On Saturday, the IVCC baseball team handed Black Hawk its second Arrowhead Conference loss of the season.
The Eagles couldn’t give the Braves their third on Tuesday.
Three days after a strong pitching performance helped IVCC split a doubleheader with Black Hawk, the Braves swept the Eagles at Dickinson Field in Oglesby.
Black Hawk jumped ahead early in the first game en route to a 12-2 victory and steadily pulled away in the second game for a 9-4 win.
“We struggled a little bit,” said IVCC assistant Phil Huchel, who filled in for coach Jason Goode after Goode was ejected in the first game. “But we were playing a pretty good team there.”
In the first inning of the opener, the Braves had the bases loaded with two outs when Brock Daniels hit a fly ball to right-center field.
IVCC right fielder Tabor Griglione got to the ball but couldn’t handle it, allowing three runs to score.
In the second inning, Black Hawk No. 3 hitter Brinn Bell blasted a three-run homer to centerfield to give the Braves a 6-0 lead after two innings.
“We’ve done that quite a bit this year – getting down early and making mistakes early,” Huchel said. “It seems like we need to show up a little earlier.”
IVCC closed the gap a bit with two runs in the third – on a sacrifice fly from Ottawa graduate Buddy Ahlstrom and an RBI single by La Salle-Peru alumnus Levi Ericson – but the Braves added one run in the fifth and five in the seventh.
Jonny Meints took the loss for the Eagles. Ahlstrom was 3-for-3 with an RBI.
In the second game, the Braves again took an early lead with two runs in the top of the second, but the Eagles answered right back in their half of the inning with RBIs from Michael Baker and Ottawa graduate Nick Harsted to tie the game.
However, the Braves (19-13, 14-2 Arrowhead) kept tacking on as they scored one in the third and two runs in each the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.
The Eagles, meanwhile, managed just one run the fifth and one in the seventh.
“They had pretty good hitters and our pitchers were pitching from behind,” Huchel said. “If you pitch from behind at this level, you’re going to get hurt.
“Our offense was alright. Their pitching wasn’t overpowering. We put it in play. They made some mistakes. I told the guys we need to make them play defense. The second game especially, they didn’t play that well defensively and we needed to take more advantage of that.”
Teke Scudder was the losing pitcher for IVCC (15-16, 7-7 Arrowhead). Rodrigo Almeraz was 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.
Note: Goode was ejected in the opener after La Salle-Peru graduate John Hiester and assistant coach Lenny Newell were tossed in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.