Over the past three days, the Indian Hills Falcons played six games with Region XI rival Muscatine. In all six games, IHCC found themselves ahead on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, only four times did that lead stay on the scoreboard when the final out was recorded. IHCC allowed Muscatine to rally twice, both times using big innings to come from behind, and settled for a weekend split of four games after a dominant regional-opening sweep on Friday at Pat Daugherty Field in Centerville.
Indian Hills failed twice to move over .500 for the first time all season, losing game two on Saturday 6-3 after winning the opener 8-2. Then, after winning 6-1 decision to open an Easter Sunday doubleheader, IHCC let an early 6-0 lead slip away as Muscatine scored six times in the fourth inning of a wild 13-11 victory in the final game of the series.
Saturday’s win for the Falcons started at the top as Caleb Ratzman and Adam Deneke perfected the art of the top two hitters in a batting line. The duo reached base five times in 10 plate appearances, scoring all five times to pace IHCC’s eight-run attack in the six-run victory over Muscatine.
Sam Ross nearly gave the Falcons a complete-game shutout on Saturday. The Urbandale sophomore pitcher came within an out of the effort before leaving after giving up a pair of seventh-inning runs with two outs.
The Falcons seemed poised to move above .500 on Saturday, leading 2-0 after three innings in game two against the Indians. A fielding error with two outs opened the door to a two-out rally as Muscatine scored four runs in the fourth to take the lead for good in a 6-3 win that earned the Indians a split on Saturday.
Taylor Ostrich hit an early RBI double to spark Indian Hills in game two on Sunday after the Falcons scored a solid 6-1 win. The hit was part of a five-run opening-inning that put IHCC on pace to win five of six games from the Indians and by earning an Easter sweep.
Muscatine showed patience at the plate in the final game of the series, making it pay off in working 13 walks off five different IHCC pitchers. Wild pitches also brought in a pair of runs in the six-run fourth, including the wild toss by Roger Hurtado that allowed Muscatine’s Trever Black to score the go-ahead run.
“We are still not taking care of the small things and allowing distractions to replace what we should be focusing on,” Indian Hills head baseball coach Cam Walker said. “We need to learn how to compete for 14 complete innings.”
Indian Hills (8-9, 3-1) gets a rare day off today before getting back into action with the first of three straight days on the diamond scheduled to start on Tuesday. The Falcons will head to Creston to take on Southwestern starting at 2 p.m.
Indian Hills 8, Muscatine 2
MCC 000 000 2 — 2 3 4
IHCC 201 320 0 — 8 9 1
Indian hills battery — Sam Ross (W, 2-1) (6 2/3IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 5K, 3BB, 2HBP), Edgar Lebron catching.
Hits — Caleb Ratzman 3-5, Jose Marin 1-1, Lebron 1-2, Zach Sims 1-2, Adam Deneke 1-3, Taylor Ostrich 1-3, Junior Santos 1-3.
RBI — Jordan Berry 2, Deneke, Ostrich, Dario Polanco, Ratzman, Santos.
Runs — Ratzman 3, Deneke 2, Berry, Lebron, Sims.
Muscatine 6, Indian Hills 3
MCC 000 402 0 — 6 11 1
IHCC 011 000 1 — 3 9 1
Indian hills battery — Adam Deneke (L, 1-1) (4IP, 8H, 4R, 5K, 2BB, 2HBP) and Matt Lashlee (3IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2K), Kevin Cicali catching.
3B — Jordan Berry.
HR — Edgar Lebron.
Hits — Junior Santos 3-3, Berry 2-3, Joel Booker 2-4, Edgar Lebron 1-2, Dario Polanco 1-2.
RBI — Lebron, Polanco, Santos.
Runs — Beery, Booker, Lebron.
Indian Hills 6, Muscatine 1
MCC 000 010 0 — 1 4 2
IHCC 100 302 x — 6 6 3
Muscatine 13, Indian Hills 11
MCC 002 641 0 — 13 8 3
IHCC 510 002 3 — 11 10 2
Indian hills battery — Jose Marin (3IP, H, 2R, 2ER, 4K, 6BB), Logan Maliek (3R, 2ER, 3H, BB), Roger Hurtado (L, 0-1) (IP, R, ER, H, 2K, 2BB), Brennan Floss (2IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 3K, 3BB) and Luke Schneider (IP, K, BB), Kevin Cicali catching.
2B — Tyler Hermann, Taylor Ostrich, Junior Santos.
Hits — Ostrich 3-5, Santos 3-5, Juan Figueroa 1-2, Edgar Legron 1-2, Hermann 1-3, Zach Sims 1-3.
RBI — Ostrich 4, Hermann 3, Jordan Berry, Adam Deneke, Figueroa, Santos.
Runs — Caleb Ratzman 2, Cicali, Deneke, Figeroua, Hermann, Lebron, Ostrich, Santos, Sims, Darryl Velez.