Late rally, errors force MCC into split

JOPLIN, Mo. – The first at-bat for Ellsworth produced enough runs to beat Marshalltown Community College on Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader.

The final at-bat for the Tigers in the second game of the double dip also produced enough marks in the scoreboard for the win.

MCC committed three errors in that opening inning against the Panthers allowed Ellsworth to secure a 5-2 win, and then a five-run seventh-inning in the second game helped the Tigers rally for a 7-6 win in nonconference action.

Jake Whaley threw well enough to win the opener as he struck out eight in six innings, but five errors plagued the Tigers (3-4) in the field. Whaley allowed five hits and two walks in the loss.

The Tigers totaled 11 errors in the two games. MCC tallied six hits in the loss – two of which each came from Bennett Mann and Andrew Utterback. Mann also scored both Tiger runs in the third inning and fifth inning. Daryl Blaskovich had one hit and both RBIs, as well.

Ellsworth plated four runs in the first inning and another run came across in the fourth.

Ellsworth grabbed another big lead in the second game after scoring five runs in the fifth inning on just one hit and one MCC error. The Panthers also reached on a squeeze bunt and two walks.

That gave Ellsworth a five-run lead after MCC scored one in the first and the Panthers tied it in the third.

William Salas led off the first frame with a single, then stole second and took third on a bunt. He eventually gave the Tigers an early lead after an RBI groundout by Ty Russell. Salas was plated again in the sixth as he scored after a bases-loaded fielder’s choice from Justen Folger.

The big inning for MCC came in the seventh when it scored five to win it. Utterback started the rally with a single and then Mann reached on a walk. Eric Kent and Austin Allen also hit the basepaths after walks. A double by Russell scored Kent and a single by Folger sent home Salas and Russell to give the Tigers the one-run lead.

They finished with eight hits with Russell and Utterback each collecting two. Folger had three RBIs, Russell knocked in two runs and Salas had one hit, one RBI, one walk and three runs.

Ben Ryder started but did not earn a decision after allowing six runs on five hits and two walks. He also struck out five.

Tanner Smith earned the win in relief as he threw 1 2/3 innings, surrendering one hit and walking two while striking out a pair.

Taylor Moon pitched a scoreless seventh to earn his second save of the year. He struck out two and walked one.

The Tigers, who played Ellsworth Thursday in another doubleheader in Joplin, play March 21 at 2 p.m. in the home opener against conference rival NIACC.