LAMONI, Iowa -- The first of four four-game series against Heart of America Conference East Division opponents didn't go well last weekend for the Missouri Valley College baseball team.
The Vikings dropped all four games at Graceland, two by lopsided margins. After losing 2-1 and 15-2 on Saturday, Valley fell twice Sunday, 17-1 and 8-5.
The series opener was a pitcher's duel, with all three runs coming on homers. Senior Jake Clark allowed only three hits for the Yellowjackets, including a solo shot by junior Troy Langan in the sixth inning which cut the lead in half.
Senior Weston Loftin kept the Vikings in contention, but yielded homers to juniors Gabby Ayala and Francis Rodriguez in the third.
Graceland got good pitching in the late game from junior Euddi Ortega and senior Zeke Amador, who scattered seven hits between them. They were helped by an offense which put up crooked numbers in four its six turns at the plate, including a seven-run fifth, aided by seven Valley errors for five unearned runs.
Freshman Steven Rodriguez went four for four and drove in three runs and junior Miles Shelton had three RBIs on two hits. Freshman Alex Lator had three hits for the Vikings and scored on freshman Anthony Corona's single.
The 'Jackets' onslaught continued the next day, with another seven spot in the fourth and five tallies in the fifth to break open what had been a 2-0 contest. Sophomore Matt Kobeski knocked in four runs and scored three times on three hits and junior Alex Pena hit a solo homer.
Langan scored the Vikings' lone run on Lator's triple in the fifth inning.
Freshman Corey Marcks had four hits for Valley in the finale, which was tied at 3-3 heading into the bottom of the third. Graceland scored the next five runs and junior Martin Martinez made the lead stand up despite surrendering 12 hits to the Vikings.
Kobeski provided four hits for the 'Jackets (17-16, 8-6 HAAC), including two doubles, and Ayala added two hits and scored three runs -- both of them knocking in three runs.
Valley (3-23, 1-11) have lost 11 straight, nine in a row in league play, and will play two doubleheaders Friday and Saturday at Evangel.