Morningside dropped both games of a GPAC baseball doubleheader against Hastings by scores of 7-4 in nine innings and 8-7 on Wednesday in Sioux City.
The setbacks dropped the Mustangs record to 12-19-1 overall and 6-8 in the GPAC.
Hastings took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the opener when Zack Peterson led off the game with an infield single and eventually scored on a balk.
The Mustangs tied the score with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the first inning when Jordan Pierce connected for a solo home run.
Hastings broke the tie with two runs in the top of the third to take a 3-1 lead. Brandon Utrup scored the go-ahead run when he led off the inning with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home on a RBI groundout by Ryan Schrad. The Broncos added a second run when Eric Anderson singled and scored on a two-out single by Tynan O’Brien.
Spencer Wyant gave the Mustangs three innings of scoreless and hitless relief between the fourth and sixth innings. Wyant walked one and struck out two.
Morningside scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the score at 3-3. Nathan DeChaine led off the fourth inning with a single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Kasperbauer. The Mustangs tied the game in the fifth when Mitch Kellogg homered over the left field wall to lead off the inning.
The Broncos scored a run off Mustang ace Richard Mitchell in the top of the seventh to take a 4-3 lead. Mitchell, who took over in relief to start the inning, was greeted by a leadoff single by Zack Petersen. Utrup laid down a bunt to sacrifice Petersen to second base, from where he scored on a one-out double by Schrad.
Morningside rallied for a run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score at 4-4 and force extra innings. Derek Clayton ignited the rally with a leadoff single to right field before the Mustangs eventually loaded the bases with two outs after walks to Pierce and Genoways. Schrad, who relieved Bronco starter Zach Fritton with two outs in the sixth inning, continued to struggle with his control when he issued his fourth walk of the inning with a free pass to Huska that forced home Clayton with the tying run.
Neither team scored in the eighth inning before the Broncos capitalized on a Morningside error to score three unearned runs in the top of the ninth. Bryce McMullen doubled home the go-ahead run and Ty O’Brien hit a RBI single later in the inning.
Dylan Mersola had a pair of singles to pace a nine-hit Morningside offensive attack. The Mustangs’ extra base hits were home runs by Kellogg and Pierce.
The Mustangs took an early 2-1 lead in the nightcap when Joe Genoways blasted a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Mersola was on base for Genoway’s blast after he had led off the inning with a single.
The Broncos took the lead for good in the top of the third inning when RBI singles by Bryce McMullen and Dylan Fitzgerald put them up 3-2 and then scored five more runs in the fourth to make it 8-2. O’Brien supplied the big hit in the fourth with a two-run single.
Morningside scored three runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth to close within 8-5. The big hits were a RBI double by Kasperbauer and a run-scoring single by DeChaine. Genoways also brought in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Morningside rallied within 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh when a walk to Mitch Kellogg and a single by Mersola set up a two-out, two-run single by DeChaine.
The Mustangs had nine hits in the nightcap, including two-hit performances from Mersola and DeChaine, who each had a pair of singles. The Mustangs’ had extra base hits from Genoways with a home run and Kasperbauer with a double.
Morningside will play a pair of weekend doubleheaders against Dakota Wesleyan in Mitchell, S.D., with a 2 p.m. twinbill on Saturday and a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Sunday.