Jayme Mueller was 5-for-8 with his first home run of the campaign
Peosta--The William Penn baseball team needed all 24 of its league games to accomplish the feat, but on Sunday, the program qualified for the postseason by sweeping Clarke in Midwest Collegiate Conference play.
The Statesmen (20-24, 13-11 MCC) won by scores of 10-7 and 10-0 to earn the fifth and final bid to next week's MCC Tournament. The navy and gold needed help and got it from Ashford as the Saints knocked off Waldorf 3-2. The loss dropped Waldorf into a tie with William Penn at 13-11, but the Statesmen receive the #5 seed by virtue of its 2-1 season record against Warriors.
The navy and gold will return to Peosta for the double-elimination tourney, opening up against #4 seed Iowa Wesleyan Tuesday at noon.
The visitors got on the board early and often Sunday, beginning with three tallies in the first frame. Randall Packard (Sr., Forestville, Calif., Cal State-Monterey) and Evelio Ahumada (Sr., Hacienda Heights, Calif., Citrus CC) both had RBI singles, while Tony Alvarez (Jr., Spring Valley, Calif., Southwestern CC) brought in another run on a sacrifice fly.
The Crusaders (11-31, 5-19 MCC) answered with two runs in the second, but Alvarez's third-inning RBI single helped his squad bounce back. Three more runs came across in the fourth, including a two-run homer by Tony Mancuso (Sr., Covina, Calif., Citrus CC) and a run-scoring single by Jayme Mueller (Jr., Mundelein, Ill., College of Lake County CC). Mancuso now has two home runs this spring.
Brad Chin (Sr., San Rafael, Calif., San Rafael HS) singled in one more run in the fifth to give the visiting program a comfortable 8-2 advantage, but Clarke still had plenty of fight remaining.
The hosts scored three times in the bottom of the fifth and once more in both the sixth and seventh. Fortunately, Packard came up with a two-run double in the sixth and William Penn's margin was just big enough to hold on for victory.
The Statesmen outhit the Crusaders 13-12, including Mancuso's 3-for-3 showing. The senior touched home plate four times and recorded two RBIs as well. Mueller, Packard, and Alvarez also added two hits, while Alvarez matched Mancuso with two RBIs. Mueller and Stanley Muller (Sr., Tucson, Ariz., Cochise CC) scored two times in the win.
Brad McGuire (Jr., Covina, Calif., Citrus CC) finally picked up his first win of the year, but earned it in one of his more difficult outings. The junior (1-3) struck out four in six frames.
Jonathan Davis (Sr., San Diego, Calif., Southwestern CC) closed out the game with a perfect seventh inning for his first save.
The nightcap was completely dominated by William Penn, highlighted by a 16-4 edge in base knocks.
Alvarez put his team out front for good with a three-run double in the first. Chin singled in a run in that frame as well.
Mueller picked up the longest hit of the day, clearing the wall with a solo homer in the second. It was his first roundtripper of 2012. Muller also brought in Nathan Wood (Jr., Tucson, Ariz., Arizona Western CC) on a sacrifice bunt, pushing the lead to 7-0 after two innings.
Packard's fourth-inning double scored two more runs, while Ahumada recorded the day's final run by tagging up and scoring on a flyout by Chin.
Muller was perfect at the dish (4-for-4), while Mueller finished 3-for-5 (2 R). Ahumada (2 R), Alvarez (3 RBI), Chin (2 RBI), and Wood all managed two hits as well. Mancuso scored two times in the victory and Packard posted two RBIs.
David Ness (Sr., Purcellville, Va., Frederick CC) collected his fifth win (5-4) by tossing five strong frames with five strikeouts.
Steve Enriquez (Sr., Castro Valley, Calif., Laney CC), with one strikeout, and Danny Erece (Jr., Chula Vista, Calif., Southwestern CC) each worked one inning out of the bullpen.