CENTERVILLE – How would the Indian Hills baseball team respond after tasting defeat for the first time this season?
With Wyatt Wendell on the mound, the Warriors responded well bouncing back to secure a 10-6 win over NIACC in the first game since suffering their first loss of the season on Wednesday against Southeastern. Wendell struck out nine batters, pitching into the seventh, as the Warriors secured the win despite a late rally by the Trojans that brought the tying run out to the on-deck circle.
Wendell, now 4-0 on the season, handed the baseball to Dade Hensley after giving up three hits and a walk to open the seventh allowing NIACC to pull within 10-3 while loading the bases with no outs. Ben Wagner greeted Hensley with a bases-clearing double to left, cutting the IHCC lead to 10-6.
Hensley responded with consecutive strikeouts before walking Ike Mezzenga, bringing up Logan Milene with Coby Tweten looming on deck with hopes of having a chance to complete an eight-run rally for the Trojans. After homering off Wendell earlier in the game, Milene swung and missed at a 1-2 pitch from Hensley, ending NIACC's bid for a huge comeback in game one.
Indian Hills (18-1, 13-1 ICCAC) took advantage of a wild start NIACC freshman hurdler Brandt Thompson, scoring three runs in the first aided by an error and two walks ahead of a two-out RBI single to center by Ricardo Van Grieken. After Milene's homer in the second cut IHCC's lead to 3-2, the Warriors answered scoring six times in the bottom of the second with Thompson being pulled after walking five batters and retiring just four.
NIACC (7-13, 2-10 ICCAC) struggled in the field, committing five errors in game one allowing Indian Hills to score five unearned runs. Van Grieken drove in three runs in game one for the Warriors while C.J. Castillo added a run-scoring single in the second, driving in two and scoring two in the Friday opener.
Nick Lommen fared no better on the mound to open game two for NIACC, plunking Castillo and Ren Tachioka to open the game. Shane Morrow took advantage for the Warriors, lining a two-run single into left to put IHCC on top 2-0.
The Trojans again cut IHCC's early lead to a single run in the second inning of game two as Milene doubled and scored on an RBI single by Mezzenga. The Warriors finally broke open a 13-2 win in game two with a nine-run rally in the sixth that included an RBI triple by Tachioka and an inside-the-park two-run homer by Pier Olivier-Boucher.
Indian Hills and NIACC conclude the regional series with a doubleheader Saturday at Daugherty Field. Action gets underway at 12 p.m.