Vikings get second HAAC sweep

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ATCHISON, Kan. -- A broom has been handy thus far in Heart of America Conference play for the Missouri Valley College baseball team.

All three of the Vikings' league doubleheaders have been sweeps, including Saturday's tilt at Benedictine which they won by scores of 7-1 and 6-4.

Valley had one of its best pitching performances of the season in the opener, as senior Brady Nowak scattered five hits over five innings -- allowing only a run on freshman Jacob Franey's single in the bottom of the third to tie the contest at 1-1.

The Vikings responded by scoring three runs in the top of the fourth, begun by sophomore Zac Blakemore's single. A pair of two-out errors and a wild pitch allowed Blakemore and two other Valley runners to score.

Junior Anthony Corona stroked an RBI single in the sixth and sophomore Jake Stafford knocked in one of the Vikings' two runs in the seventh.

Valley also got ahead in the nightcap, tallying four runs in the second inning. Juniors Trevor Duffy and Tim Roddy smashed back-to-back doubles to plate runners, with a passed ball and senior Bobby Warchuck's single bringing in another pair.

However, junior Adam Burns kept the Vikings in check over the next five frames and Benedictine fought back. Sophomore C.J. Kinney, freshman Hunter McDaniel and sophomore Chris Johnson singled for lone scores in each of the next three innings.

The Ravens caught up when freshman Jacob Kirmer singled with two outs in the seventh, bringing junior southpaw Matt Berieter to the mound in relief for Valley. He got out of the jam and blanked Benedictine for the next two stanzas.

A Corona double and junior Josh Hartin's single drove in runs for the Vikings in the top of the eighth, and that's all they needed. Despite banging out 15 hits, the Ravens (3-15, 1-4 HAAC) left 12 runners on base.

Warchuck had three hits in the getaway game for Valley (5-13, 4-2), which is scheduled to host MidAmerica Nazarene today.

Contact Chris Allen at callen@marshallnews.com

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