When the wind is blowing stiffly from the southwest, Marshall's cozy Osage Field becomes a nightmare for pitchers.
So it was Tuesday for Missouri Valley College hurlers, who surrendered nine homers and 33 runs to MidAmerica Nazarene -- which took both ends of a Heart of America Conference doubleheader, 21-6 and 12-6.
Despite the lopsided final score, the Vikings took a 6-5 lead into the sixth inning of the opener -- getting a solo homer from freshman Mike Bennett in the third and a two-run shot by senior Geread Filippi in the fourth.
The Pioneers exploded for 16 runs on 13 hits and three errors in the top of the sixth. Two came in on senior Timothy Barraza's double, sophomore Josh Greer doubled in a run and senior Alex Murrieta drove in a pair with a single.
Then the long-ball barrage began. Junior Donnie MacLeod went deep with a man on base, junior Kyle Segraves doubled for two runs and junior Ben Alison smashed a two-run dinger. The next two batters, Greer and Murrieta, also cleared the fences before freshman Lucas Cooperman relieved and got Valley out of the frame.
Sophomore Colin Starr's two-run homer in the top of the second inning began the scoring in the late game, MidAmerica jumping out to a 4-0 lead.
The Vikings tied the contest during their next at-bat, getting four runs on four hits -- the last a two-run single from senior Matt Burton.
Freshman Matt Glanzer stole home to put Valley ahead in the third, the Pioneers regained the lead with a pair of ragged runs in the top of the fourth and Filippi's squeeze bunt tied the game in the bottom half of the inning.
The Vikings got four more hits during the final three stanzas, but were unable to push a run across. Senior Derek Glenn doubled in two MNU runs in the fifth and Starr smashed a tater with a man aboard during a four-run sixth.
MidAmerica Nazarene (20-6, 5-1 HAAC) has won 12 of its last 13 games to take over the top spot in the league standings.
Freshman Alex Lator had four hits on the day for Valley (3-20-1, 1-5), which plays at Baker today.