Bobcat Baseball Wins Three Games in Tucson, Arizona
In taking its first trip ever to the Tucson Invitational Games, the Peru State Bobcat baseball team came home with three wins in eight games. The Bobcats played two double headers on four consecutive days, playing in decent weather, with the exception of high winds on the last day of their trip.
With the three wins, Peru State’s record now stands at 4-7.
Northwestern Double Header – March 5
The Bobcats dropped a pair of contests to the Northwestern College Red Raiders from Orange City, Iowa, on their opening day of competition in Tucson. The Red Raiders took the game 12-3 and 10-0. Peru State fell to 1-4 while Northwestern improved to 4-3.
First Game - In the first game, the Bobcats scored two in the first inning to take its only lead of the game. In the bottom of the inning, Northwestern came back with three runs to take a 3-2 lead and never looked back after that time. The Red Raiders would add one in the bottom of the fourth, six in the fourth, and two more in the fifth to lead 12-2. In the top of the sixth, the ‘Cats were able to add one more run, but Northwestern had too much of a lead.
As a team, Peru State scored their three runs on six hits and left seven on base.
Randy Santiesteban (Hialeah, Fla.) led Peru State in hitting, going two of three. Phil Lial (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Jake Wright (Freeport, Fla.) each were credited with one RBI.
Tyler Croushorn (Omaha) started the game for Peru State and was tagged for the loss. Croushorn pitched four innings, giving up nine hits, and ten runs –nine earned. Brandon Howell (Bonifay, Fla.) pitched two innings in relief. Howell gave up two hits, two runs – one earned, and struck out two.
Second Game – The ‘Cats could not put together any offense in the second game and lost 10-0. The Red Raiders jumped on top with four runs in the top of the first and never looked back. Northwestern would add three in the second, one in the fourth and two more in the seventh for the victory.
Peru State managed to get five hits, three of which came from Derek Voigt (Auburn, Wash.) as he was perfect at the plate. One of Voigt’s hits was a triple. In addition, getting hits for the Bobcats were Derrick Davis (Orange Park, Fla.) and Ronald Tanner (Havertown, Penn.).
Marshall Klontz (Auburn, Wash.) threw five innings and took the loss. Klontz gave up seven hits, eight runs – all earned, and struck out one. Tyler Cherin (West Seattle, Wash.) pitched the final two innings, giving up only one hit, two runs – one earned), and struck out four.
Dakota Wesleyan Double Header – March 6
The Bobcats gained a split with Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU) in their second day in the Tucson Invitational. Peru State won the first game 13-8 while the Tigers took the second game in a rout, 14-1.
First Game – Peru State took the initial lead with one run in the top of the first inning. The Bobcats added three in both the third and fourth innings to lead 7-0 before Dakota Wesleyan was able to get on the board. In the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers cut the lead to 7-4. In the top of the fifth, the ‘Cats added two more runs to increase their lead to 9-4. However, in the bottom of the inning, DWU put three more on the scoreboard, cutting the deficit to 9-7. The Bobcats responded in the top of next inning to add four runs and then held on for a 13-8 win.
Peru State scored their 13 runs on 14 hits while leaving 13 stranded on base. During the game, the ‘Cats committed three errors.
Ryan Grabowski (Omaha) and Tanner each went three of four in hitting to lead Peru State. Croushorn, Dezarn, and Santiesteban each added two hits. Dezarn, Santiesteban, and Lial each had one double among their hits. Lial had four RBI while Dezarn, Voigt, and Santiesteban each had two RBI.
Tim Patterson (Valdosta, Ga.) started on the mound for Peru State, threw three and one-third innings, and was credited for the win. Patterson gave up two hits, and four runs – three earned. Danny Borst (Moreno Valley, Calif.) pitched one and two-thirds innings in relief. Borst gave up three runs (all earned) on three hits and struck out three Tiger batters. Voigt pitched one inning, giving up one earned run on one hit and struck out one. Dezarn finished the game pitching the final inning only allowing one hit and striking out two.
Second Game – It was a reversal of fortunes in the second game as Dakota Wesleyan struck first in the game with three runs in the first and then exploded for seven runs in the top of the fourth to start the runaway. The Tigers would add one run in the fifth, making it 11-0 and then added three more in the top of the seventh. Peru State would get its lone run in the bottom of the seventh and lost 14-1.
The ‘Cats scored their lone run on eight hits and committed three errors in the game. Peru State stranded five during the game.
Eight different Bobcats had hits with Kenny Bias (Raymore, Mo.) having the lone extra base hit as Bias connected for a double in the last inning. Bias eventually scored Peru State’s lone run. Also getting hits in the loss were Davis, Dan McGonigle (Blue Springs, Mo.), Lial, Grabowski, George Palko (Kent, Wash.), Pat Bramhall (Vermillion, Kan.), and Tanner.
