Tigers rally for a 9-7 win at Louisburg

Louisburg, NC—Freshman Luis Duran (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Centro de Estudio Espaillat) ripped a three-run double to help the Marshalltown Community College Baseball team rally for a 9-7 victory over Louisburg College on Friday afternoon. The Tigers improve to 3-1 with the win.

Despite an early 3-0 lead, the Tigers succumbed to a pair of home runs from the Hurricanes as the home team scored six unanswered runs between the third and fourth innings. An eighth inning home run from Engel Rosario (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/CENAPEC) and Duran's bases-clearing two-bagger propelled the Tigers to the victory.

Sophomore Trevor Swartz (Fremont, IA/Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont) earned his first-career victory on the mound after tossing 1.1 innings without allowing a baserunner. Freshman Rafael Puente (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Liceo Argentina Mateo Lara) closed the door on the Hurricanes in the ninth to earn the save.

Logan Holtz (Urbana, IA/Center Point-Urbana) powered the offense early on for the Tigers, connecting on a two-run home run in the first inning to score Bryan Ventura (Carolina, Puerto Rico/Continental). Holtz doubled in the top of the third inning and scored on a single from Enmanuel Lopez (Santiago, Dominican Republic/Prepara) for the 3-0 lead.

Sophomore Kolton Gonnerman (Centerville, IA/Centerville) got the start on the mound and pitched two scoreless innings before the Hurricanes got on the board with three runs in the third. Diogen Ceballos (La Vega, Dominican Republic/Liceo la Romana) relieved Gonnerman and after a strike out to start the fourth, the freshman allowed a pair of home runs that lead to the 6-3 deficit for the Tigers.

Both teams traded a run in the seventh inning as Holtz collected another RBI, lining a single to score Ventura. Trailing 7-4 entering the eighth, Rosario delivered a solo home run with two outs, the sophomore's second home run of the season to cut in to the Hurricanes' lead.

Swartz, who entered the game with two outs in the seventh, tossed a perfect eighth frame to keep the Tigers within striking distance.

Ventura led off the top of the ninth with a walk and Bennett Lopez (Dorado, Puerto Rico/PRBA) doubled to put two runners on. Holtz, who was 3-4 at the time, was intentionally walked to load the bases. On an 0-2 count, Duran came through with the extra base hit to put MCC back on top, 8-7. Hunter Embray (Knoxville, IA/Knoxville) scored the insurance run on an error.

Puente relieved Swartz in the ninth and came in to retire the first two batters. After a walk and a hit by pitch, the freshman recorded a strikeout to end the game.

Holtz finished the day 3-4 at the plate with three RBI and three runs scored. Emmanuel Lopez went 3-5, the freshman's second three-hit game of the year. Ventura was 2-4 at the plate with three runs, giving the sophomore four straight multi-hit games to start the season.  

The Tigers conclude their North Carolina trip with a four-game set against Guilford Technical Community College. The two teams open up play at 12:00 PM (CDT) on Saturday for a doubleheader and finish up with two games on Sunday.