The MCC baseball team squared off with the Falcons of Indian Hills for four more contests on April 20 and 21. The two teams met earlier in the month with the teams each winning two games.
Games one and two were played at Shawn Williams Field on the MCC campus.
Game one featured solid pitching outings for both teams as Jake Everaert took the hill for the Tigers and Wyatt Wendall for the Falcons.
It took a couple of innings for Everaert to settle in as he surrendered two runs in the top of the first inning on three singles. An error didn't help matters.
In the second inning, the Falcons again scored after a leadoff double. Another miscue, this time a balk, allowed the runner to move over to third and he eventually scored on a sac fly to left by Brady Nowicki. After the Tigers went scoreless in the second, the Falcons took a 3-0 lead into the third.
Everaert settled in as he threw scoreless third, fourth and fifth innings. Unfortunately the Tigers weren't able to make much headway. They did managle to core one run in the third inning as Joel Torrealba plated Candido Encarnacion with a two-out single.
The game went to the sixth inning with the Falcons leading 3-1. In the top of the sixth, the visiting team added to their lead as Everart stayed in the game to start the inning. The sophomore was quickly pulled in favor of Michael Ver Lee after surrendering a leadoff single to Soren Graversen and walking Jameson Hart after an extended at bat that lasted nine pitches.
The next batter, Alex Fisher bunted, but the ball was thrown away by catcher, Joel Torrealba, to load the bases with nobody out. Ver Lee then plunked pinch hitter, Jacob Kristinsen to score pinch runner, Jay Hester, from third.
Ver Lee then got a big strikeout to leave the bases loaded with one down. The next batter, Nathan Chasey flew out to center for a sac fly before Ver Lee induced a popup to Candido Encarnacion as shortstop to end the top of the sixth, but not before the Falcons extended their lead to 5-1.
Wendall remained on the mound for the Falcons into the sixth. After getting the leadoff batter of the inning to ground out, Travon Hughes reached on Wendall via an error by the shortstop. Hughes scored four pitces later via a Reece Blay double down the right field line. Wendall got the next two Tigers, Tom Josten and Encarnacion, to strike out swinging to end the inning and send the game to the seventh with the home team trailing 5-2.
Indian Hills added one run in the top of the seventh thanks to some well executed small ball. After Garrett Takamatsu reached base on a hit by pitch with one out, the next two batters, Jay Hester and Jemeson Hart, reached base on bunt hits. Alex Fisher then drove in Takamatsu with a sac fly before Kristinsen popped up on the infield for the final out of the top of the seventh.
Now down 6-2, the Tigers looked to rally against Jordan Banhuk who came on to attempt to record the save. The home half of the seventh got off to a promising start for the Tigers as Ryan Carter singled and Tyler Coleman doubled. The back-to-back hits put runners on second and third with nobody out. Joel Torrealba was then hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Torrealba was then replaced by Jeffry Roldan on the base paths.
Kole Jurgens entered the game to pinch hit for Nick Hagen. Jurgens struck out swinging for the first out of the inning. Luis Menendez stepped to the plate next and singled to score both Carter and Coleman. With Travon Hughes at the plate, Roldan swiped third to put runners on the corners. Hughes struck out looking for the second out of the inning.
Reece Blay stepped to the plate. With the defense not holding Menendez at first, the runner was on the move with each pitch looking to score on a base hit. However, after Blay fouled off a series of pitches, he struck out swinging to end the game 6-4 in favor of the Falcons.
Game two saw the Falcons again jump out to an early lead as they plated two runs in the top of the first inning against Walter Hernandez. They added one run in the second.
Zacharie Allard was on the mound for the Falcons and worked two scoreless innings before the Tigers got on the board with two in the third inning. The home half of the third started with a single by Reece Blay and a double by Tom Josten to put two runners in scoring position with nobody down. Blay eventually scored on a groundout by Candido Encarnacion and Josten scored with two outs on a wild pitch. After three innings, the Tigers trailed 3-2.
The Falcons went back on the offensive in the fourth inning as they put up five runs. The inning started with a walk to Brady Nowicki before he was thrown out at second on a sac bunt attempt. But then the Indian Hills bat got hot as they strung together five consecutive hits including a double and a triple before Nowicki grounded out to shortstop in his second at bat of inning.
The Tigers were never able to get back into the game as the Falcons led 10-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Despite the home team adding three runs in the sixth, the game was never really in question as the Falcons took game two, 10-5.
The series moved to Centerville, IA for games three and four of the series.
Now playing at home, the Falcons came out of the gate aggressively after Omar Vigil threw a clean top half of the first inning. Leadoff batter, Jay Hester started off with a single and then stole second. Hester scored in the next at bat as Alex Fisher reached on an error. Fisher then stole second, advanced to third on a balk, and scored on a passed ball. Garrett Takamatsu, batting third was walked and stole second. This was all before any outs were recorded.
Diego Almonte was pitching for the Tigers and allowed his fourth consecutive batter to reach base when he walked Soren Graverson. The sophomore finally recorded an out with a 5-3 ground out. But then he again struggled with control as he hit Jet Weber and walked Ryo Yamaguchi. The walk brought in another run. Fortunately for Almonte and the Tigers, Jacob Kristisen then struck out looking on a full count before Nathan Chasey flew out to right field to end the inning after the Falcons plated three.
Ryan Carter led off the second inning with a solo shot to left field to bring the score to 3-1. But that's all they could muster as the next three batters, Eli Berggeron, Joel Torrealba, and Luis Menendez all struck out.
The Falcons got the run back in the bottom of the second on a sac fly by Takamatsu after Fisher tripled with one out. The game headed to the third inning with a score of 4-1.
There were no runs scored in the third or fourth innings before the Falcons got back on the board in the fifth on an RBI single by Weber. After a scoreless top of the sixth, the home team added two insurance runs in the home half of the inning.
Down to their last three outs, the Tigers came to life. Bryce Vineyard led off with a double, Reece Blay was hit by a pitch, Tom Josten Walked and Vineyard scored when Candido Encarnacion was plunked. That was the end of the Day for Sime Restad who had come on in relief of Omar Vigil to start the seventh inning. Nick Marshall then entered the game and secured the save as he retired three of the four batters he faced. The Tigers put four runs across the plate, but fell short 7-5.
David Davilla and Jacob Medcalf combined to pick up a win for the Tigers in game four of the series. Davilla started the game and threw 4 1/3 innings while giving up just two runs on five hits. The sophomore struck out seven Falcons and walked just one.
After the solid start, Medcalf came on in relief and was near perfect. He threw 31 of his 48 pitches for strikes. Of the twelve batter he faced, only one reached base via walk as he didn't surrender a hit.
Meanwhile, the Tigers had no shortage of offense as they scored nine runs and plated runners in five of the seven innings. Seven of the nine Tiger batters scored on the day.
With the 9-2 win in game four, the Tigers moved to 7-24 on the year. They will next face off with NIACC for a nine inning contest at Shawn Williams Field on April 24.