Iowa Wesleyan wrapped up their series against Robert Morris University-Springfield with a double-header Sunday afternoon. The Tigers completed the sweep, defeating the Eagles 12-6 in both games, after picking up an 8-7 win on Saturday.
In the opening game of the double header, Iowa Wesleyan fell behind 2-0 at the end of the first inning. IW was able to get a run back in the top of the second when Michael Rojas scored on a wild pitch. The Tigers tied the game up at 2-2 after Alex Payne scored on an error by the Eagles. RMU-Springfield was able to go back in front in the bottom half of the inning, however.
Iowa Wesleyan added two runs in the top of the fifth to bring the score to 6-4. Rojas doubled to right field and was brought home on a single by Matthew Murphy. Alex Payne followed with a triple to center field, driving in Murphy for the second run of the inning.
The Tigers offense exploded for eight runs in the top of the sixth inning. Chazz Brown got things started for IW with a solo home run to left field with one out. RMU-Springfield struggled on the mound and loaded the bases, which then brought up Alex Payne to the plate. Payne cleared the bases with a grand slam to put the Tigers ahead 11-6. Sebastian Gonzalez would score the final run of the inning for IW when Brown singled to center field.
Both teams would fail to score in the seventh inning, and Iowa Wesleyan secured the 12-6 victory. William Hlady earned the win for the Tigers, and Alex Payne had a big game at the plate, going 3-3, including a triple and a grand slam, with two runs scored, five RBIs, and a walk. Brown was 2-5 with a run, two RBIs, and had the Tigers? first homerun of the game.
In second game of the day, both teams came up empty in the first inning of play. The Tigers were able to strike first in the second inning, however, plating two runs to take the early lead. IW scored without getting a hit in the inning. Rojas stole home for the first run, and Murphy scored on a passed ball for the second and final run of the inning.
Belarde hit his third home run of the season to extend the Tiger lead to 3-0 in the top of the third inning. RMU-Springfield cut the Tiger lead to one run after scoring two in the bottom half of the third.
Iowa Wesleyan had a four-run top of the fourth inning to extend their lead to 7-2. Lee Fiala hit a three-run homerun, his first career home run as a Tiger to give IW a 6-2 advantage. Brown followed with a single, stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Brown was sitting in scoring position for Parke Leland, and Leland was able to bring him home with a single to the third baseman.
After each team added a run in the fifth, Iowa Wesleyan had another four-run inning to increase the Tiger lead. Tyler Cooksey drove in the first run with an infield single. Justin Klug pinch hit for Rojas and came up with an RBI single, driving in Leland for the second run of the inning. Matthew Murphy and Alex Payne hit back to back RBI singles to put IW in front 12-3 heading to the bottom of the six inning. The Eagles would make a late run, but the Tigers were able to cut it off at three runs.
Neither team scored in the seventh, giving the Tigers the win and completing the series sweep. Stephen Larson earned the win for IW, pitching a complete game for Iowa Wesleyan. Alex Payne kept the hits coming in the second game, finishing 3-4 at the dish with a run scored and two RBIs. Fiala had three RBIs in the win for IW, and both Chazz Brown and Tyler Cooksey finished the game going 2-5 at the plate.
Iowa Wesleyan improves to 5-1 this season and will return to action on Sunday, March 9 for the first games of their Spring Break Trip in Florida.