ST. LOUIS, Mo. ? The Iowa Wesleyan baseball team opened up conference play Wednesday against the Beavers of Blackburn College. After a slow start, the Tigers were swept by scores of 4-7 and 2-9.
The Tiger offense was a little slow to get going to start the day. After a scoreless top of the first, Blackburn took a 4-0 lead after getting four hits and taking advantage of an error by Iowa Wesleyan. The Beavers added one more run in the bottom of the third, taking a 5-0 lead over IW.
Iowa Wesleyan was able to break through in the top of the fourth, cutting the Blackburn lead to 5-2. Tyler Cooksey drew a walk with one out, and Parker Leland followed with a single. The first run was brought in by a single by Ruben Ramirez. The IW runners advanced to second and third, and Michael Rojas walked to load the bases. Joshua Sanchez knocked in the final run of the inning for the Tigers with a single.
Blackburn extended their lead to 6-2 at the end of the fourth, but Iowa Wesleyan was able to get a run back in the top of the fifth. Chazz Brown doubled to right center field and stole third. He was able to bring the score to 6-3 after an error by the catcher.
After another run in the bottom of the sixth, Iowa Wesleyan trailed 7-3 as they came to bat in the top of the seventh. Joseph Belarde reached base on an error and Brown followed with a walk. The Tigers pulled off a double steal to move into scoring position, and IW was able to get a run across when Benjamin Steorts grounded out to the shortstop. Unfortunately, the Tiger rally would end there and they would drop the first game by a score of 7-4.
Six players each had one hit for the Tigers during the opening game. Steorts, Ramirez, and Sanchez each knocked in a run for IW in the loss.
IW looked to bounce back in the night cap and the offense got off to a good start with a run in the top of the first. Brown hit a double with one out and stole third. He scored the first run for the Tigers after an error by the Blackburn catcher.
IW added another run in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead over the Beavers. Leland hit a leadoff single, and Jacob Leonard hit a sacrifice to the third baseman to move Leland to second. Ramirez doubled to bring in the second run for the Tigers. The Beavers were able to get a run back in the bottom of the second, cutting the IW lead to one run.
Blackburn would add runs in the third, fifth, and seventh innings to take the lead. Iowa Wesleyan?s offense would struggle for the remainder of the game, and the Beavers went on to win 9-2.
Leland was 2-4 at the plate in the final game and Ramirez picked up the lone RBI for the Tigers.
The Tigers move to 6-9 overall and are 0-2 to start conference play. They will be back in action this weekend with a tough road test against Spalding University, who is currently 12-3 on the season.