Strong Pitching in Nightcap Helps WPU Split with Mount Mercy

William Penn University Athletics

William Penn University Athletics

by Wade Steinlage

Cedar Rapids–The Statesmen baseball team suffered through a tough opening game Wednesday, but responded to net a split against Mount Mercy in a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader.

William Penn (16-4, 2-1 Heart) dropped the first game 11-2 to snap its seven-game winning streak, but rebounded to take the second contest 2-1.

The visitors were only outhit 11-9 in the opener, but left 10 runners on base and could not keep pace with MMU, which scored in five of six frames.

Down 7-0 after two innings, the navy and gold got on the board in the top of the third when Adrian Garcia (Jr., Ontario, Calif., Mechanical Engineering) came around.

The Mustangs (9-12, 6-7 Heart) added three more runs over the next two frames, while the Statesmen capped their scoring in the fifth with another tally. Blaze Speas (Sr., O’Fallon, Mo., Wellness and Recreation), who singled on the play when Garcia scored on an error, cleared the right-field fence for a solo home run. The roundtripper is the third of the year for the junior.

Speas finished 3-for-4, while Jarrett Hunt (Jr., Logan, Utah, Digital Communication) was 2-for-3 at the dish.

Zach Edgar (Jr., Elgin, Ill., Business Management) headlined the trio of pitchers who toed the rubber in the first outing. He struck out two in two innings of action.

WPU’s offense got right to work in the nightcap, and once again Speas was part of the scoring play. The junior hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Boston Romero (Sr., Fairfield, Calif., Sociology) who tripled in the prior at-bat, making it 1-0 after the top of the first.

MMU answered with a run of its own in the second, but William Penn reclaimed the advantage for good in the fifth. After reaching on an error, Speas stole second base and was then brought in on a double by Seth Reisbeck (Sr., Meridian, Id., History/Government).

The squad put runners on base in the final four innings, but failed to add to its lead. Fortunately, the pitching staff held the Mustangs at bay to take the victory. Starting pitcher Lionel Colon (Jr., Puerto Real, P.R., Business Management) struck out six in five frames, while permitting the lone Mount Mercy run on four hits. Augie Voight (Sr., Waukegan, Ill., Secondary Education) then stepped in and managed two strikeouts in three innings of three-hit shutout ball. Trent Barnett (Sr., Eddyville, Iowa, Accounting) collected the save by striking out one batter in the ninth frame.

Romero, Hunt, and Reisbeck recorded two base knocks each as the Statesmen held a 9-7 edge in hits.

Next Up: Due to unplayable field conditions in Peosta, William Penn will return to Oskaloosa this weekend for its home openers, hosting Clarke in three Heart contests. On Friday, the teams meet at 3 p.m. for a single game, while on Saturday, they play in a doubleheader at 1 p.m.

Posted by on Mar 21 2019. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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