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V-Hawks Open Season in Missouri

V-Hawks Open Season in Missouri

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Viterbo University Baseball team traveled to Joplin, Missouri this weekend to open their 2023 season, but lost all four games. On Friday, the V-Hawks fell 3-6 to Evangel (Mo.) and 6-8 to William Woods (Mo.), and on Saturday Viterbo lost 13-14 to Morningside (Iowa) and 3-13 to William Penn (Iowa). The V-Hawks now hold a, 0-4 record.

The Valor started the scoring with an RBI double in the bottom of the first, and added to the lead with runs in the second and third as well. In the fifth, Evangel scored a trio of unearned runs. In the top of the seventh, Gavin Daniel's double brought in Drew Ilg for the V-Hawks first run of the year, and on the next at-bat, Blake Warner's sacrifice fly to center scored Kendal Hofer. Camden Smith would score Daniel, but the rally would end there and Evangel would win 3-6.

Spencer Hans led with two hits, and Daniel Smith, and Warner each had an RBI. Brandon Jaenke (0-1) struck out five batters over 4.2 innings. Three batters for the Valor had two hits and Isaac Daley (3-0) had 10 strikeouts, while Levi Loughridge recorded his third save of the year.

In the night cap against William Woods, Chad Herrera led off with a double, then scored as Hans was walked. Carson Trumpold earned an RBI on an error by the pitcher, brining in Daniel, and Warner reached home on Marcus Hornacek's single. The Owls responded with a homer in the top of the second, but the V-Hawks built on their lead in the bottom with Hofer's RBI double scoring Remy Stern, and Warner's single bringing in Herrera for the second time. A big fifth inning evened the score at five, and WWU would take the lead 5-8 in the top of the sixth. Daniel brought in Herrera yet again, but the V-Hawks wouldn't manage any more runs and fell 6-8.

Herrera and Hofer each recorded a game-high three hits, and six players recorded an RBI. Ryan Gill truck out nine batters over 4.1 innings while Dominic LaBlanc (0-1) recorded the loss.

Andrew Fyffe (1-0) stuck out five batters while Isaiah Gibbs had five RBIs on three hits for the Owls.

On Saturday against Morningside, the Mustangs took a 0-1 lead in the top of the first, but a huge second inning gave Viterbo a 6-1 lead, coming from a Hornacek single, a Smith 2 RBI double, and a three run home run by Hofer. Each team scored a pair of runs in the third, with Trumpold bringing in Warner on a single, then scoring himself after Smith was hit by a pitch. Morningside chipped away at the V-Hawk lead, scoring two runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, but Daniel and Ilg each reached home in the sixth as well. A grand slam for MU in the top of the seventh helped give them a 10-14 lead, but in the bottom of the inning, Hans responded with a three run homerun, but it would not be enough, and Morningside claimed victory 13-14.

Herrera, Daniel, Trumpold, and Hornacek each had two hits, while Hofer, Smith, and Hans had three RBIs apiece. Ben Strassman struck out four batters over 4.1 innings, while Brandon Shepard (0-1) recorded the loss.

Logan Warkentin (1-0) earned three strikeouts, while Eddie Brancato led the Mustangs with three hits and eight RBIs.

In the final game of the weekend against William Penn, Blake Warner would nail a three run home run in the fourth inning for the V-Hawks, but it wouldn't be enough to keep pace with the Statesmen, who scored two in the first inning and 13 in the game. Anthony Sanchez the loss for the V-Hawks, while Ty Harter earned the win.

The V-Hawks will travel to Ottawa (Kan.) next weekend for a series against (RV) Ottawa University.