PEOSTA – Iowa Wesleyan College crushed five home runs in the opening game of a doubleheader against Clarke College on Tuesday, but the Crusaders came back in the final inning of the second game to gain a split of the twinbill.
IWC defeated the Crusaders 9-3 in the first game before Clarke came back for an 8-7 win in the second game. The Tigers are now 10-6 in the Midwest Collegiate Conference (25-16 overall).
Wesleyan trailed briefly in the opener as the Crusaders touched starter Hector Acevedo (Sr.-Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) for an early lead. After a walk and an error, Aaron Ciaburri hit a three-run home run to give Clarke the 3-0 lead.
The Tigers got two runs back in the second on a two-run homer by Diego Marquez (Jr.-Los Mochis Sinaloa, Mexico). IWC then took the lead with four runs in the fifth, with Nelcicio York (Jr.-St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles) hitting a three-run homer and Edder Morales (Jr.-Barquisimeto, Venezuela) adding a solo shot later in the inning.
Devin Smith (Sr.-Lynwood, Ill.) added a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 8-3, and Wesleyan still wasn’t done as Frany Cruz (Sr.-Toa Baja, Puerto Rico) delivered a solo blast in the seventh for the final margin.
After a rough first inning Acevedo was dominant the rest of the way, allowing just one hit in the final six innings while striking out 12 in the game. He improved to 7-1 this season and lowered his earned run average to 3.70.
The Tigers rapped out 13 hits in the second game but were done in by a bad fifth inning as well as final at bat heroics by the Crusaders. IWC took a 3-0 lead in the second inning as Morales and Smith delivered RBI hits, but Clarke scored five times in the third to take a 6-3 lead.
The Crusaders scored another run in the fourth, but Wesleyan answered with three in the fifth and one in the sixth to tie. The game was tied going into the bottom of the seventh, but with one out Ryan Kelly singled and then Chris Briggs doubled him in with the winning run. Edgar Hernandez (Jr.-San Bruno, Calif.) took the loss for the Tigers, allowing the final run after pitching 2 1/3 in relief.
Morales finished the night with six hits in seven at bats, while Smith had five hits in six at bats, drove in four runs, scored four runs and stole three bases. York added five RBIs and Cruz had four hits while pushing his hitting streak to 13 games and his season batting average to .412.
The Tigers return to play on Wednesday with a game against the University of Northern Iowa, to be played at Riverfront Stadium in Waterloo. The single nine-inning game will start at 6 p.m. and will be IWC’s second game this season against an NCAA Division I opponent.
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 9 Clarke 3
Box score Game 2 Clarke 8 IWC 7