Brent Brown (Hemet, Calif.) started on the hill and was tagged for the loss. Brown gave up eight runs – seven earned on nine hits and struck out two in three and one-third innings. Tanner DeGafferelly (Freeport, Fla.) threw three innings and gave up eight hits, six runs – five earned, and struck out three. Bramhall pitched the final two-thirds of an inning and gave up no hits or runs.
Morningside Double Header – March 7
In another meeting with GPAC foes, the Bobcats again came away with a split. Morningside won the first game 4-0 with the Bobcats coming back to take a wild one in the second game, 17-16.
First Game – Peru State could not put their hits together in the first game as the Mustangs held the ‘Cats scoreless. Morningside scored one in the bottom of the second, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth to capture the win.
Croushorn was two of four to lead Peru State in hitting. Also getting hits were Voigt, Dezarn, and Davis.
Bryan Duncan (Seattle, Wash.) pitched five innings, giving up only two hits, but had four earned runs. Duncan struck out three batters and was tagged for the loss. Borst threw one inning, allowing no hits or runs and struck out one Mustang.
Second Game – It was a wild second game as Morningside jumped to an 8-0 lead having scored five runs in the top of the first and three in the second before Peru State got on the board with one in the bottom of the second. Both teams scored three in the fourth and one in fifth, so going into the sixth, Morningside still had a big lead at 12-5. The Mustangs extended the lead in the top of the sixth with four runs, gaining an 11-run advantage at 16-5. In the bottom of the sixth, the ‘Cats exploded with 11 runs of their own to tie it up at 16-16. After holding Morningside scoreless in the top of the seventh, Peru State got the one run they needed in the bottom of the seventh to win, 17-16.
Santiesteban had a huge game, going five for five, scoring three runs, and driving in five RBI. Santiesteban had two home runs and a double among his five hits. Davis added three hits while Voigt, Tanner, and Wright each added two.
Grabowski was on the mound for the first four innings and gave up eight hits, leading to 11 runs – ten earned, and struck out eight. Bramhall pitched two innings and gave up five hits, five runs – three earned, and struck out one. Voigt pitched the seventh inning and was credited for the win. Voigt gave up one hit and struck out one Mustang.
Malone Double Header – March 8
First Game – The ‘Cats won their second game in a row by topping Malone University in the first game of the double header, winning 15-5. Peru State scored one in the bottom of the first, but saw the Pioneers tie it up in the top of the second. The Bobcats regained the lead in the bottom of the second by adding one run to lead 2-1. After that point, Peru State never looked back as they added three runs in the fourth, four in the fifth, and exploded for six in the sixth to lead 15-1. Malone did score four in the top of the seventh, but it was not enough as the ‘Cats prevailed, 15-5.
Croushorn was three of five with four RBI to lead Peru State. Grabowski, Santiesteban, Wright, and Davis each added two hits. Grabowski and Wright each had three RBI, while Santiesteban and Davis each had two RBI.
Dezarn started on the mound and pitched six innings to gain the win. Dezarn gave up three hits, four runs – all earned, and struck out six. Voigt came in to relieve Dezarn in the top of the seventh, pitching one full inning, allowing one earned run, and striking out two.
Second Game – It appeared Peru State might be able to get the second game of the double header as they scored five in the top of the first inning, only to see Malone come out and score six in the bottom of the inning. The ‘Cats tied it up in the top of the second at 6-6 after scoring one run, but could not get its bats going until later in the game. The Pioneers did score three in each of the third and fourth innings to lead 12-6. In the top of the sixth Peru State added one run, but Malone scored five in the bottom of the inning to then lead 17-7. The ‘Cats added one more run in the top of the seventh, but it was not enough as Malone prevailed 17-8.
Grabowski, Santiesteban, Lial, Croushorn, and Cherin each had two hits to lead Peru State. Davis had three RBI while Croushorn had two. In playing his first competitive baseball in five years and after just finishing his senior basketball season, Richard Oppitz (Topeka, Kan.) took the mound and pitched the first two and two-thirds innings. Oppitz was tagged for the loss and gave up six hits and seven runs – five earned. Borst threw one inning and gave up five runs – all earned. Patterson threw the final two and one-third and gave up five earned runs and struck out three.
The Bobcats’ nine-inning game at Nebraska Wesleyan University on Monday was postponed due to the snow in Lincoln. Weather permitting, Peru State will travel to Crete on Thursday to take on the 22nd-ranked Doane College Tigers in a double header beginning at 1 p.m. Currently, the Tigers are 10-5 and are on a six-game winning streak.
On Saturday, March 16, the ‘Cats will open their home schedule with Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) play against Graceland University. The double header with the 8-5 YellowJackets is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
Then, on Monday, March 18, Peru State will host another double header, this time with a non-conference opponent, Manhattan Christian College. However, in Sabetha, Kansas, with the games scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.