Punchless Tigers rally to split with Iowa Central

FORT DODGE – After getting shut out and only collecting three hits in the opener, the Marshalltown Community College baseball team bounced back to earn a split against NJCAA Division II No. 20 Iowa Central on Thursday night.

The Tigers were blanked in the first game, 3-0, but used a three-run home run by Andrew Utterback in the nightcap to win 8-7.

Utterback’s blast in the win came in a seven-run third inning for the Tigers, who moved to 17-16 overall after the cross-ICCAC split.

The Tigers got on the board in the first inning of the nightcap thanks to back-to-back doubles by William Salas and Daryl Blaskovich to lead off the game.

Iowa Central plated two in the first and another in the second to take the lead, but MCC sent 11 batters to the plate and grabbed a big lead in the third with seven runs on six hits.

Justen Folger started the scoring with an RBI double, and Utterback put the Tigers up for good with a three-run blast. Bennett Mann added an RBI single and Salas came through with a two-run single to finalize the crooked number.

The Tigers finished with 11 hits, two each by Salas, Blaskovich and Mann. Salas scored twice.

MCC and Iowa Central combined to use nine pitchers in the game.

Richard England started and gave up two runs in the no decision for MCC. Tanner Smith tossed 3 1/3 innings, allowed two earned runs and grabbed the win, while Brett Baker pitched a perfect seventh for the save.

Jake Rowen started for the Tritons and took the loss, allowing eight hits and eight earned runs. Gladbrook-Reinbeck graduate Brady Billerbeck surrendered two hits in 2 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking one.

Alex Hayden and Nolan Webster combined to shut down the Tigers in the opener. Hayden struck out seven while collecting the win and Webster recorded the four-out save, striking out two.

Tyler Evans had two of the three hits and stole a base for MCC. Ty Russell added a double.

The Tritons (27-12) cranked out just four hits but plated a single run in the third after Andy DeJesus scored on a steal of home. Dan Potempa collected an RBI single and Tyler Peyton drove in a run on a fielder’s choice during a two-run sixth inning.

The Tigers will try to move up in the ICCAC D-I standings this weekend when Indian Hills comes to town. The Falcons (23-16, 10-6) are two games ahead of MCC in the conference standings. The two teams will play doubleheaders Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.