Indian Hills escapes but MCC survives

MUSCATINE – It is safe to say the Marshalltown Community College baseball team let one get away Friday afternoon.

The Tigers had a 3-2 lead over Indian Hills in the seventh inning, but two runs in the bottom of the eighth from the Warriors pushed second-seeded Indian Hills to a 4-3 win in first round action of the Region XI Tournament at Tom Bruner Field on the campus of Muscatine College.

The Tigers though lived to play another day after bouncing back in the consolation game. MCC eliminated Muscatine, 6-0, in the double-elimination game thanks to a strong effort on the mound by Marshalltown native Jake Whaley.

Iowa Western beat Muscatine in the earlier game, which means MCC will play the loser between Iowa Western and Indian Hills at 2 p.m. today in an elimination game.

MCC (23-21) out-hit the Warriors in the opener, 7-4, but three errors and a couple of timely hits by Indian Hills in the eighth inning pushed it to the win. The Warriors led off the eighth with back-to-back hits and both runners crossed the plate to give them the advantage.

The Tigers plated one run in the second on an RBI single by Bennett Mann and then took a 2-1 lead in the third following an RBI hit by Justen Folger. Indian Hills tied the game twice – in the second and fourth innings – but Marshalltown regained the lead in the fifth after an RBI sacrifice fly from Ty Russell.

William Salas, Daryl Blaskovich and Andrew Utterback each scored a run. Folger was the only Tiger to have more than one hit at the plate.

In the second inning, Utterback walked, stole second and then went to third on a balk before scoring on Mann’s RBI single.

Corey Ceponis started on the mound and gave up all four runs on four hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked four in the loss.

Jake Stalzer allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings for Indian Hills but was not involved in the decision. Jose Marin allowed one hit and no runs in the eighth inning to claim the win.

Whaley fanned nine and scattered six hits in the win against Muscatine. He lasted 6 1/3 innings in the win.

The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks in part to a two-run double by Folger, who had three more hits and scored twice in the win.

MCC plated single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to pull away. RBI hits in those innings came from Utterback, Russell and Blaskovich.

William Salas had three hits from the lead-off spot, while Blaskovich and Utterback had two hits apiece. The Tigers had 13 hits total in the win but left 11 on base. Muscatine had nine hits and stranded nine.

Gavin Collins took the loss on the hill for Muscatine. He allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings.