COUNCIL BLUFFS - The Iowa Western baseball team showed why it is ranked fifth in the latest NJCAA Division I rankings this weekend against Marshalltown Community College.
After the Tigers stole a game from the Reivers on Saturday, Iowa Western bounced back with an impressive 26 hits during the Reivers' two-game home sweep.
Iowa Western won the opener 8-4 thanks to 12 hits and two Marshalltown errors and then collected another victory in the nightcap following another 14 hits in a 9-6 win.
Marshalltown dropped to 9-6 overall and 1-3 in ICCAC play, while Iowa Western improved to 25-7 overall and 3-1 in league play.
The Tigers held a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning but Iowa Western plated five runs to take the lead and eventually won the game after shutting down the Tigers in the seventh.
Daryl Blaskovich and Ty Russell each had two hits for the Tigers, who managed just six hits total in the opener. Tyler Evans had the only RBI. Blaskovich scored twice in the loss.
Ben Ryder started on the hill for MCC but did not factor in the decision after allowing one earned run over 4 1/3 innings. Zach Throckmorten took the loss after surrending one run on one hit in relief. Taylor Moon also pitched in relief and gave up three earned runs in 2/3 of an inning.
Stephen Baldwin earned the win in relief for the Reivers after allowing no earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. Drake Robinson started and threw into the sixth inning, striking out three and allowing three runs on four hits.
The Tigers matched the Reivers hit-for-hit in the nightcap but another crooked number in the sixth by Iowa Western doomed MCC.
The Tigers never led in the contest but tied it at 5 in the fifth before a four-run sixth inning pushed the Reivers into the lead for good. The Tigers plated two in the seventh to close to within three runs but it was not enough.
Blaskovich and William Salas each had three hits to lead the Tigers' offense. Salas also scored three of the team's six runs, and Justen Folger added two hits and Blaskovich knocked in two runs in the loss.
Brett Baker started on the mound for MCC but only threw three innings and did not factor into the decision. Richard England recorded just one out and gave up the go-ahead run in the fifth inning to take the loss.
The Tigers will try to regroup today when they travel to ICCAC Division II rival Kirkwood (14-2, 4-0) for a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.