William Penn University
The William Penn baseball team moved four games over .500 in Midwest Collegiate Conference play for the first time this year with a doubleheader sweep of Mount Mercy Saturday.
The Statesmen (19-15, 9-7 MCC), who won by scores of 6-3 and 4-3, are now just .008 points behind Clarke and Viterbo (8-6) for the league lead. They met the Mustangs (10-27-1, 6-8 MCC) in another twinbill Sunday.
Roy Perez put the Statesmen on the board in the first, bombing an offering over the fence for his first home run. Jayme Mueller, who walked three times in the opener, scored on Perez’s hit.
Mount Mercy had a two-run response in the top of the second, but William Penn was steady with one run in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Brian Williams recorded a run-scoring single in the third and drove in another run on a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Enrique Alvarado brought in the final run with a double in the sixth. Mueller scored twice, while Nick Kirby and Nathan Wood were both 2-for-3 at the plate. William Penn held a 7-5 edge in hits.
Starting pitcher Danny Erece was very strong in his 6 1/3-inning outing. He allowed just three runs on four hits, while striking out four (two walks).
Erece (4-2) did run into a bit of trouble at the end of his performance, necessitating a move to the bullpen for Corey Lathram. The sophomore entered with two on and actually loaded the bases (the tying run was on first), but settled in for his first save in the navy and gold.
While the opener was tough, the nightcap was even more difficult for the Statesmen. Mount Mercy actually kept William Penn off the scoreboard through the first five innings, building a 3-0 edge entering the bottom of the sixth.
The Statesmen found offensive success before it was too late. Wood led off the sixth with a walk and then Kirby, Chris Redfern and Joel Medina followed with three consecutive hits to pull the deficit to one.
Mueller drew a bases-loaded walk (two walks in the game) later in the inning to tie the matchup, and then Stan Simmons plated the go-ahead run on the final of Mount Mercy’s four errors. Kirby was 2-for-3 as William Penn outhit the Mustangs 6-5.
Mueller wrapped up his first complete game of the year with a perfect seventh inning. The senior struck out four (one walk) to move to 3-1.