William Penn (14-21, 7-8 MCC) entered the bottom of the ninth in a 6-6 tie and was quickly recorded out twice. Nathan Wood
(Jr., Tucson, Ariz., Arizona Western CC) then started the two-out rally with a walk, one of three in a row that loaded the bases for Alvarez.
The junior catcher, who entered the day hitting just .154, then delivered the biggest hit of the year. He took a full-count pitch and sent it into the right-center gap to plate Wood with the game-winner. The win keeps the navy and gold two games (three in the loss column) ahead of Ashford (18-28, 6-11 MCC) for the sixth and final qualifying spot for the MCC Tournament.
The home squad slowly built up a nice lead with one run each in the first, third, and fourth frames.Randall Packard
(Sr., Forestville, Calif., Cal State-Monterey) singled in Wood in the first, while Stanley Muller
(Sr., Tucson, Ariz., Cochise CC) touched the final base in the third on a double by Wood.
Packard made it 3-0 one inning later as he survived a rundown by knocking the ball from the glove of the Saint catcher.
Unfortunately, Ashford responded with a big fifth inning, scoring five runs to force the removal of both starting pitcher David Ness
(Sr., Purcellville, Va., Frederick CC) and first reliever Jonathan Davis
(Sr., San Diego, Calif., Southwestern CC). Head Coach Mike Laird
went to the bullpen two more times on the afternoon, going with Steve Enriquez
(Sr., Castro Valley, Calif., Laney CC) as well as third baseman Jayme Mueller
(Jr., Mundelein, Ill., College of Lake County CC). Mueller (1-1) picked up the win in a short outing.
Trailing 5-3, the Statesmen once again found their bats in the sixth. Brad Chin
(Sr., San Rafael, Calif., San Rafael HS), with help from a strong southern wind, cleared the right-center fence for his first home run of the year. Pinchrunner Nick Kirby
(Sr., Palmdale, Calif., Antelope Valley CC) scored on the hit as well, while Daniel Wehr
(Sr., Sigourney, Sigourney HS) reached on an error and scored on another.
The 6-5 advantage lasted until two outs were tallied in the ninth. That is when Ashford produced consecutive doubles to knot the contest and force William Penn's heroics.
The hosts outhit the visitors 12-10, including a 3-for-4 outing by Wood. Packard, Alvarez, and Chin had two base knocks as well.Next: William Penn remains in Oskaloosa Wednesday to host Iowa Wesleyan in an MCC doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.