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Trojans too much for Vikes in twinbill

MOUNT UNION — The Mount Union baseball team took advantage of the Vikings’ mistakes and received two strong pitching performances on the way to a twinbill sweep of Inter-County Conference foe Glendale on Thursday at Mount Union.

The Trojans (13-4) defeated the Vikings 9-2 in the opener before grabbing a 10-0 mercy-rule victory in five innings in the night cap. Mount Union celebrated its five seniors — Ian Brodbeck, Cael Walter, Tyler Renninger, Vince Lear and Klayton Willoughby — in style as the Trojans’ victories keep Mount Union atop the District 6 Class 2A standings.

The victory closes out a brutal stretch for the team that included five games this week. With pitching at a premium, Cael Walter and Ryan Plank delivered as both pitched extremely well on the way to wins on the mound.

“To win four of our last six with our pitching stretched out so much, it’s a good feeling,” Mount Union coach Tim Hicks said. “We will get some practice in now and try to get ready for districts. We have one more game that counts for points and we will have to be ready to play Monday against Penns Valley. Then it’s districts and hopefully we can put some good games together.”

Game 1

Mount Union 9, Glendale 2

The Trojans jumped on Glendale from the get-go in the opener, pushing across three runs in the top of the first, as Mount Union never trailed on the way to a 9-2 victory.

Cameron Donaldson and Ian Brodbeck both scored on wild pitches before a sacrifice fly off the bat of Vince Lear scored Tyler Renninger to give Mount Union a 3-0 advantage. Glendale got a run back in the bottom half of the inning as Garrett Misiura singled to right and later scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jacob Holes.

“We really did take advantage of those,” Hicks said. “They had a lot of miscues, a lot of wild pitches and passed balls. We were able to steal some bases. That’s part of the game. We kept ourselves out of some double plays and it was an overall good game. It was good to get a bunch of people in as well.”

The Trojans began to pour it on, adding a run in both the second and third innings on an RBI infield single to short by Brodbeck in the second, before Landon Chrisemer scored on a wild pitch in the third.

Mount Union salted the game away in the fifth inning as a sacrifice fly by Ryan Scott and a two-run double to center field by Danish made it 8-1 Mount Union. A sacrifice fly by Blaine Hunsinger gave the Trojans one final insurance run entering the seventh.

Although the Mount Union offense wasn’t at its best, the team did enough to come away with a seven-run victory in the opener.

“We definitely struggled offensively in the first game. We were a little flat after we hit the ball so well yesterday,” Hicks said. “That’s baseball. Sometimes your bats are hot and other times they aren’t, but that’s why you need good pitching and defense — it keeps you in the game long enough to get a few runs across. That’s what we did.”

Cael Walter cruised on the mound for the Trojans as he quieted the Vikings offense after the first inning. Walter threw six innings and gave up just five hits, walking four and striking out three. Walter gave up just one unearned run on Senior Night.

“Having Cael as a senior being able to get the start here on Senior Night was great,” Hicks said. “I thought that he did a good job, and the defense didn’t help him out at times, so his pitch count got up there a little bit but he threw the ball well and we made most of the plays behind him.”

Erratic pitching was a theme for Glendale in the opener, as the Vikings pitching staff combined for nine walks, hit two batters, and allowed three runs to score on wild pitches in the game.

“We did enough offensively,” Hicks said. “We didn’t have our best offensively, but we did enough to win.”

Mount Union 9, Glendale 2

MU 311 030 1 — 9 9 2

GL 100 000 1 — 27 2

WP: Cael Walter. LP: Troy Misiura. SO: Walter 3 (MU); Misiura 1 (GL). BB: Walter 4 (MU); Misiura 5, Conner Potutschnig (GL). 2B: Bryce Danish (MU). MH: Danish 2-4, Ian Brodbeck 2-2 (MU); Garrett Misiura 3-4, Jacob Holes 2-4 (GL). RBI: Danish 2, Blaine Hunsinger 1, Vince Lear 1, Ryan Scott 1, Brodbeck 1 (MU); Holes 2, Troy Misiura 1 (GL).

Game 2

Mount Union 10, Glendale 0 (5 innings)

Mount Union’s Ryan Plank put together a sensational outing in his second start of the season, throwing a three-hit shutout in five innings. Plank danced out of a couple of tough spots and kept the Glendale bats at bay all evening.

“It was only Ryan Plank’s second game on the mound this year and I thought he did great,” Hicks said. “He got even better there in that last inning. It was good to get him some experience and it’s good to be done with playing so many games in a row.”

After two scoreless innings to begin the game, the Trojans offense broke through in a big way in the third, plating four runs in the frame. Tyler Renninger drove in a run, reaching on a throwing error by the Vikings’ third baseman, while a Vince Lear single to left-center field make it 2-0. A bases-loaded walk by Ryan Scott and a wild pitch that scored Lear made it 4-0, Mount Union.

The Trojans added five more in the next inning to blow the game open. Mount Union scored five runs on six hits as a pair of two-run doubles by Lear and Cainen Atherton and an RBI single by Braylan Knable put the game away.

Lear led the way with three RBIs, while Renninger and Atherton drove in two. Bryce Danish, Cameron Donaldson, Lear, Knable, Scott and Atherton each had hits in the win.

Overall, winning four-of-six in a stretch of games Hicks was especially proud of the way different players rose to the occasion on the mound with pitching being availability taxed over the course of the week.

“I thought it was good to have so many guys that are able to pitch,” Hicks said. “Just getting them some experience and getting a chance to see how deep our pitching can be. I thought that was a good take from it as well.”

Mount Union 10, Glendale 0 (5 innings)

MU 004 51 — 10 10 3

GL 000 00 — 0 3 1

WP: Ryan Plank. LP: Mason Peterson. SO: Plank 1 (MU); Mason Peterson 4, Britton Spangle 1 (GL). BB: Plank 2 (MU); Spangle 6, Peterson 2 (GL). 2B: Cameron Donaldson, Cainen Atherton, Vince Lear (MU); Spangle (MU). MH: Bryce Danish, Donaldson, Lear, Braylan Knable (MU). RBI: Lear 3, Tyler Renninger 2, Atherton 2, Ryan Scott 1, Knable 1 (MU).

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