The Duhawks completed the sweep of their cross-town rivals Tuesday afternoon, fending off a pair of late-inning comeback attempts to earn the victories, 9-7 and 7-6.
The Spartans grabbed an early lead in Game 1, bringing in two runs on three hits in the bottom of the second. Junior Patrick Walsh drove sophomore Cole Reeg home in the top of the third to bring Loras within a run. The Duhawk bats exploded in the top of the 6th, cranking out eight runs on seven hits to go ahead, 9-2.
The Spartans answered the offensive assault in the bottom of the seventh, rallying for five runs before eventually falling 9-7. Senior Adam Schwoebel picked up the win to improve to 7-1 on the season.
The sixth inning proved to be fertile ground again for the Duhawks in Game 2, as Walsh and sophomore Nolan Ritter each drove in runs, and senior Anthony Flattery scored on a wild pitch. Loras hung on for the 7-6 victory to complete the sweep of UD. Senior Will Petrosky picked up the win.
Last weekend, the Duhawks took on No. 13 Wartburg, and the Iowa Conference leaders didn’t disappoint. The Knights took the series 3-1.
After a slow start in Game 1 on Friday, the Duhawks were down one against the Knights when Reeg answered with a solo home run to tie the game. On the mound, Schwoebel limited the Knights to three runs and picked off three runners at first.
Despite trailing late in the game, Flattery brought in two runs on a single to tie the game, 3-3. A walk brought in the winning run for the Duhawks.
In Game 2, the Duhawks failed to take advantage of their momentum. The Duhawks were done in by a huge six-run sixth inning from the Knights, who were able to hang on for the 10-6 victory.
“We were in every game for the most part,” said sophomore second baseman Luke Leibforth. “We had guys on base almost every inning, but couldn’t come up with those two-out hits that can break open a game. We really only had three bad innings the whole weekend. They unfortunately were too much to overcome.”
In Game 3, junior Alex Steines took the mound, to face his former teammates. The Wartburg transfer held tough for seven-plus innings before getting roughed up in the top of the eighth.
After a two-RBI single by sophomore right fielder Tony Heiser sent the game into extra innings, the Wartburg offense exploded, scoring seven runs in the top of the frame. The Duhawks were held scoreless in the bottom of the eighth and lost Game 3, 10-3.
The Knights’ offense stayed hot in Game 4, tallying seven runs in the first two innings of the game. The Duhawks were never able to respond, and fell 9-3.
“Our biggest weakness would have to be consistency” said Leibforth. “We can go out there and score four runs in an inning, then take the field and let up five. We’ve have to learn to bury teams and let them know they have no chance of getting back into the game.”
After Tuesday’s double-header, the Duhawks sit at 17-14 and 11-9 in the Iowa Conference. Their next test will take place this Friday and Saturday at home where they’ll take on Buena Vista (20-11, 10-10 IIAC) in back-to-back double-headers.