WPU Empty at Plate in MCC Opener

Josh Ruiz had 13 strikeouts in game one

Josh Ruiz had 13 strikeouts in game one

Oskaloosa–The Statesmen baseball team had a rough start to its Midwest Collegiate Conference slate by being swept by St. Ambrose Wednesday.

William Penn (13-7, 0-2 MCC) lost by scores of 4-2 (10 innings) and 4-0.

The hosts fell behind in the opener 2-0 in the top of the fourth, but starting pitcher Josh Ruiz (Jr., Chula Vista, Calif., General Mathematics) kept his team close with a spectacular strikeout display. In six innings, the junior sat down 13 Fighting Bee batters on strikes–the third-best tally since 1999.

The navy and gold drew even in the fifth with a two-out rally. Enrique Alvarado (Sr., Lancaster, Calif., Sociology) got things going with a two-out single, and after moving into scoring position on a passed ball, he scored on another one-bagger by Patrick Roxbury (Jr., Canyon Country, Calif., Sociology).

Roxbury’s pinchrunner Collin Schulz (Fr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Undecided) then knotted the contest at 2-2 when Cory DeRush (Jr., Grand Junction, Colo., Business Management) singled him home.

Neither squad could tally another run in the final two frames of regulation, including St. Ambrose (11-6, 3-3 MCC) leaving men in scoring position in the seventh.

William Penn had its chances in the eighth and ninth innings, moving players all the way to third, but failed to win the game either time.

The visitors finally broke through in the top half of the tenth with two runs. The Statesmen were unable to answer in the bottom half, despite advancing runners to the corners with only one out.

Ruiz, who did not figure into the decision, allowed two runs on three hits (one walk). Corey Lathram (Sr., Brentwood, Calif., Physical Education) relieved him to start the seventh and was also productive on the hill. Unfortunately, he was tagged with the loss to fall to 0-3. The senior gave up two runs on five hits, while striking out four and walking one.

Roxbury finished 3-for-4, while DeRush was 2-for-3. Both teams produced eight base knocks.

The offense was stymied in the nightcap as WPU was outhit 9-2. Jon Davis (Jr., Hayward, Calif., Undecided) tried to keep his team in the game and performed admirably by keeping SAU off the board through four frames. The Fighting Bees eventually scored, doing so three times in the fifth and once more in the sixth. After not committing an error in the first contest, WPU helped its foe with two big fielding mistakes in the second matchup as three of the runs against Davis were unearned.

The junior (0-1) managed three strikeouts against one walk. Rafael Villafana (Sr., Sylmar, Calif., Communications) made an appearance in the double dip as well, working a scoreless seventh inning.

William Penn could not counter with its bats, putting only three runners on second base.

Next: William Penn hosts Viterbo in a four-game league set this weekend. Saturday’s double dip begins at 1 p.m., while Sunday’s twinbill starts at noon.

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