(Courtesy Morningside Athletics)
Morningside College’s late-season diamond hot streak continued with a pair of crucial Great Plains Athletic Conference wins Sunday, May 2.
The Mustangs concluded the 2021 league regular-season slate topping crosstown rival Briar Cliff University 3-1 and 13-8 in a memorable 15-inning tussle at BCU’s Bishop Mueller Field. The two triumphs, part of a recent span where head coach Adam Boeve’s team has won eight of its last 12, enabled the Maroon to place fourth on the loop standings, just percentage points behind Mount Marty University for a spot in the first three.
Sunday’s game one was almost a mirror image of the opener just a day earlier at Lewis and Clark Park’s Mercy Field. Freshman starter Justin Lottman locked up the host Chargers on five hits while striking out seven and allowing only one free pass, much like what fellow first-year Caleb Thomsen did on the Mustangs’ home field with an impressive resume of nine strikeouts and only five safeties given up during a come-from-behind 4-3 victory.
Game two at BCU was one that neither program will soon forget. Briar Cliff, seeking a weekend split, jumped out to a 7-0 lead, a similar theme to the 4-1 advantage they muscled their way to across town May 1 en route to an 11-1, seven-inning victory. However, this time around, Mside dug down and fought back into an 8-8 tie with four scores in the fifth, three in the sixth, and one in the seventh.
From that point forward, neither team crossed home plate for the next seven innings. Junior Jordan Kyle and freshman Quintin Holman fired a combined nine innings of shutout ball at their hosts, giving up only five hits and striking out six between them. They were matched pitch-for-pitch by the Chargers Austin Carter and Tyler Kjose until the top of the 15th. An infield RBI single from senior infielder Jordan Pierce, a bases-clearing double off the bat of freshman infielder Aiden Bishop, and a sacrifice fly produced by sophomore Carter Ades busted the game open for Boeve’s bunch.
The Maroon take the fourth seed into the league postseason tournament Thursday-Saturday, May 6-8, at Concordia University’s Plum Creek Park. Morningside (25-28 overall) will face off against BCU for a fifth straight contest Thursday in a noon first pitch.