Nathan DeChaine blasted a three-run home run and Richard Mitchell allowed only two runs over the first six innings when the Morningside baseball team defeated Midland 3-2 in the second game to gain a split with the Warriors in Tuesday’s GPAC baseball doubleheader in Fremont, Neb.
The Mustangs victory in the nightcap came after they dropped the opener 6-1. The split left the Mustangs with a record of 13-20-1 overall and 7-9 in the GPAC.
DeChaine cracked a three-run home run in the top of the third inning to stake the Mustangs to a 3-0 lead they never relinquished in their second game triumph. The home run was the school-record 42nd circuit clout of DeChaine’s Morningside career. His blast came with Dylan Mersola and Jordan Pierce on base. Mersola had kept the Mustangs’ inning alive when he stroked a two-out single to right field before Pierce reached on an error by the third baseman.
Mitchell mowed down the Warriors on one hit over the first three innings before the hosts broke through for their only two runs of the game in the fourth inning on a solo home run by Buddy Balsino and a RBI single by Bailey Bliss.
Mitchell struck out five batters over the next two innings before he turned the ball over to Elliott Conover, who allowed one hit and struck out one batter in the seventh inning to notch his fifth save of the season.
Mitchell allowed two runs on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts over the first six innings to improve his record to 5-3. The win was the 23rd victory of Mitchell’s Morningside career to put him one win shy of the Mustangs’ career record of 24 pitching triumphs by Heath Horsley from 2004-07.
Pierce had two of the Mustangs’ seven hits with a pair of singles, while DeChaine had the team’s only extra base hit with his third inning home run.
Midland starting pitcher Dakota Cortese tamed the Mustangs on four hits in the opener. Cortese struck out 10 batters while going the distance in the seven-inning contest.
Morningside scored its run in the top of the fifth inning when Derek Johnson singled, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a two-out RBI single by Mitch Kellogg.
Johnson went two-for-two to account for half of the Mustangs’ four hits. The other hits were singles by Kellogg and Pierce.
Cody Selig pitched a complete game for the Mustangs. Selig allowed six runs on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts in his six-inning outing.
Morningside will travel to Sioux Center, Iowa, on Friday for a 4 p.m. doubleheader against Dordt.