Morningside advanced to the Northwestern Bracket Championship Game in the GPAC Postseason Baseball Tournament.
Morningside stayed alive in the Northwestern Bracket of the GPAC Baseball Postseason Tournament when it defeated city rival Briar Cliff 4-1 and Hastings 10-5 Saturday’s elimination bracket games in Orange City, Iowa.
The Mustangs’ victory against Hastings in the elimination bracket final advanced the Mustangs to Monday’s championship game against host Northwestern, where the Mustangs will need to defeat the undefeated Red Raiders in back-to-back games in order to advance to the GPAC Postseason Tournament Championship Game against the winner of the Midland Bracket.
The Mustangs will take a 22-24-1 record into Monday’s Northwestern Bracket final slated for a noon start.
The Mustangs scored all four of their runs against Briar Cliff in the bottom of the sixth inning after Charger starting pitcher Jacob Wesselmann had shut them out on six hits over the first five frames.
Nathan DeChaine started the Mustangs’ sixth inning rally when he worked Wesselmann for a one-out walk. Brandon McClintock pinch-ran for DeChaine and advanced to second base on a single by Joe Genoways. McClintock eventually scored the first run of the game when Jordan Pierce reached base on an error by the Chargers’ second baseman. The Mustangs scored runs on RBI singles by Andrew Kasperbauer and Mitch Kellogg later in the inning, while another run scored after a throwing error by the Chargers’ centerfielder.
The four-run sixth inning was more than enough for Mustang starting pitcher Cody Selig, who limited the Chargers to just one run on five hits over the first eight innings to get the win. Selig (4-5) walked one and struck out four.
Elliott Conover pitched the seventh inning and struck out two of the four batters he faced to pick up his eighth save of the season.
Kellogg, Kasperbauer, Levi Davidson and Dylan Mersola all had two singles for the Mustangs. Genoways and Derek Clayton also had singles.
The Mustangs’ 10-5 win against Hastings avenged an 8-1 loss against the Broncos in Friday’s first round.
Mustang starting pitcher Aaron Homme allowed five runs on 11 hits over the first seven innings to get the win. Homme walked one and struck out four. Spencer Wyant struck out four of the eight batters he faced and allowed only one hit while pitching the last two innings.
The Mustangs took control of the game early when they scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 5-2 lead. Morningside had five hits in the first inning, including a two-run home run by Sam Huska that tied the score after Mersola led off the inning with a single. Kasperbauer put the Mustangs in front 3-2 with a RBI single. Davidson slugged a RBI double and Kellogg drove in a run with a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
Mersola singled and came home on a Kasperbauer RBI single in the second inning to give the Mustangs a 6-3 lead.
The Mustangs broke the game open with two more runs in the fifth and a run in the sixth to increase their lead to 9-3. Mersola delivered a two-run single in the fifth, while Nathan DeChaine had the big hit in the sixth with a double.
Morningside pounded out 16 hits in the victory. Mersola went four-for-six to lead the way. The Mustangs also had multiple hit performances from DeChaine with a pair of doubles, Genoways with a double and single, Kellogg with a double and single, and Kasperbauer with two singles.
Briar Cliff Box