MARSHALLTOWN — When the Indian Hills baseball team hits the diamond next weekend against Iowa Western, they'll have a chance to claim the outright Region XI regular season title. To get it, they'll need to sweep the four-game series from the two-time defending national champions.
As they showed this weekend in Marshalltown, being able to score enough runs certainly shouldn't be a problem.
The Falcons lit up the scoreboard three times in four outings against the Tigers, scoring eight or more runs to get the three wins needed to stay in the hunt for the regional title in the last road regional series of the regular season. IHCC swept Saturday's doubleheader, using 22 runs to score wins of 8-3 and 14-3 against the Tigers, then overcame a late 4-3 loss in Sunday's opener by erupting with a 20-run explosion in a 20-3 five-inning victory that keeps the Falcons three games behind the first-place Reivers as the two teams embark on next week's four-game series.
Taylor Ostrich came up big in the opening two games for the Falcons, driving in eight runs on Saturday against the Tigers. Dario Polanco added three hits and was one of seven Falcons to drive in a run during the opening game as IHCC pulled away late, scoring six runs in the last three innings after taking a 2-1 lead into the fifth.
Ostrich continued hammering the baseball in the second game of the series, starting the scoring for the Falcons with an RBI triple in a three-run opening inning off former Ottumwa Bulldog Ben Ryder. Ostrich added two doubles and blasted a two-homer in the fifth inning as part of a four-hit, six-RBI nightcap as IHCC took a 14-3 victory to keep pace with the Reivers.
Though they struggled to keep up their torrid run-scoring pace in Sunday's first game, IHCC appeared to have just enough to stay on pace for a sweep when Darryl Velez hit his first home run of the season leading off the sixth to snap a 2-2 tie. The Falcons couldn't hold that 3-2 lead, however, as OHS grad Tyler Evans and former Sigourney star Andrew Utterback scored runs in the bottom of the frame with Utterback scoring on a pair of passed balls to lift Marshalltown to a 4-3 win.