Howard Thompson, Director of Sports Communication Services
FAYETTE – Upper Iowa welcomed the Marauders of the University of Mary to Fayette on Thursday for the first two games of a four-game, Northern Sun Conference series. UIU scored a 4-0 win in game one behind an impressive performance by starting pitcher Colin Lacey and timely hitting by Zackary Cain. The two teams battled in game two with the home team outlasting their guests for an 8-7 win. UIU never trailed in the game, but UM tied the score on three separate occasions before Connor Klostermann drove in Cain for the game-winning run. With the wins, UIU improved to 5-6 overall and 3-2 in the NSIC, while UMary drops to 2-14 overall and 0-6 in the conference.
The Peacocks and Marauders will head to the diamond at Robertson Woods Field again on Friday for another double header beginning at 12 p.m.
Game One: Upper Iowa 4 – UMary 0
Zackary Cain gave Upper Iowa an early 2-0 cushion when he homered over the wall in right center in the bottom of the first inning. Tony Salato, who led the inning off with a single, scored on the long ball.
Cain tried to spark the Peacocks again in the fourth inning with a single down the line in left to open the frame. With two outs, Cain had made his way to third before Dominic Hillesheim singled to right to push UIU’s lead to 3-0. UIU continued to threaten loading the bases with two outs thanks to a walk and a hit batsmen around Hillesheim’s single. Salato earned a walk to plate Cole Scieszinski for the home team’s fourth run. A pitching change led to a strikeout to end the inning, but not before UIU moved ahead 4-0.
UMary put a pair of runners in scoring position in the fifth inning thanks to a pair of singles with one out, but Peacock starter Colin Lacey and the defense were able to hold the Marauders at third and get out of the jam with a fly out in four territory.
Lacey claimed the win to improve to 2-0 with a complete game shutout in his first start at home. The southpaw threw seven innings scattering 8 hits, while striking out 4 Marauder batters. Alec DeMaria took the loss (0-1) after 3.2 innings of work; he allowed 4 runs on 5 hits. Kenny Slominski threw well in relief with 2.1 innings without giving up a hit and recording 3 strikeouts.
Cain led UIU with two hits, two runs and two rbi, while Salato, Scieszinski, and Hillesheim all got one hit apiece.
Game Two: Upper Iowa 8 – UMary 7
In the first inning, UIU scored three runs on five hits highlighted by back-to-back singles by Salato and Cain to open the inning. The runs scored on an rbi-single on the infield by Connor Klostermann, a Marauder error and a single to left by Hans Alwin.
UMary bounced back in the third inning with three unearned runs on just one hit. Two walks and a Peacock error loaded the bases with one out. A ground out by Jesus Payan pushed one run across and a double to left center by Travis Stevens added two more to tie the game at 3-3.
The Marauders threatened again in the fourth inning loading the bases with one out, but UIU got out of the jam thanks to a pair of grounders.
The Peacocks moved out to a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs and runners on second and third, Cain hit a ball toward first base that was mishandled by the UMary’s defense, which allowed both runners to score.
UMary answered quickly in the fifth inning to tie the game at 5-all on the back of two hits and a Peacock error to start the frame. Mason Huntley and Nick McCann drove in runs to pull the Marauders even.
The home team was able to break the tie in the sixth inning when Riley Braughton led off and singled. Cal Seehase walked to give UIU a pair of runners on base with no outs. After Salato sacrificed the runners into scoring position, Cain delivered again for UIU with a two-run single up the middle to put the Peacocks ahead 7-5.
With one out in the seventh, UMary put a single between a hit batsmen and a walk to load the bases. A second straight walk pulled the Marauders within one and a groundout that UIU couldn’t turn into a double play pushed the second run of the inning across to knot the contest again at 7-7.
In the ninth, Cain walked with one out and reached second base with two outs. Klostermann hammered a fastball to the fence in left centerfield to score Cain and give Upper Iowa the 8-7 walkoff victory and sweep on day one.
Klostermann had three hits for the home team in game two, while Hillesheim and Cain each had a pair of base knocks.
Tyus Adkins (1-0) earned the win in relief with 2.2 innings allowing no runs on one hit while striking out one Marauder. Collin Thomas got the no-decision with 3.2 innings and three unearned runs allowed on four hits.
Austin Ell (0-1) suffered the loss in relief going 2.2 innings and allowing just the winning run on the only hit he gave up. Huntley led the Marauders at the plate with 3 hits.