MCC baseball recovers to split with rival Indian Hills

CENTERVILLE – The Marshalltown Community College baseball team recorded just two hits in its opening game with Indian Hills Community College but salvaged the day by beating the Falcons in the nightcap, even though the victory didn’t come without some drama.

Sophomores Bennett Mann and Ty Russell helped power the Tigers to an six-run lead in the nightcap but MCC nearly blew that advantage before holding on to win 10-8. Indian Hills took the opener 14-0 in five innings.

Originally scheduled to be played at Shawn Williams Field on the MCC campus, unplayable field conditions shifted Saturday’s doubleheader to Pat Daugherty Field in Centerville.

With improved field conditions, MCC and the Falcons will complete their four-game series at Shawn Williams Field today. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.

Mann, a Marshalltown native, hit his conference-leading 12th homer in the first inning of the nightcap and then went deep for a 13th time on the year in the fourth to extend the Tigers’ lead to 8-2. Russell also blasted his seventh homer of the year in the second, but Indian Hills made things interesting by tying the contest in the sixth with six runs.

MCC rebounded to regain the lead in its half of the sixth as Daryl Blaskovich’s two-run double wound up being the game-winning hit.

The Tigers (21-29, 9-13) had seven hits in the game-two win. Mann went 2-for-3 with two home runs and five RBIs, while Russell homered, scored two runs and drove in three. Blaskovich had one hit, two walks, three runs and two RBIs.

Former East Marshall standout John Bloom started on the mound for the Tigers and got the win after throwing all seven innings.

Bloom allowed 11 hits and eight earned runs while striking out five. The first six Indian Hills batters reached against Bloom in the six-run sixth. That came after he had retired the Falcons in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings. He also had a 1-2-3 seventh inning to earn his fourth win of the year.

It was Bloom’s second win over Indian Hills (36-15, 16-6) this season and both came in the second game of a doubleheader to salvage a split.

Russell and Colin Schroeder had the lone hits for the Tigers in the opener as Indian Hills, which received votes in this week’s NJCAA Division I national poll, scored four runs in the first, five in the second, three in the third and two in the fourth to win easily.

Richard England, Shyler Kane and Danny Smith all pitched for the Tigers and each of them gave up at least two runs. England started and allowed nine earned runs on nine hits and walked two in his 1 2/3 innings of work.

Kane allowed three earned runs in his lone inning, while Smith threw the final 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on two hits.

While MCC has already locked up the No. 3 seed in next week’s Region XI Division I Tournament, Indian Hills entered the day tied for first with Iowa Western Community College.

The Reivers though moved one game ahead of the Falcons with a sweep over Muscatine Community College on Saturday.