Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Mustangs denied trip to nationals


OZARK, Mo. - The Mount Mercy baseball team came within two outs of  earning a trip to the NAIA national tournament Monday.

The Mustangs held a 3-1 lead over Clarke University with two outs in  the bottom of the ninth, needing a victory in the losers bracket final  of the Heart of America Conference tournament to automatically qualify  for nationals.

Unfortunately for Mount Mercy, the Pride rallied for two runs in the  bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game 3-3 and force extra  innings. Clarke broke the deadlock by scoring in the bottom of the  12th for a 4-3 verdict.

Baker blasted Clarke, 16-3, in the first championship game to win the  conference tournament. Baker and Clarke now advance to the NAIA  tournament as the conference tournament champion and runnerup, while  Mount Mercy finishes one win short at 29-23.

Mount Mercy compiled a 4-2 record in the tournament and staved off  three straight elimination games.

Mount Mercy pitcher Tanner Lohaus gave his team every opportunity to  defeat Clarke. He tossed eight strong innings, allowing one run on two  hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.

Mount Mercy out-hit Clarke, 16-6, but the Mustangs could not get  clutch hits when they needed them and left 14 runners on base.

Owen Oreskovich went 4-for-6 for Mount Mercy. Tito Berdecia was  3-for-6 with two doubles. Evan Jackson and Nick Sueppel had two hits.

Mount Mercy     010 000 011 000 - 3 16 0
Clarke          000 001 002 001 - 4 6 2

Lohaus, Trouten (9), Barnes (10) and Day. Lopez, Kirman (4) and  Mettica. W - Kirman. L - Barnes. 2B - Berdecia, Candaroma. 3B - Faur.


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