|Clarke (Iowa) (41-10, 25-6 Heart)||3||1||2||0||1||0||0||7||8||1|
|Mount Mercy (Iowa) (19-28, 11-20 Heart)||0||0||0||1||0||0||7||8||9||1|
|Cedar Rapids, IA Ken Charipar Field|
|Clarke (Iowa)||Pitching||Mount Mercy (Iowa)|
|Clarke (Iowa)||Indv. Stats||Mount Mercy (Iowa)|
|#7 Faccenda, Evan||Doubles||#34 Beasley, Tarran|
|3 Players||Home Runs||#34 Beasley, Tarran|
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Tarran Beasley's grand slam was part of a seven-run seventh inning as the Mount Mercy baseball team rallied for an 8-7 victory over ninth-ranked Clarke in the opening game of Saturday's Heart of America Athletic Conference doubleheader at Ken Charipar Field at Xavier High School. Game two was supsended in the top of the third inning, tied 1-1.
Jakob Kirman of the Crusaders kept the Mustang offense in check for six innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits with nine strikeouts and a walk. But Mount Mercy's fortunes changed in the seventh when Abraham Rangel replaced Kirman to start the inning. Pinch-hitter Cody Bell walked to lead off the bottom half. After Collin Shrader went down on strikes, Devin Holmes singled and Cody Collender walked to load the bases.
Noah Dostal came to the plate and drew another base on balls to make it 7-2, then Beasley went deep for an opposite-field grand slam that brought the Mustangs within 7-6, still with only one out. Ian Fitzsimmons walked, then Reid Bonner was hit by a pitch to put the tying run in scoring position. Pinch-hitter Ben Larson followed with a run-scoring single to left-center that was bobbled by left fielder Ryan Siems, allowing extra bases for both Bonner and Larson.
Bell, who led off the inning with a base on balls, was intentionally walked this time to set up the double play. Clarke got what it was looking for when Shrader grounded to second base, but the Crusaders (41-10, 25-6 Heart) couldn't turn two and Bonner crossed the plate with the game-winning run to keep Mount Mercy (19-28, 11-20 Heart) in the running for a spot in the Heart of America postseason tournament.
Beasley, Holmes and Bonner had multi-hit games for the Mustangs. Beasley finished 3-for-4 with a double, home runs, two runs scored and four runs batted in. Holmes went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Bonner ended up 2-for-3 while scoring a run. Adam Lloyd (2-5) earned the win with four solid innings in relief of Blake Hargens. Lloyd struck out four and walked one while surrendering one earned run on four hits.
In the nightcap, Clarke tied the contest at 1-1 in the top of the third and had runners on first and second with no outs when rain halted play. As of Saturday night, Mount Mercy remained a half-game back of Graceland (18-32, 11-19 Heart) for the fifth and final postseason spot in the Heart of America's Northern Division. The Yellowjackets and Culver-Stockton (Mo.) were rained out on Saturday and will wrap up the regular season on Sunday in Lamoni.
The Heart of America Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament will be held May 3-9 at US Baseball Park in Ozark, Mo. The first round on Wednesday features the No. 4 and No. 5 finishers in the Northern and Southern divisions squaring off in single-elimination games. The survivors move into the double-elimination portion of the tournament that runs Thursday-Monday, or into Tuesday if necessary.