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Baseball - Sun, Apr. 29, 2012
LA CROSSE, WIS. - Needing a big final weekend to ensure its spot in the Midwest Collegiate Conference Postseason Tournament, the Iowa Wesleyan College baseball team delivered with a three-game sweep of Viterbo (Wis.) University to qualify for the upcoming conference tourney.

The Tigers swept a doubleheader from the V-Hawks on Friday by scores of 7-4 and 8-1, and then capped the series with a 6-2 win on Saturday. With the three wins Wesleyan clinched the fourth spot in the final MCC standings and the fourth seed in the five-team conference tournament which opens Tuesday at A.J. Spiegel Park in Peosta, Iowa.

Iowa Wesleyan (21-29 overall, 14-10 MCC) now will face fifth seed William Penn University in the first game of the double-elimination MCC Tournament at noon on Tuesday. The winner of that game advances to face No. 1 seed St. Ambrose University at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the third game of the tourney, while the loser drops into an elimination game Wednesday at noon.

IWC received superior starting pitching in all three games, as Jacob Sanchez (Sr.-Brawley, Calif.), Erik Allen (Sr.-Monrovia, Calif.) and Joseph Neilson (Jr.-Bakersfield, Calif.) combined to allow just three runs in 16 innings. All three picked up victories, allowing just a total of 11 hits and all leaving the game with significant leads.

Sanchez went five innings in the opener, allowing just two hits and striking out seven for his tenth win of the season. Already the school's single season strikeout leader, Sanchez tied the school record of ten wins in a season originally set by Keith Hall in 1995 and tied by both Jansel Encarnacion and Jorge Martinez last year.

Elliot Armstrong (Sr.-Chicago, Ill.) and Michael Mendoza (Sr.-San Gabriel, Calif.) led the Tiger offense. Armstrong continued his big week with six more hits and four runs scored, while Mendoza had four hits and five RBIs, including two doubles. Mendoza collected a record of his own, setting the school single season record for doubles and finishing the weekend with 20 doubles, two more than the previous record of 18 set by Randy Rosa in 2007. He also has set the IWC career record for doubles and now has 36 two-baggers on the season, well ahead of the record of 31 previously set by Nathan Taylor (2002-05).

Wesleyan finished the regular season two games behind MCC co-champions St. Ambrose and Grand View University. Viterbo (9-30 overall, 7-17 MCC) finished eighth in the regular season standings and did not qualify for the conference tournament.

Box score Fri. Game 1 IWC 7 Viterbo 4
Box score Fri. Game 2 IWC 8 Viterbo 1
Box score Sat. IWC 6 Viterbo 2