MOUNT PLEASANT – Pedro Hernandez (Jr.-Quebradillas, Puerto Rico) drove in three runs and Jorge Martinez (Jr.-Tucson, Ariz.) picked up his fifth win of the season as Iowa Wesleyan College came back to split a doubleheader against St. Ambrose University Thursday evening at the Mapleleaf Community Complex.
The Tigers won 5-1 in Thursday’s second game after dropping a 6-2 decision in the opener. The loss to SAU snapped a seven-game win streak, but the win in the second game improved IWC’s season record to 19-11 overall, 4-1 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference.
Wesleyan struggled offensively for most of the night before finally coming through in the fourth and fifth innings of the second game. Hernandez had a pair of key at-bats, walking with the bases loaded in the fourth to tie the game at 1-1 and then doubling in a pair of runs one inning later. Diego Marquez (Jr.-Los Mochas Sinaloa, Mexico) also had a bases loaded infield single in the fifth for the go-ahead run in what would become a four-run rally.
The late burst ensured that another strong outing from Martinez was not wasted, as the junior continued to dominate most of the night. Martinez held the Fighting Bees hitless for the first four innings before allowing a run and two hits in the fifth to tie the game. He struck out three and left the game with the lead after IWC’s big fifth inning, and Hector Acevedo (Sr.-Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) came on and struck out four in the final two innings to close it out.
St. Ambrose won the first game of the night after the Tigers’ were unable to come up with the timely hits and hurt themselves defensively with three errors in the game. The Bees scored four times in the second inning on just two hits but were aided by a pair of Wesleyan errors. Three of the runs against IWC starter Milton Gonzalez (Jr.-Canovanas, Puerto Rico) were unearned, but the hole was one the Tigers would never climb out of. After SAU scored again in the third for a 5-0 lead, Wesleyan scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings but could’ve had more, stranding runners at third in both frames. The Fighting Bees added one more run in the seventh for the final margin.
Zach Starkey (Sr.-Aurora, Ill.) and Jared Zueck (Jr.-Williamsville, Ill.) both had two hits in the opener to lead the hitting attack. Gonzalez pitched a complete game and allowed three earned runs on six hits while striking out seven.
Will Fuentes grabbed the win and David Norkus picked up the save in the opener for St. Ambrose, which with the split for the night is now 8-11 overall, 2-3 in the MCC. The Tigers and Bees’ games on Thursday were a makeup date for Tuesday’s games that were postponed due to rain. The two teams were originally set to meet again in mid-April to play the doubleheader, but when St. Ambrose’s home non-conference doubleheader against the University of St. Francis (Ill.) on Thursday was cancelled the decision was made to get in the conference doubleheader Thursday down at Wesleyan.
The Tigers’ are now scheduled for a big weekend doubleheader against William Penn University on Saturday and Sunday that starts with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. The Statesmen are the only team currently undefeated in the MCC standings.
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 Game 1 SAU 6 IWC 2
Box score Game 2 IWC 5 SAU 1