Valley sweeps HAAC twinbill

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The wind was blowing out of tiny Osage Field Tuesday, but it didn't help the home team.

The Missouri Valley College baseball team smashed four homers in each of its two Heart of America Conference wins over Graceland, which received the home-field advantage of batting last after weather forced the game to be moved from Lamoni, Iowa.

The Vikings won the opener, 6-1, as sophomore southpaw Cody Gardner tossed a three-hitter, striking out eight.

His only mistake was giving up a solo homer to junior Jared Whitten.

By that time, Valley already owned a 3-0 lead as senior Russell McGinnis and junior Tim Embree went yard.

Embree found the fence again with a man on base in the sixth, senior Kyle Eley tacking on a solo shot to homer for the third game in a row.

The Yellowjackets got their sticks going in the nightcap, an 11-7 loss.

Junior Sean Smith had three taters during the game for Graceland (4-11, 0-2 HAAC), the first two giving his team a 6-1 lead heading into the fifth inning.

The Vikings exploded for seven runs in that stanza, Embree and junior Kevin Challoner each smashing three-run dingers and sophomore Stephen Summers also going deep.

McGinnis sealed the victory with a three-run homer in the seventh.

Valley (7-10, 2-2) will be play at home again Saturday, this time officially as the home team, when it entertains Benedictine in a clash between the fifth- and sixth-ranked teams in NAIA Region V.

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