Broncos break out the brooms in Sioux City
Hastings College used a three-run ninth inning to knock off Morningside, 7-4, in nine innings for a game one victory at Sioux City, Iowa.
Once again, the Broncos got a solid effort from their pitching staff. Zach Fritton went 5.2 innings while only giving up two earned runs. The sophomore had six strikeouts and threw 90 pitches. Ryan Schrad spelled Fritton in the sixth inning and finished with 2.1 innings of work, walking three but only allowed one earned run.
Bryce McMullen closed it down in the ninth, although Morningside was able to get a couple of singles with one out before he induced two consecutive fly balls to the outfield for the save.
McMullen, who was 2 for 2, broke open the 4-4 tie with an RBI double in the ninth inning. Two batters later, a Dylan Fitzgerald (0 of 5) ground out to short scored Vinny Schmidt who was pinch running for McMullen.
Second baseman Tynan O'Brien was the leader at the dish with a 4 of 5 hitting performance and a couple RBI.
McMullen went 6.0 innings in the second game for Hastings College, who captured an 8-7 victory.
Grant Hall came on for the save and walked the first batter he faced and gave up a hit to Dylan Mersola, bringing the tying 'Stang run to the plate. A grounder by Jordan Pierce moved the runners to second and third, and Nate DeChaine (2 of 4, three RBI) hit a single to score both runners. Head coach Steve Spongberg pulled hall after two outs and replaced him with Vinny Schmidt, who hasn't allowed an earned run this season (21.1 IP).
Schmidt had to face Joe Genoways, who had a two-run homer in the first inning. He gave a 3-1 pitch a ride, but flied out to deep right-center to end the game.
The fourth inning was pivotal for the Broncos by scoring five runs and chasing Morningside starter Jared Sorensen out of the game. He went 3.1 innings and gave up six earned on five hits. An errant throw by catcher Mitch Kellogg allowed a run to score and then Brandon Utrup (1 of 5, RBI, two runs) hit an infield single to score a second run. Another wild throw moved Utrup to second base and Eric Anderson (2 of 3, RBI) was able to bring him around on a single to left.
Morningside got out to a 2-1 lead after the first inning but quickly fell behind 8-2 after the big Bronco fourth inning. The Mustangs got three runs back in the sixth, but could not get any closer.
The Broncos (16-17, 8-4), who have won seven of the last eight, are scheduled to play at Midland on Saturday, weather permitting.