MOUNT PLEASANT – St. Ambrose University pitcher Zack Rohlf shut out Iowa Wesleyan College for eight innings and the Tigers mustered just six hits total in a 2-1 loss to the Bees in a nine-inning Midwest Collegiate Conference game Tuesday afternoon at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.
Rohlf struck out 11 Wesleyan batters and IWC lost for the third time in its last four conference games and slipped to 10-5 in the MCC (19-19 overall). The Tigers also lost for the second time this year to a St. Ambrose team that is 8-20 on the season (4-10 in conference), this time in a scheduled nine-inning game that wrapped up a series that started with a doubleheader on March 23.
IWC was unable to solve Rohlf all day, as the freshman nearly equaled his season innings pitched count and pitched a complete game. Rohlf, who had a 6.75 earned run average in 10 2/3 innings pitched coming in, scattered six hits over nine innings, striking out 11 while walking zero and only allowing two runners as far as second base. One of them was Pedro Hernandez (Sr.-Quebradillas, Puerto Rico), who hit a solo home run in bottom of the ninth to cut the Fighting Bees’ lead to 2-1 and give Wesleyan its lone run.
Tiger pitcher Derek Zander (Jr.-Colorado Springs, Colo.) was almost as good as Rohlf, going 7 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out five. Zander weaved his way out of a bases loaded situation in the first inning but then settled in and pitched well except for one main mistake.
St. Ambrose took the lead in the third when catcher Mike O’Neill hit a solo home run to straightaway center field for a 1-0 lead. The Bees scored their other run in the seventh inning, manufacturing a run when Sean Murphy led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Matt Lucas then came in as a pinch runner, and a wild pitch by Zander moved him to third. Lucas then scored on a grounder to second base by Zachary Krisciunas, as Josh Sturges (Jr.-Murray, Utah) was unable to field the ball cleanly the first time and had to take the out at first while Lucas scored.
Dick Bargewell (Sr.-Burlington, Wash.) was the lone IWC player to finish with two hits. O’Neill, Murphy, David Norkus and Justin Brauer all had two hits each to lead St. Ambrose.
The Tigers slipped one-half game behind William Penn in the MCC standings and now face a huge series against the Statesmen this weekend in Oskaloosa. The three-game set starts with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. in Oskaloosa.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score SAU 2 IWC 1