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Crusaders top Warriors in doubleheader, sweep season series

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Matt Oliver

PEOSTA – Clarke University topped the Waldorf University baseball team in Tuesday’s doubleheader to sweep the four-game season series.

The Crusaders (12-24) won 11-3 in the opener and claimed a 5-2 victory in the nightcap.

Freshman Mitchell Keeran led the Warriors (12-24) with a double and drove in a run during Game 1. Junior Michael Keeran added an RBI single while freshman Garrett Gillen, sophomores Jordan Jewell and Eric Mallo contributed singles.

Clarke’s Tyler Malcook went 2-for-3 at the plate with a solo home run, and Nate McMullen also went deep with a two-run blast. Eric Bueno provided two hits, including an RBI double. Juan Munoz turned in two hits and knocked in a run. Jacob Blunt smacked a two-run single for the Crusaders, who collected 10 hits.

Arturo Martinez (2-0) scored the win. He struck out four batters, walked three and yielded one run as he scattered three hits in six innings. Clarke’s Zack Davis recorded a strikeout and a walk while allowing two unearned runs on two hits in the final inning.

Junior Ryan Villarreal (0-3) was hit with the loss. He notched a strikeout, issued two walks and gave up five runs (four earned) on two hits in two-thirds of an inning.

Waldorf freshman Michael Miller closed out the remaining five and one-third innings. He fanned three batters, walked three and surrendered six runs on eight hits.

The Crusaders broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Austin Gehl scored the game’s first run on a passed ball. Kevin Hunley drove in a run on a groundout, Munoz belted an RBI single and Blunt connected for a two-run double.

Mitchell Keeran put the Warriors on the board with an RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Clarke tallied five more runs in its half of the fifth. Malcook led off the inning with a homer. Bueno doubled in a run, Gehl cracked an RBI single and McMullen capped the inning with a two-run homer to power the Crusaders to a nine-run advantage.

Clarke’s Johnny Garcia stroked an RBI double in the sixth.

Junior Bruce Mau knocked in a run for the Warriors while reaching on an error in the seventh, and Michael Keeran produced a run-scoring single.

Mitchell Keeran paced Waldorf with a solo homer in the nightcap. Michael Keeran aided the effort with an RBI single, Mau contributed a double and Gillen finished with a single as the Warriors were limited to four hits.

McMullen led the Crusaders, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs in a performance that included a homer and two triples. Dylan Kester went 2-for-3 with a double and Bueno also added two hits.

Anthony Lazo (2-1) secured the win, tossing a four-hitter. He fanned nine batters, walked one and allowed two runs in seven innings.

Freshman Jimmy Quirk (0-2) was tagged with the loss. He registered two strikeouts, three walks and relinquished five runs on nine hits in six innings.

Clarke struck first as McMullen went yard for the second time of the day, smashing a solo shot in the first.

Blunt ripped a two-run double in the third, and McMullen legged out an RBI triple to push the Crusaders to an early 4-0 lead.

Michael Keeran pulled Waldorf to within three runs with an RBI single in the third.

McMullen delivered his second run-scoring triple of the game in the fourth.

Mitchell Keeran crushed a solo blast in the sixth. The Clear Lake native is tied for first on the team with four homers this season and also leads the Warriors with 14 doubles.

Waldorf currently owns third place in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) standings with an 8-4 league record.  The Warriors return to conference play this weekend as they host Presentation College (13-27, 3-9) in a four-game series. Waldorf opens the series with the Saints on Saturday in a 1 p.m. doubleheader and plays a 12 p.m. twin bill on Sunday.