Tigers split pair with Muscatine

MUSCATINE – The Marshalltown Community College pitching staff gave up just eight hits over 14 innings, but only one of the two games Sunday at Muscatine went to the Tigers.

The host Cardinals ended a six-game losing streak by taking the nightcap of an ICCAC Division II doubleheader with a walk-off win.

Marshalltown (21-20, 10-12) scored a 5-3 victory in the opener, tallying all five runs in the first two frames to back left-handed hurler Corey Ceponis (7-0). Ceponis allowed one hit and three runs – two earned – over five innings, walking five and striking out six.

John Bloom and Zach Throckmorten combined to go the last two frames to protect the 5-3 lead.

Run-scoring singles by Ty Russell, Tyler Evans and Andrew Utterback plated MCC’s three runs in the first inning, and a wild pitch and a balk brought in two more in the second for a 5-0 Tiger surge.

Muscatine (10-33, 3-19) got on the scoreboard with two in the fourth and another in the fifth, but the bullpen sealed off the win to hand the Cardinals their 11th consecutive league defeat.

Russell was 2-for-3 with two runs to lead the MCC offense, while William Salas scored twice.

Hard-throwing right-hander Jake Whaley struck out 14 over six innings of three-hit ball for Marshalltown in the nightcap, but Muscatine scratched together a run in the third on walks and a wild pitch.

The Tigers got the run back in the top of the seventh when Evans reached on an error and scored on Luke Wichmann’s subsequent single. But Muscatine righty Gavin Collins got out of the inning and the Cardinals got a bases-loaded hit to the center-field fence to plate the game-winning run against MCC’s bullpen.

Collins scattered five hits with one walk and three strikeouts for the win. The Cardinals got just five hits of their own but got the win.

Daryl Blaskovich, Justen Folger, Austin Allen, Utterback and Wichmann each singled for MCC, which closes the regular season with today’s 3 p.m. twinbill in Muscatine.