The Lakers hit the road once more as they traveled to Clarinda, Iowa to take on Southwestern Community College in a shortened two game series due to poor weather conditions for Sunday's doubleheader. The Lakers came away with a split against the Spartans by losing a tough game 1, 5-2 and winning the game2 by a score of 8-0.
Game 1 was pitchers duel from the start and sophomore pitcher, Martin Eckard (Victoria, British Columbia) was up for the challange. Eckard would dominate early on against the Spartan lineup by striking out four of the first hitters in their lineup before letting in the only run the Spartans would get till the sixth inning. With the scoring being 1-0 after two innings, the Laker offense would answer back with a lead off walk by Chad Hinkle (Rosemount, MN) and would advance to second a balk. With two outs in the inning, Tavan Shahidi (Ames, Iowa) would come up with a cluth two-out single up the middle to bring home Hinkle to tie the game at 1-1. Eckard would continue his great performance on the mound through the fifth inning by keeping the Spartan offense at bay and striking out four more hitters along the way. Iowa Lakes would take the lead late with help from the bottom half of the order. A lead off double by Spencer Keane (Palm Springs, California) and a one-out sacrifice fly by Spencer Larson (Eden Praire, Minnesota) would give the Lakers the 2-1 leader heading into the sixth. Eckard would run into trouble and would give up 4 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning which would give Southwestern the lead, 5-2. The Laker offense was unable to make a comeback and would fall by the final of 5-2.
Eckard would end up going 5 2/3 innings pitched with 9 strikeouts while giving 5 runs, only 4 earned.
In game 2, Iowa Lakes would jump on the scoreboard quickly thanks to control issues by the Southwestern pitching staff. The Laker offense would load the bases on three walks by Keane, Mallard Holland (Tampa, Florida), Shahidi. Luis Cintron (Yabucoa, Puerto Rico) would also walk and bring home the games first run to give the Lakers to early 1-0 lead. Ashtin Moxey (Jacksonville, Florida) would be hit by a pitch to score the second run of the inning. The one lone hit in the first inning came off the bat of Tyrese Mitchell (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) which brought home two runs give the Lakers the lead of 4-0 through the first half inning. The offense would continue its hot start in the third inning with a lead off single by Shahidi which was then followed up by an error by the Spartans defense to allow Jayden Adrians (Green Bay, Wisconsin) to reach first base. Adrians would advance to second base on a wild pitch. Cintron and Mitchell would both produce an RBI single's to bring home Shahidi and Adrians to give the Lakers a 7-0 lead after three innings of play. The Lakers would add on 1 more run for insurance in the fourth inning and would not look back as they would win game 2 by a final score of 8-0.
Zach Meyer (Omaha, Nebraska) would pitch a fantastic game by throwing 6 scoreless innings with 8 strikeouts, 3 hits, and 2 walks. Martin Gonzalez (Waukesha, Wisconsin) would come on in relief to close the door by pitching a scoreless bottom half of seventh inning.
Iowa Lakes is now 6-8 heading into spring break and looking to recharge the batteries before conference play starts against Ellsworth Community College (2-16) on March 24th and 25th. Follow Laker baseball on twitter, @Lakerbaseball, to get live updates and links to watch games live.