Tiger offense thrives in season opening split at Roane State

MCC baseball split a pair of games at Roane State to open the 2017 season on Friday
MCC baseball split a pair of games at Roane State to open the 2017 season on Friday
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Harriman, TN—After dropping the season opener in game one, the Marshalltown Community College baseball team scored five runs in the sixth inning of game two to earn its first victory of the year at Roane State Community College on Friday. MCC dropped the opener 6-5 before taking game two 9-7.

The Tigers rallied from five runs down in game one, but eventually fell in the bottom of the seventh to the Raiders. Tied at 2-2 in game two, the Tiger offense came alive to pull away before the game was called in the bottom of the seventh due to lack of daylight. Despite leading 11-7 in the seventh, the game reverted back to the last complete inning, the sixth, for the final score of 9-7.

Sophomores Tony Salato (Knoxville, IA/Knoxville) and Enmanuel Lopez (Santiago, Dominican Republic/Prepara) powered the MCC offense throughout the day. Salato collected four hits and four RBI between the two games while Lopez collected three hits and three RBI. Lopez blasted a two-run home run in the top of the seventh, but was recalled due to the game being called early.

Game one saw the Raiders take advantage of costly MCC miscues through the first two innings to take a 5-0 lead off of sophomore starting pitcher Juan Carlos Gonzalez (Piedra Blanca, Dominican Republic/Salome Urena de Henrriquez), despite allowing just one hit. Gonzalez struck out six through three innings before being relieved by JJ Stephens (Sioux City, IA/Sioux City East) in the fourth.

Stephens struck out the side in the fourth and the Tiger offense caught fire in the top of the fifth to get back in contention. Four straight walks and a passed ball to start the inning gave MCC a pair of runs. RBI singles from Joel Rosauer (Elk Run Heights, IA/Waterloo East) and Salato pulled MCC within one in the fifth. Stephens took the mound in the bottom half and struck out the side once again to silence the Raiders.

A scoreless sixth from MCC followed by a clean frame from Stephens sent the game to the seventh. Luis Duran (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Centro de Estudio Espaillat) and Salato delivered singles to put two runners on with two outs. Duran eventually scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Roane State prevailed in the end though, scoring on a wild pitch of their own in the bottom of the seventh to steal the season opener for both teams.

Salato finished the game 3-4 at the dish as MCC outhit the Raiders 8-3 but committed five errors to Roane State's zero.

Sophomore Diogen Ceballos (La Vega, Dominican Republic/Liceo la Romana) got the start on the mound in game two and after allowing a first inning run, settled down for a scoreless second. Lopez doubled in the top of the third to score Jalen Horton (Des Moines, IA/Hoover) from first to tie the game. After a run from Roane State in the bottom of the second, MCC tied the game once again in the fourth after Marving Serrano (Caracas, Venezuela/Ciudad Fajardo de Guatire) singled to score Kaleb Hanks (Sioux City, IA/Sioux City East).

Salato delivered a blow in the fifth with a line drive base hit to score Sayvon Cowans (Wesley Chapel, FL/Freedom) and Lopez for a 4-2 lead. MCC broke it open in the sixth with a five spot after Serrano led off with a double. Following a bunt single from Horton, Cowans belted a two-run double to extend the lead. A pair of errors led to two more MCC runs and after a John Magnuson (Elk Run Heights, IA/Waterloo East) double, Hanks singled to score Duran for a 9-2 lead.

The Raiders threatened in the bottom of the sixth with five runs to pull within two, 9-7. Lopez drilled his home run in the top of the seventh to extend the lead, but the sun set on the game and it was called in the bottom half of the inning to give MCC the win.

Horton, Lopez, Duran, and Serrano all collected two hits in the win for the Tigers. Ceballos earned his first win of the year after striking out six batters.

The two teams square off for a doubleheader at 11:00 AM (CST)/12:00 PM  (EST) Saturday afternoon.

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