Runs come in bunches for MCC baseball

MUSCATINE – Runs were hard to come by during the Marshalltown Community College’s previous eight games.

Those same bats woke up red-hot on Saturday as the Tigers traveled to Muscatine Community College and scored a sweep over the Cardinals at Tom Bruner Field.

The doubleheader was supposed to be the Tigers’ home openers, but inclement weather and poor field conditions forced a move to Muscatine.

That hardly mattered for MCC though. The Tigers cranked out 26 hits and scored 29 runs during 16-10 and 13-1 wins in Iowa Community College Athletic Conference play. It was the first time the Tigers have plated double-digit runs in a single game in 2014.

Daryl Blaskovich had three hits and his first homer of the season in the opener, and MCC scored runs in all seven innings, including three in the third. Pedro Lopez also was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, while Bennett Mann walked twice, scored twice and had one hit.

The Tigers (11-18, 2-4) managed three innings with crooked numbers in the nightcap, but it was Richard England on the mound that dazzled. England, a sophomore, allowed just three hits and struck out eight over six innings to improve to 3-1 on the year. He allowed a pair of walks and the run scored by the Cardinals (11-13, 1-5) was unearned as his earned run average dropped to a team-low 3.13.

England shut down Muscatine in the second game and all the offense needed was provided by Ty Russell, Eric Kent and Aneudis Sandoval. All three Tigers homered in the win and Russell finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Alex McCune got the start on the mound in the opener and got his first collegiate win despite allowing nine earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

The Tigers led 8-0 after their at-bat in the third and then scored eight more runs over the next four innings to pull away. Muscatine, losers of four straight, chipped away at the Tigers’ lead at first, scoring three in the third, four in the fourth and three more in the fifth but was blanked in the other four frames.

MCC, which has now won three straight games, plated four runs in its final at-bat thanks in large part to a bases-loaded and bases-clearing triple from Kent. Kent finished with two hits in the game, while Sandoval, Alexis Melendez, Lopez, Parker Rolfes and Austin Allen all finished with two hits as well. Russell also walked twice, while Mann was 1-for-3 with two runs and two walks.

The start of game two began like game one ended – with the Tigers scoring runs. Back-to-back bombs by Russell and Kent gave MCC and early lead and the Tigers eased to their first wins in ICCAC play this year. Russell, Kent and Sandoval all drove in three runs in the game-two win.

The final two games of the series will be played at noon today.