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Mustangs sweep Warriors, earn 10th straight win

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy: Aaron Schneider

FOREST CITY – A high-powered offense paved the way as Morningside College swept the Waldorf University baseball team during Tuesday’s doubleheader.

The Mustangs (24-5) cruised to 10-2 and 15-0 victories.

Playing their sixth game in three days, the Warriors (6-18) were forced to utilize a smaller roster and pitching staff than Morningside.

“We ran into a buzz saw with the number of pitchers that we have,” Waldorf coach Joe Tautges said. “Six games in three days is quite a bit and you need pitching for that.”

The Mustangs, who are receiving votes in the latest National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), cranked out 34 hits on the day to earn their 10th straight win.

“Morningside has been a good program the past couple of years,” Tautges said.

Junior Ryan Villarreal drove in the only two runs for the Warriors in the opener on a third-inning double. Freshman Garrett Gillen went 2-for-3 at the plate while sophomore Jacob Tedesco provided a 2-for-4 performance. Waldorf freshman Mitchell Keeran notched his ninth double of the season. The Warriors also received singles from sophomore Eric Mallo and freshman Jimmy Quirk.

Cole Halgerson produced a two-run home run and an RBI single, going 3-for-5 at the plate for the Mustangs. Joe Tourville went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Jacob Lamoreux connected for a two-run double, going 2-for-4 at the plate. Morningside collected 16 hits.

Richard Mitchell (4-0) earned the win. He fanned seven batters and allowed two unearned runs on seven hits in four and one-third innings.

Morningside’s Ross Ackerman pitched one and two-thirds scoreless innings, striking out two batters and giving up one hit. Jared Novotny contributed a scoreless inning, recorded two strikeouts and issued a walk.

Junior Bruce Mau (0-3) was handed the loss. He tallied five strikeouts, walked two batters and surrendered seven runs (six earned) on nine hits in five innings. Freshman Michael Miller relieved the final two innings. Miller struck out a batter, walked one and yielded three runs on seven hits.

Halgerson knocked the ball out of the park with a two-run shot in the top of the second inning to give Morningside an early advantage.

Villarreal knotted the score at 2-all in the third with a two-run double.

Lamoreux ripped a two-run double in the fourth while Nolan Hoff singled in another run.

Tourville delivered a two-run single during the fifth as the Mustangs built a five-run cushion.

Halgerson added a RBI single in the sixth and Tourville doubled in a run to give Morningside a 9-2 lead.

Blake Meacham produced an RBI single for the Mustangs in the seventh.

Junior Michael Keeran went 2-for-2 with a double during the nightcap. Gillen also contributed a double, going 2-for-3 at the plate. Mitchell Keeran, junior Dean Mick, freshman Tim Pasiuk and Mau each added singles.

Lamoreux led Morningside, going 4-for-5 at the plate with an RBI single. Meacham powered to a 2-for-3 performance with a homer and four RBIs. Alex Marrujo finished 3-for-5 with a run-scoring single. Lamoreux and Marrujo each scored three runs for the Mustangs. Nathan DeChaine, Mitch Kellogg and David Foley turned in two hits apiece to aid Morningside’s 18-hit performance.

Lucas Henning (4-0) claimed the win, punching out six batters and scattering five hits in four scoreless innings. Novotny, Jonathan Van Beek and Lance Spongberg each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Quirk (0-1) was tagged with the loss. He tallied two strikeouts, relinquished four walks and 13 runs (11 earned) on 13 hits in four and two-thirds innings. Dean Mick came in for the final two and one-third innings. He struck out two batters, walked one and allowed two runs on five hits.

The Mustangs capitalized on five Waldorf errors by advancing base runners to manufacture runs.

“Morningside is a team that if you give them eight feet, they are going to take 20,” Tautges said. “They are very well coached and play the game the right way. If you make mistakes, they are going to take advantage of them and they did that [on Tuesday].”

Marrujo started Morningside’s scoring with an RBI single in the top of the third. Kellogg scored on an error and Lamoreux reached home plate on a passed ball. DeChaine singled in another run to put the Mustangs in front 4-0.

Meacham knocked in a run with a fourth-inning sacrifice bunt. Lamoreux scored on an error later in the inning to extend Morningside’s lead to a six-run advantage.

The Mustangs strung together seven runs in the fifth. Tourville started Morningside’s offensive outburst, scoring on an error. Marrujo connected for an RBI single while Kellogg delivered an RBI groundout. Meacham continued big inning by crushing a two-run blast. Joe Genoways belted a two-run single to boost the Mustangs to a 13-0 lead.

Meacham singled in two more runs for Morningside during the sixth.

The Warriors hold a 2-2 record in North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) play and host Viterbo University (5-17, 2-2) in a pair of conference doubleheaders, scheduled to start on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m.

“Anytime you play a conference opponent, it’s going to be a tough game,” Tautges said. “They’re all very important games. Hopefully the weather stays away, so we can get outside on Thursday and Friday to get ready for Viterbo.”