MAY 4, 2019
BY: The Messenger Sports Staff
The Iowa Central baseball squad closed the regular season with a sweep of Iowa Lakes on Saturday at Ed Barbour Field.
The Tritons (32-18 overall, 19-9 in the ICCAC) rallied to defeat the Lakers in the conclusion of a rain-shortened contest from Friday, 5-1. Head coach Eric Stein's team then rolled to 11-2 and 12-4 victories to finish the afternoon and run their winning streak to six.
Trailing 1-0 in the eighth, Iowa Central plated four runs to pull ahead for good. Nathin Mortimer delivered a two-run single to highlight the comeback.
"Our No. 9 hitter, Cullen Weiss, actually got us started," Stein said. "He had a 1-2 count on him, and grinded out an at-bat for an infield single. We just kind of went from there, and Nathin had a big hit as well.
"We strung some solid at-bats together and showed good discipline at the plate, drawing a few walks."
Jason Ferreras tossed two hitless innings to record the save, striking out three. Jarrett Blunt took the win, working seven innings on Friday without allowing a single earned run and striking out eight.
It was all Tritons the rest of the way. Mortimer and Devin Porter each drove in two in the next game, while Alberto Ortiz delivered three hits and scored twice. Mortimer and Porter doubled, while Weiss tripled.
Ortiz stole a pair of bases.
Iowa Central, which has won 14 of 18 overall, plated eight runs in the fourth and never looked back.
Ortiz contributed three more hits in the nightcap, and Nic Anderson-Vine drove in two. Brendan Roder notched the victory with three innings of work in relief of Aaron Lang.
The Tritons scored twice in the first, second and fourth frames, and added four insurance runs in the sixth.
"We clinched the No. 2 seed for the (Region XI conference tournament), which was a big plus," Stein said. "Going into the postseason with some momentum is always a positive. We've been better at taking advantage of our opportunities and stringing some things together when we have runners on base (recently) … hopefully that continues.
"It was great to send the sophomores out like this at home, and it was a perfect day to play. We had a big, supportive crowd, which we always appreciate."
The Tritons' first Region XI tourney opponent will be either Ellsworth or Iowa Lakes this Thursday in Clinton.