MVC Baseball Drops Two to Graceland
MARSHALL, MO -- The Missouri Valley College baseball team welcomed in Graceland University to Indian Foothills Park Friday afternoon for a Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader. Graceland took game one by a 10-3 score, then edged out the Vikings in game two by a 3-1 score.
Starting Pitcher Senior Brandon Cooper cruised through the first two innings of game one, allowing just one hit and one walk, but Graceland was able to put two runs on the board in the top of the third inning. MVC cut into the Yellowjacket's lead in half in the bottom of the fourth with three straight singles by Junior Second Baseman Tim Roddy, Junior Centerfielder Bob Warchuck and Sophomore Catcher Anthony Corona. A sac-fly by Junior First Baseman Josh Hartin brought Roddy home for the Vikings' first run of the game, but that's all MVC could put together in that inning leaving two base runners stranded.
Graceland pushed their lead to 5-1 thanks to three runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Vikings put another run on the board in the bottom half of that inning when a Roddy single allowed Freshman Rightfielder Anthony Patchin to score, but MVC still trailed 5-2 heading into the sixth inning. The Yellowjackets tacked on one run in the sixth, and another four runs in the seventh inning. MVC was able to plate another run in the bottom of the sixth off a Freshman Third Baseman Devin Burnworth grounder that scored Hartin, but Graceland had built up too large of a lead and the Vikings were defeated 10-3.
Cooper picked up the loss going 4.2 innings giving up six hits, five runs, and three walks. Warchuck finished three for four from the plate, while Corona and Roddy each had two hits.
Game two started better for MVC as they would put the first run on the board. Hartin led off the inning by being hit by a pitch, then was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Senior Shortstop Troy Langan. Hartin was brought to home thanks to a double by Senior Designated Hitter Troy Barrow deep down the leftfield line, however Barrow was eventually stranded at second base.
Graceland bounced back quickly and scored three runs in the top of the third inning thanks to two hits and two MVC errors. The Vikings could only produce one hit in the third and fourth innings combined, but were poised to make a comeback in the fifth. MVC had back-to-back singles by Barrow and Burnworth to begin the inning. The two advanced another base thanks to a sac bunt by Junior Leftfielder Tyler Siem, giving MVC runners and second and third with only one out.
The rally was put to a halt thought after Freshman Rightfielder Blake Breshears struck out and Roddy grounded out to third base. The Vikings threatened in the sixth, but Freshman Cole Teaford, pinch running for Corona, was stranded at third. In the seventh inning the Vikings looked to tie the game up when Siem reached on a fielder's choice and Breshears walked. However a bunt attempt by Roddy was played well by the Graceland infield and the Vikings left two stranded in their final at-bat, losing 3-1. Senior Pitcher Jordan Amlong pitched well for MVC going the full seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out four, but he picked up the loss. From the plate Corona, Barrow, and Burnworth all finished two for three, while Barrow picked up the only RBI for MVC.
The two losses drop the Vikings to 2-14 overall and 1-7 in HAAC play. Graceland improves to 13-11 on the season and 4-4 in conference action.
The Vikings will host Graceland in another doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Indian Foothills Park. Game one of the doubleheader is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. first pitch.