SIOUX CITY, IOWA – A bases-loaded walk and pinpoint relief pitching lifted Morningside College to needed Great Plains Athletic Conference split Sunday, March 24.
After being dispatched by crosstown league rival Briar Cliff University 7-3 and 12-1 at BCU’s Bishop Moeller Field during day one of the weekend set Saturday, March 23, head coach Adam Boeve‘s side came back on their home Lewis and Clark Park field looking to stay in the upper half of the conference standings. The twinbill was a dandy from the get-go.
Mside’s nightcap victory, in front of a happy Mustangs’ crowd, was of the comeback variety. Trailing 2-0, 4-1 and 5-3, the home team was undeterred scoring a single run in the second and two each in the fourth and fifth, tying things up at 5-5 after five innings. Three walks, including a bases-loaded free pass in the bottom of the eighth to sophomore Jordan Pierce (SO/Carlisle, IA ) (Carlisle, Iowa), pushed in the eventual winning run, as senior lefty Tommy Johnson (Aurora, Colo.) came in from the bullpen with two BC runners on and one out and induced a game-ending double play. Johnson and senior reliever Elliot Conover (SR/Remsen, IA ) (Remsen, Iowa) limited the opposition to one run on four hits over five innings.
Game one saw the Maroon’s Billy Mount (SO/Burbank, S.D.) and the Chargers’ Jacob Wesselman lock up in a pitcher’s duel. Mount, a sophomore right-hander from Burbank, S.D., struck out four and worked through three walks and three earned runs over five and a third innings. Wesselman was just as crafty allowing only one earned run on seven hits with five strikeouts over five frames. Briar Cliff hung on for the 3-1 decision, as sophomore Braden Smutz (SO/Lake Stevens, WA) (Lake Stevens, Wash.) rocket to deep left in the sixth inning was hauled in with a running catch leaving the potential tying runs in scoring position.
Other highlights for Boeve’s crew included a two-hit outing for junior Sam Huska (JR/Windom, MN) (Windom, Minn.) in game one, and multiple-safety resumes for Huska, freshman Nic Metcalf(FR/Sedro Wooley, WA) (Sedro Wooley, Wash.) and junior Dylan Gasner (JR/Austin, MN ) (Austin, Minn.) in game two. Gasner added a pair of RBI to his second game totals.
Morningside (13-6 overall, 5-3 GPAC) continues a four-game homestand Tuesday, March 26. Mayville State is the Maroon opponent for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.