Morningside dropped a pair of one-run games against Mount Marty by scores of 3-2 and 10-9 in a Thursday GPAC baseball doubleheader in Yankton, S.D.
The Lancers’ Justin Miller delivered a RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive in the winning run in the opener. Mount Marty held on to win the nightcap when the Mustangs staged a seven-run rally, featuring a grand slam home run by Andrew Kasperbauer, in the top of the seventh inning.
The Mustangs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the opener when Dylan Mersola led off the game with a single and eventually scored on a passed ball.
Morningside starting pitcher Aaron Homme blanked the Lancers through the first three innings before the hosts scored a run on a sacrifice fly by Gabriel Leon in the bottom of the fourth to tie the score at one.
Mersola was the catalyst again when the Mustangs regained the lead at 2-1 in the top of the sixth. Mersola led off the inning with a double, advanced to third on a single by Nathan DeChaine and came home on a single by Joe Genoways.
Mount Marty tied the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run by Leon and scored the game winner in the bottom of the seventh when D.J. West led off with a walk and scored on a two-out single by Miller.
Mersola had two of the Mustangs’ seven hits with a double and single. The Mustangs other hits were singles by DeChaine, Genoways, Kasperbauer, Levi Davidson and Mitch Kellogg.
Homme limited the Lancers to two runs on six hits over the first 5.2 innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Morningside jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the first inning of the nightcap on a two-run home run by Nathan DeChaine, who blasted the school-record 39th homer of his career with Jordan Pierce on base after a bunt single.
Mount Marty answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first and added three runs in the second, three in the third and two in the fourth to open a 10-2 lead.
Lancer starter Derek Miller held the Mustangs to two runs and four hits over the first six innings before the Lancers turned the game over to their bullpen in the top of the seventh.
The Mustangs’ bats came to life with six hits in the seventh, starting with a leadoff single by Matthew Sanchez to start the inning. Singles by Mersola and Pierce loaded the bases to set up a RBI single by DeChaine. The Mustangs scored their second run of the inning when Genoways bounced into a fielder’s choice. Sam Huska delivered a RBI single to cut the Lancers’ lead to 10-5 before Kasperbauer connected for a grand slam to make it a one-run game. The blast was Kasperbauer’s second home run of the season.
Morningside finished with 10 hits and had multiple hit performances from DeChaine with a home run and single, Pierce with two singles and Huska with two singles. The Mustangs’ other hits were a home run by Kasperbauer and singles by Mersola, Sanchez and Derek Clayton.
Morningside will host Mount Marty in a GPAC doubleheader on Friday at 2 p.m.