FORT WORTH, TEXAS – The Iowa Wesleyan College baseball team once again is making its mark against top competition on its spring break, as the Tigers swept a pair of games against nationally ranked Texas Wesleyan University on Friday.
The Tigers picked up a pair of narrow wins over the Rams, who are ranked 14th in the most recent NAIA coaches’ poll. IWC defeated Texas Wesleyan 11-10 in Friday’s first game, and then came back for a 3-2 win in the nightcap, the Tigers’ fourth win this season against a nationally ranked team.
Iowa Wesleyan (11-9 overall) defeated Texas Wesleyan just two days after the Rams (16-6) defeated Abilene Christian University, the 3rd-ranked team in NCAA Division II. The Tigers did it with offense in the opener and came through with defense and a strong pitching performance by Travis Parker (Jr.-Taylor Ridge, Ill.) in the second game.
Edder Morales (Jr.-Barquisimeto, Venezuela) and Devin Smith (Sr.-Lynwood, Ill.) both had three hits and three RBIs in the opener, hitting the ball well in their first games after being switched in the batting order. Morales moved from batting ninth to the lead-off spot, switching places with previous lead-off man Smith.
Both had big hits in IWC rallies in the third and fourth innings in the opener, when the Tigers scored a total of seven runs. The Tigers needed all of them, as the Rams matched IWC almost inning-for-inning and scored six times over the third and fourth innings.
Curt Barnes (Sr.-Lone Tree, Iowa) pitched 5 2/3 innings and kept IWC in the lead from the third inning on and picked up his first win of the season. Edgar Hernandez (Jr.-San Bruno, Calif.) came on for the final 1 1/3 innings and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh to get his first save of the season.
The Tigers got a complete game from Parker in the second game, as the junior allowed nine hits and struck out seven in his first start of the season. Roderick Barcelo (Jr.-Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) was the hitting hero for Iowa Wesleyan, as the left fielder hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning that proved to be the winning run.
Parker also had to work out of a jam in the final inning, as Texas Wesleyan loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. The junior was able to induce TWU’s Leighton Rush into a lazy fly to right to secure the sweep.
Frany Cruz (Sr.-Toa Baja, Puerto Rico) had two more hits and three on the day to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Zach Starkey (Sr.-Aurora, Ill.) also had three hits on the day.
The Tigers are now 4-3 this season against nationally ranked teams and along with a win on Monday over #1 ranked Oklahoma City now have three wins over ranked squads this week. IWC is now 7-4 on its spring break trip and ends the 10-day trip with a doubleheader against Northwood (Texas) University in Cedar Hill, Texas, on Saturday at 1 p.m.
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 11 #14 TWU 10
Box score Game 2 IWC 3 #14 TWU 2