The Meridian Community College Eagles snapped its three-game losing streak in dramatic fashion Tuesday afternoon at Scaggs Field. Freshman Ben Gann connected on a one-out double in the bottom of the tenth inning to propel the Eagles to a 6-5 win over Southeastern Iowa. MCC improved its overall record for the 2013 season to 10-11 with the win over the Blackhawks and the two teams will meet again Wednesday afternoon at Scaggs Field beginning at 2 p.m.
MCC started the game by scoring two runs to take a very early 2-0 lead after one complete inning. Johnathan Youngblood started the inning off by reaching on an infield single and later scored on a double by Paul Angel to give MCC the 1-0 lead. The offense continued for MCC moments later as Charles Morton gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead by chasing Angel home on a single up the middle.
Southeastern Iowa (9-9) would bounce right back with four runs in the top of the second inning to take a 4-2 lead over MCC. Jose Cruz started the inning off by reaching on a single and later scored on a double by Alejandro Quijada to cut the MCC lead down to just one run at 2-1. The Blackhawks tied the game on an infield error by the Eagles and Colby Brecht gave Southeastern Iowa the lead with an RBI double to make the score 3-2. Hector Viera extended the lead for the Blackhawks on an RBI single to give Southeastern Iowa to a two-run lead at 4-2.
MCC slowly started to chip away at the Southeastern Iowa lead with one run in the bottom of the third to draw the Eagles closer at 4-3. Kevin Hall collected the RBI for MCC on a bases loaded groundout that chased home Luke Stanley from third base to bring the Eagles to within one run.
The Eagles would eventually tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on a sharp single to left field by Youngblood that scored former Meridian High star Dallas Hannah from second base to make the score 4-4. Southeastern Iowa answered the MCC rally in the fourth inning with a run of its own in the top of the fifth inning to recapture the lead at 5-4. Cruz reached on an error in the outfield by the Eagles and eventually scored on a double by Lazaro Romero to give the Blackhawks the one-run lead.
MCC would bounce right back to tie the game at 5-5 with a run in the bottom portion of the fifth inning. Morton led the inning off with a double and crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to right field by Mac Seibert.
The two teams turned the game over to its respected bullpens and pitching took over the game until MCC struck for the go-ahead run in the bottom of the tenth inning. Seibert led the tenth inning off by reaching on an infield single and advanced to second base on a picture perfect sacrifice bunt by Hannah to put the winning run in scoring position for MCC. The Eagles went to the bench and brought in Levi Runyan to run for Seibert at second base and Gann came to the plate to deliver the game-winning hit. Gann drove a 1-1 pitch deep in gap in right-center field that chased Runyan home from second base to give MCC the dramatic 6-5 victory over the Blackhawks.
Both teams finished the game with 10 hits apiece and MCC had three hitters with multiple hits in the contest. Youngblood, Morton, and Seibert each finished with two hits apiece in the home victory. Tanner Vandevere, Luke Stanley, and Paul Angel each finished the game with one hit apiece.
Tanner Giesel led the Blackhawks with two base hits and one RBI, while Romero added two hits and an RBI.
Blake Barrow (2-2) picked up the pitching win out of the bullpen by working the tenth inning and collecting one strikeout. Andrew Crook shined out of the bullpen in the game for MCC by working four scoreless innings in relief of starting pitcher Brandon Smith.
Dustin Carlson (0-1) took the loss out of the bullpen for the Blackhawks and worked 2 1/3 innings.