MOUNT PLEASANT – Edder Morales (Sr.-Barquisimeto, Venezuela) homered in all four of his at bats in the second game of Iowa Wesleyan College’s baseball doubleheader against Grand View University, helping the Tigers complete a sweep of the Vikings Thursday afternoon on a warm and windy day at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.
IWC defeated Grand View by scores of 14-6 and 16-10 to complete a three-game sweep over the Vikings over the past two days and move 2 ½ games ahead of GVU in the Midwest Collegiate Conference standings. Wesleyan solidified its hold on first place in the MCC, moving to 9-2 in conference play (17-15 overall) while the Vikings dropped to 6-4 in league play (16-14 overall).
The Tigers did it with a powerful offense that hammered out 32 hits and 12 home runs on Thursday, including eight homers in the second game. Coupled with IWC’s 10-4 win at GVU on Wednesday, the Tigers piled up 40 runs, 48 hits and 16 homers over the three-game series.
Six different players homered Thursday afternoon, led by Morales, who seemingly couldn’t get any hotter but outdid himself yet again. The senior shortstop came into the game hitting .458 with eight home runs and 31 RBIs in the Tigers’ first 30 games, ranking among the national leaders in the NAIA all of those categories.
Morales was 2-for-4 in the first game of the twinbill with a three-run home run, and then followed that up by going 4-for-4 in the second game. He was one of three to hit solo homers in the first inning, joining teammates Jared Zueck (Sr.-Williamsville, Ill.) and Dick Bargewell (Sr.-Burlington, Wash.), and hit a two-run shot in the second, a three-run blast in the third and another two-run homer in the fifth.
Morales finished with eight RBIs in the second game, boosting his average to .479 and already topping his home run and RBI totals from last year, when he was named First Team All-MCC and ranked in the top five in the league in both categories. His 13 home runs is tied for third nationally in the NAIA and his 55 hits ranks sixth nationally.
Morales was far from the only Tiger hitting on Thursday. Zueck was 5-for-7 in the doubleheader and homered twice, pushing his average over .400, and Pedro Hernandez (Sr.-Quebradillas, Puerto Rico) also hit two homers and was 4-for-5 with five RBIs. Adam DuBuque (Jr.-St. Louis, Mo.) also had four hits and Josh Sturges (Jr.-Murray, Utah) had three hits and four runs scored, as well as a home run in the first game, his fourth homer in the series.
Tiger starters Jansel Encarnacion (Jr.-Azua, Dominican Republic) and Chris Walls (Sr.-North Liberty, Ind.) were the recipients of excellent run support and picked up the win despite also being victimized by wind and the long ball at times. Encarnacion pitched five innings in the opener, allowing five hits and four runs while striking out five and getting his fourth win of the season.
Walls went 4 1/3 in the second game and allowed seven runs on six hits while striking out three. He held the Vikings to just two hits and two runs in first four innings, but trailing 13-2 going into the fifth, Grand View erupted for eight runs to not just stave off losing on the 10-run rule but also making it a game. Edgar Hernandez (Sr.-Jalisco, Mexico) eventually came on and pitched the final 2 2/3 innings to close out the game.
Brady Wathen had three hits and two home runs to lead Grand View offensively. He was one of five Vikings to hit homers as Grand View hit six home runs of its own on Thursday.
The Tigers will get the Easter weekend off before returning to play Tuesday afternoon with a non-conference doubleheader against Culver-Stockton (Mo.) College. Game time at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex will be 3 p.m., and a live broadcast will be available at www.iwc.edu/onlinemedia.
For more information regarding the IWC baseball program 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 Game 1 IWC 14 GVU 6
Box score Game 2 IWC 16 GVU 10