Courier sports staff
If the first two games were any indication, Indian Hills is going to be a very tough team to beat in Region XI play this season.
The Falcons began the road to reclaiming the regional crown that has been held since 2005 by Iowa Western on Friday, dominating Muscatine at Pat Daugherty Field twice. A seven-run second inning paved the way to a five-inning 11-1 win over the Indians in game one for the Falcons while more consistent offense over seven innings guided head coach Cam Walker’s squad to a 9-1 victory in the nightcap, completing an easy sweep that featured a balanced effort in the field and on the mound.
Falcon starting pitchers Christian Torres and Jake Stalzer didn’t need much help from the IHCC offense. Both allowed just one run on a combined six hits over 11 innings of work with Torres striking out eight batters to earn a game-one win while Stalzer struck out nine over six innings in game two.
There was certainly plenty of help coming early and often from the IHCC hitters, starting with an explosive second inning in which the first eight Falcon batters came up with hits. Joel Booker’s three-run home run highlighted the rally, putting Indian Hills up 7-0.
Booker added two more hits and scored two more in game two as IHCC scored in five different innings to gradually build a lead on Muscatine. The Falcons scored a pair of runs in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings and never looked back with Taylor Ostrich’s homer and two RBI paving the way to a the eight-run win in the nightcap.
Indian Hills (6-7, 2-0) host a second straight regional doubleheader with Mustcatine today starting at 3 p.m.
Indian Hills 11, Muscatine 1 (5)
MCC 000 01 — 1 2 3
IHCC 070 04 — 11 10 0
Indian Hills battery — Christian Torres (W, 2-0) (5IP, 2H, R, ER, 8K, 2BB), Kevin Valera catching.
2B — Tyler Hermann.
HR — Joel Booker.
Hits — Jordan Berry 2-3, Valera 2-3, Booker 1-2, Tyler Hermann 1-2, Taylor Ostrich 1-2, Dario Polanco 1-2, Junior Santos 1-2, Darryl Velez 1-2.
RBI — Booker 3, Hermann 3, Santos 2, Ostrich, Valera.
Runs — Berry 2, Polanco 2, Santos 2, Booker, Hermann, Ostrich, Valera, Velez.
Indian Hills 9, Muscatine 1
MCC 001 000 0 — 1 4 1
IHCC 221 022 x — 9 9 3
Indian Hills battery — Jake Stalzer (W, 1-1) (6IP, 4H, R, ER, 9K, 2BB) and Brennan Floss (IP, 2K), Kevin Cicali catching.
2B — Berry, Cicali, Ostrich.
HR — Ostrich.
Hits — Booker 2-2, Berry 2-4, Ostrich 2-4, Cicali 1-2, Edgar Lebron 1-2, Polanco 1-3.
RBI — Ostrich 2, Berry, Cicali, Lebron, Polanco, Darryl Velez.
Runs — Booker 2, Ostrich 2, Polanco 2, Beery, Hermann, Lebron.