MOUNT PLEASANT - The Iowa Wesleyan College baseball team continues to hold steady, if not gaining ground in the Midwest Collegiate Conference race after splitting a doubleheader against Grand View University Wednesday afternoon at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.
IWC defeated the Vikings 7-4 in the first game of the twinbill, jumping out to a big lead early. The Tigers were unable to hold onto a substantial lead in the second game, though, and lost 9-7 to Grand View to drop to 17-19 overall and 8-5 in the MCC.
Wesleyan remains one-half game behind Grand View in the conference standings, as the Vikings are now 8-4 in league play (16-23 overall). The two teams will decide the regular season series Thursday with a single nine-inning game at 3 p.m. in Des Moines.
The Tigers got off to a good start to the day, building a 5-0 lead after two innings and scoring in the first four innings for a 7-0 lead. Marco Prieto
(Sr.-Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
) hit a two-run home run as part of a four-run second inning, and Michael Mendoza
(Sr.-San Gabriel, Calif.
) hit a solo homer in the third as IWC took control.
Starting pitcher Brad Pollock
) was in control into the sixth inning, when GVU scored twice after leading off the inning with three straight singles. A double play helped curb the damage, though, and Colton Hopwood
) finished the game out in the seventh, allowing two hits and a pair of unearned runs but escaping serious danger. Pollock picked up his third win of the season, allowing five hits and two runs (one earned) while striking out two and walking one.
Things looked good for the Tigers early in the second game as well, as an early 1-0 Grand View lead was erased with three runs in the bottom of the first and two more in the second. Ryan Doeppel
) and Drew Koeppel
) hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, and Todd Christensen
(Sr.-Redondo Beach, Calif.
) and Doeppel both hit RBI singles in the second inning.
Everything blew up in the fourth inning, though, as the Vikings received a leadoff walk and went on to score six runs, chasing starting pitcher Darryl Sexton
) from the game. Ten batters went to the plate for Grand View, with Micah Loegering recording the biggest blow with a bases-loaded three-run double.
The Vikings added another run in the fifth for an 8-5 lead, but IWC came back with a two-run homer from Mendoza in the bottom of the fifth to close within 8-7. The Tigers got no closer, though, missing a chance to tie in the sixth when Christian Arredondo
(Sr.-Sun Valley, Calif.
) reached on a single and stole second and third with one out, and GVU added an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Doeppel, Mendoza and Corey Amerson
(Sr.-Mount Pleasant, Texas
) all finished with two hits each in the second game, and Doeppel drove in three runs. Sexton took the loss, going 3 1/3 innings and allowing five hits and five runs while striking out three and walking two.Box score Game 1 IWC 7 GVU 4Box score Game 2 GVU 9 IWC 7