re-take the lead. Wesleyan got that run back in the eighth, though, as Dubuque beat out a potential double-play relay for a fielder’s choice, scoring York.
Derek Zander (Jr.-Colorado Springs, Colo.) got the win for IWC, pitching the final 2/3 of an inning and getting out of a bases-loaded jam with a double play in the top of the ninth. Morales and York both led the offense with three hits each as the Tigers finished with 13 hits.
Chris Briggs led the Crusaders (9-8 overall) with three hits. Justin Hass took the loss, throwing 1 1/3 innings and giving up five hits and three earned runs.
IWC and Clarke will attempt to conclude their three-game series with a doubleheader on Sunday. The games were originally scheduled for Saturday but have tentatively been moved to Sunday due to the forecast of snow on Saturday.
For more information regarding the IWC basketball programs or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; email@example.com e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score IWC 8 Clarke 7