Johnson, Seipel Help WPU Split with #11 Clarke
Peosta–The Statesmen baseball team entered Saturday’s Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader needing some positive results to swing momentum the other way and hopefully accomplished that with a split against #11 Clarke.
William Penn (11-10, 1-5 Heart) lost the opener 3-2, but won the nightcap 8-2. The teams will complete their four-game league set Sunday with the first pitch set for 1 p.m.
The visitors had dropped their first four league contests, so to snatch at least one victory versus the ranked Crusaders (18-3, 5-1 Heart) was truly a big deal.
WPU was outhit just 7-6 in the day’s first matchup and was helped by four CU errors, but could not get on the board until the fifth. By that point, Clarke had already taken a 3-0 edge.
T.J. Murphy (Jr., Woodenville, Wash., Exercise Science) hit a one-out double and was driven in on a single by Colton Johnson (Sr., Westminster, Calif., Physical Education). Johnson, who led the squad with a 2-for-3 effort, then narrowed the deficit to one later in the frame as he was plated on another one-bagger by Julian Villegas (Jr., Wilmington, Calif., Sociology).
Unfortunately, the Statesmen only managed one baserunner in the final two innings and suffered the setback.
D.J. Milam (Jr., Lancaster, Calif., Business Management) was solid on the bump, permitting just the three earned runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out five batters and walked one.
The visitors, who owned a 9-6 advantage in base knocks in the nightcap, took the early lead when Johnson came around on a single by Dominik Sawyer (Sr., Chula Vista, Calif., Psychology and Human Services) in the second.
A three-run fourth added to the navy and gold lead. Sawyer again brought in Johnson with a single, while he and Wilson Lorenzo (So., Fort Myers, Fla., Computer Science) rounded the pads on another single by Villegas.
William Penn did not slow down, getting two more in the fifth before pushing an insurance run across in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Johnson guided the lineup by going 3-for-3, while Sawyer and Villegas each finished with two hits and two RBIs. Lorenzo matched Johnson by scoring on two occasions.
Like Milam, Nick Seipel (Jr., Rosemont, Minn., Software Engineering) also went the distance, but he was the benefactor of a bit more offense to claim the victory. Seipel posted eight strikeouts with just one walk; both of the runs he allowed were unearned.