MVC Baseball Sweeps Avila to Open HAAC Play SaturdayPosted March 15, 2014
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MVC BASEBALL SWEEPS AVILA TO OPEN CONFERENCE PLAY SATURDAY
Marshall, Mo. (March 15, 2014)- The Missouri Valley College baseball team opened Heart of America Athletic Conference play by hosting Avila University in a doubleheader Saturday at Indian Foothills Park. The Vikings came from behind to win game one in extra innings 7-6, then used five runs in their final two at-bats to take game two 8-4, and sweep Avila.
The Vikings found themselves in an early deficit in game one of the doubleheader, giving up a run in the top of the first inning to Avila. After the Vikings went down in order in their first inning at-bat, the Eagles added to their lead with two runs in the top of the second. MVC was able to string together some hits in their next at-bat, getting back-to-back singles from Junior Third Baseman Josh Hartin (Washburn, Mo.) and Sophomore Leftfielder Lucas Doerhoff (Jefferson City, Mo.). Doerhoff’s single scored Hartin, but MVC left two stranded to end the inning, cutting into the Avila lead at 3-1. Avila got the run back in the top of the third, but Starting Pitcher Sophomore Kevin Key (Miranda, Venezuela) was able to get three strikeouts in the inning to hold off Avila from doing any more damage, making it at 4-1 game. Neither team could get much going offensively through the middle innings, but that changed in the fifth. Avila scored two runs in the top of the fifth to extend its lead to 6-1. However, the Vikings put together its most impressive inning of the game in the bottom half, scoring five runs on six hits to tie the game at 6-6. Junior Designated Hitter Trevor Duffy (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) opened the inning with a single, followed by a Junior Second Baseman Zach McGill (Richmond, Mo.) double. Duffy was brought around to score on Junior Shortstop Josh Felz’s (Independence, Mo.) single and McGill scored on a double from Corona. Sophomore Rightfielder Jake Stafford (Richmond, Mo.) hit a two-out single that scored Felz, with Junior Catcher Anthony Corona (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) coming in to score on the hit after Avila committed an error in the outfield. The final run of the inning was scored when Sophomore First Baseman Zac Blakemore’s (Kansas City, Mo.) single brought in Hartin. Avila had a chance to break the tie in the seventh inning, but a strong play by Stafford in right field ended any chance of Avila reclaiming the lead. Stafford pulled in a line drive for the inning’s second out, then threw out a base runner trying to tag-up from second base to end the inning, and send the game into extras. Avila failed to score in the top of the eighth, thanks to three ground outs, giving MVC a chance to win the game. The Vikings started the inning with a McGill single, a Senior Centerfielder Bobby Warchuck (Wichita, Kan.) bunt single and a Felz sacrifice bunt that put runners and second and third. Corona was intentionally walked, making the bases loaded with one out and Hartin coming to the plate. Hartin was able to send a shot off the wall in right-centerfield, scoring McGill from third and giving MVC the 7-6 win.
Leading MVC was Hartin who finished 2 for 3 from the plate with two runs scored and one RBI. Also with two hits in the game were Stafford, Blakemore and McGill, with McGill also scoring twice. The Vikings produced 13 hits in the game, including five doubles. Senior Pitcher Reggie Hancock (Montesano, Wash.) got the win in relief for MVC pitching three innings, giving up just two hits, with no runs and three strikeouts. The Vikings also turned two double-plays.
Game two started out in similar fashion as the previous game with Avila able to jump out to an early lead, scoring one run in the top of the first. The Vikings responded in their first inning at-bat getting a double from Felz. He was late brought home thanks to a single from Corona. The Eagles took back the lead in the second inning, bringing two runs home to move ahead 3-1. MVC got one of those runs back in the bottom of the second, getting a double from Doerhoff. Doerhoff was brought home later in the inning after a single from Blakemore. However, the Vikings ended the inning with two runners on base. The Vikings got back into a tie game with Avila in the bottom of the third inning at 3-3. Doerhoff got a hit into leftfield, that went underneath the fielder’s glove. The error allowed Corona to score from first, but Doerhoff was later stranded to end the inning at third base. The Vikings, behind strong pitching from Junior Pitcher Guillermo Amezquita (Oxnard, Calif.) in relief, took down Avila in order in both the fourth and fifth innings. MVC completed its comeback in the bottom of the fifth, putting two runs on the board to grab a 5-3 lead. Both runs came with two outs when Blakemore hit one into deep left field to score two and give MVC a late lead. Avila was able to cut into the deficit in the top of the sixth inning, scoring one run to make it a 5-4 game. However, the Vikings padded their lead in the bottom of the sixth scoring three runs. The first run came home on a Corona single that scored Warchuck. The final two runs came curtesoy of Hartin’s first home run of the season. Hartin put a 1-0 pitch 380 feet into left-centerfield to put MVC up by an 8-4 score. Amezquita finished out the game for MVC, striking out the side in the top of the seventh inning, to preserve the 8-4 victory, and doubleheader sweep over Avila.
Leading MVC at the plate was Blakemore who finished 3 for 3 with three RBI’s. Also with three hits were both Corona and Doerhoff, while Hartin finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBI’s, including his home run in the sixth. The Vikings finished with 15 hits in the game, but left nine runners stranded. Amezquita earned the win in relief for MVC going five innings, giving up just one earned run and one hit with six strikeouts.
The wins push MVC’s record to 3-11 overall and 2-0 in HAAC play. The Vikings also lead the HAAC Eastern Division with the 2-0 conference record. Avila, which qualified for the 2013 NAIA Baseball National Championship, falls to 9-5 overall and 0-2 in HAAC play.
The Vikings will next play a doubleheader at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., Wednesday at 1 p.m.
About Missouri Valley College
Known for its dynamic, richly diverse, and friendly educational environment, Missouri Valley College offers many opportunities to grow in mind, body, and spirit. Grounded in the liberal arts, undergraduate studies empower students to master interdisciplinary skills needed to succeed in a knowledge-based global society. MVC offers over 40 academic programs, study abroad program, honors program, extracurricular activities, and 13 sports. The most popular majors include education and business, and some new majors are ag-business, nursing, graphic design, and health information systems (associate degree). Above all, Valley is committed to student success. For more information, call (660) 831-4000 or visit www.moval.edu.