WATERLOO – Iowa Wesleyan College led off the game with two home runs but was silenced the rest of the way and William Penn University won the Midwest Collegiate Conference Baseball Tournament with a 5-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Riverfront Stadium.
The top seeded Statesmen eliminated the Tigers from the tourney and clinched the MCC’s automatic berth to the NAIA National Championship Tournament. IWC ended its season with a 29-22 record and was eliminated from the conference tournament for the first time in three years after winning the tourney in 2007 and 2008.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Jared Zueck (Jr.-Williamsville, Ill.) and Roderick Barcelo (Jr.-Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) led off with back-to-back home runs to left field, but a day that could not have started any better soon went sour. IWC would finish with just three more hits the rest of the way, including just one after the third inning.
Iowa Wesleyan also paid for not taking advantage of several chances to open up an even bigger lead in the first few innings. The Tigers stranded runners in scoring position in the second and third innings, and WPU pitcher Keith Rizor settled down after that and at one point set down 12 straight IWC batters.
The Statesmen came back from the early deficit first with a run in the second inning and then a big fourth inning that proved to be the difference on the scoreboard. Penn scored four times in the fourth, with Eddie Sobczak delivering the big blow with a three-run home run to right-center to make it 5-2.
William Penn was quiet the rest of the way, save for a threat in the seventh inning before Hector Acevedo (Sr.-Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) ended a bases-loaded threat with a strikeout and a fly out. The Tigers were unable to mount a threat, though, never advancing a runner past second base after the fourth inning. Rizor allowed just three baserunners in the final six innings, and after Barcelo doubled in the third inning, IWC did not pick up another hit until Jay Olson (Fr.-Agency, Iowa) singled with one out in the ninth.
Rizor allowed five hits and struck out six while walking two. Travis Parker (Jr.-Taylor Ridge, Ill.) took the loss for IWC, allowing nine hits and five runs while striking out three in five innings of work. Acevedo came on and allowed one hit in three innings of relief.
Barcelo and Olson led the Tiger offense with two hits apiece. Barcelo’s two hits snapped a 1-for-19 stretch for him, and the home run was his first since hitting five homers in a three-game series March 21-22 at Ashford University.
Iowa Wesleyan’s 29 wins this season will go down as the fourth-most in a season in school history. The Tigers’ 82 wins over the past three seasons under Head Coach Brett Monaghan also is the second-winningest three-year stretch in school history, behind only the 1993-95 Wesleyan teams that combined to win 88 games over those three years.
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 #1 WPU 5 #3 IWC 2
MCC Tournament Bracket