By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News
The Iowa Wesleyan baseball team continued its search for the first conference win of 2018 last week, hosting MacMurray College for two games Wednesday before playing three on the road at Westminster this weekend.
The Tigers couldn?t pull off a victory in any of their five SLIAC games, dropping contests 11-1 and 12-5 to MacMurray, and falling 9-8(8), 3-1 and 8-4 at Westminster.
IW was only able to tally six hits in game one on Wednesday. Ruben Ramirez was 2-3. Michael Noonan was 1-1 with a run scored. Matthew Murphy went 1-3 with an RBI, and Alex Payne was 1-2.
Austin Christian started for IW and picked up the loss on the mound, going 1.2 innings and giving up eight runs (seven earned) on six hits and one walk, while striking out one batter.
The Tigers came back from an early 3-0 deficit in game one to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. IW led 5-4 after six innings as well before giving up five runs in the seventh and three in the eight to eventually fall by seven.
Benjamin Steorts was 2-3 with two RBIs and a run scored in the loss. Tyler Cooksey was 1-3 with two RBIs. Ruben Ramirez went 1-4 with an RBI and Matthew Murphy was 2-5 with two runs scored.
Avery Mobley went six innings on the mound, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits, while striking out two. William Hlady was tagged with the loss giving up two earned runs over one-third of an inning.
IW?s first game of the weekend looked promising on Saturday. The Tigers held an 8-0 lead after five and-a-half innings, thanks in part to two three-run home runs by Joseph Belarde.
The Tigers seemed to be on their way to their first conference win, but Westminster?s offense had other plans. The Blue Jays scored eight straight runs to send the game into extra innings, and plated their ninth in a row on a walk-off singe in the eighth inning.
Belarde finished 3-5 with two homers, six RBIs and three runs scored. Payne had two hits in the game and both Steorts and Perker Leland finished with one hit.
Four different pitchers threw for IW in the loss. Everett Swinson was tagged with the loss, giving up one run over two-thirds of an inning.
The Tigers had the lead in game two on Saturday as well. IW led 1-0 through four and-a-half innings but a three-run home run put the Blue Jays on top in the bottom of the fifth, and that?s where the score would stay.
Leland was 1-1 with a run scored in the loss. Joshua Sanchez went 1-2 with an RBI. Despite the loss, Mitchell Wilcox had a good showing on the mound despite, going six innings and giving up just three earned runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out two.
Chazz Brown had a three-run home run in Sunday?s 8-4 loss. He finished 1-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Payne had the other RBI on a groundout in the seventh.
Stephen Larson picked up the loss on the mound, throwing 5.2 innings and giving up eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits and five walks, while striking out two.