On a day in which Iowa Wesleyan picked up their first conference wins, Tiger Tanner Anderson became the program's career hits leader with 156. In both games, the Tigers came from behind to secure the wins. IW used a walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh to win 4-3 in the first game of the day. Iowa Wesleyan had to erase a 5-0 deficit in the second game and was able to complete the comeback with the go-ahead run coming off of a home run by Joseph Belarde.
In the opening game of the double header, Ben Deweese (FR/Point Saint Lucie, FL) threw six innings for the Tigers. He finished with six strikeouts and only gave up two walks in the outing. The first two innings were scoreless for both teams when Blackburn came up to bat in the top of the third to take a two nothing lead. Iowa Wesleyan was able to get a run back in the bottom of the third with a RBI single by Travis Kostello (SR/St. Louis, MO).
The Beavers added to their lead in the top of the fourth. Chazz Brown (SO/Chicago, IL) singled up the middle for the Tigers, and Tanner Anderson (SR/Vermillion, SD) hit an RBI double to right center field to bring IW back within one run of the Blackburn lead. The Tiger defense got out of the fifth without giving up a run. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Connor Urevich (FR/Wentzville, MO) came to the plate and hit a solo home run to even the score.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Iowa Wesleyan's defense once again shut down Blackburn. The Tigers came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh looking to make something happen. IW took advantage of some Beaver errors to get runners on base. Travis Kostello came to the plate and had runners on second and third. He gave the Tigers the lead with a shot to right-center field, driving in Mattew Murphy for the winning run.
The second game got off to a rough start for the Tigers. After the first inning, IW was faced with a 5-0 deficit. In the next inning, Iowa Wesleyan cut the Beaver lead to just one run after plating four runs in the bottom of the second. The Tigers had three hits in the inning and took advantage of some wild pitches to better their scoring position.
Blackburn added a run in the top of the third to go ahead 6-4. Iowa Wesleyan tied the game up at 6-6 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Joseph Belarde led the inning off with a single and advanced on a passed ball. Chazz Brown followed with a walk to give IW runners on first and second. After another passed ball, both runners advanced a base, and Jacob Leonard (FR/Aurora, IL) drove in the first run with a ground ball to the second baseman. Tanner Anderson drove in the tying run with a ground ball to second that brought Brown home.
Both teams failed to score in the sixth inning, and Iowa Wesleyan's defense kept the Beavers from scoring in the top of the seventh. Joseph Belarde was the leadoff batter for the Tigers in the bottom of the seventh inning. Belarde hit a solo home run over the left field fence to give IW a 7-6 advantage. The Beavers were able to get out of the inning without giving up another run, but the lone run proved to be the difference. Neither team scored in the final two innings of play. Iowa Wesleyan was able to secure the win to pick up their second win of the day.
Tanner Anderson went 3-7 on the day and became the all-time career hits leader, passing the 156 mark that was previously held by Nathan Taylor. Joseph Belarde and Connor Urevich each hit solo home runs for the Tigers.
Iowa Wesleyan will be back in action on Wednesday, March 29. They will play a nine inning game against Central College at 3:30 pm in Pella, Iowa. The Tigers are now 8-10 overall and 2-5 in SLIAC play this season.
STORY COURTESY OF IOWA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION