The Peru State baseball team took the first three games of the four-game series with the visiting Culver-Stockton (Mo.) Wildcats before falling in the final game.
On Saturday, the Bobcats won 5-3 and 2-1 and then on Sunday, Peru State won the first game 5-3 before falling 2-1 in the final game of the two double headers.
With the three wins, Peru State improved to 26-15 on the year and are 16-11 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) North Division. Culver-Stockton is now 13-25 on the year and is 9-15 in the Heart North.
Saturday First Game Action
Culver-Stockton put one run on the board in the top of the first inning on a solo home run.
In the bottom of the first, Peru State was able to match that one run and add a couple more. After an out, Joshua Banuelos (Moreno Valley, Calif.) singled to shallow center and would later move to second on a passed ball. After the second out, Bryan Ventura Castro (Carolina, Puerto Rico) singled to center to drive in Banuelos. Ventura Castro would move to third on a couple of passed balls. Eric Ocasio (San Juan, Puerto Rico) reached on a walk and Jaime Del Hoyo (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) entered to run for Ocasio. Darren Hasch (Destin, Fla.) singled thru the hole at second base to bring Ventura Castro home with Del Hoyo moving to third. On another passed ball, Del Hoyo scored to make it 3-1.
In the top of the fourth, the Wildcats plated one run to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The Bobcats would also score in their half of the fourth. After an out, Jordan Kelly (Omaha) reached on a walk. Banuelos would follow with a two-run home run over the right field fence on a 1-1 count to make it 5-2.
In the top of the fifth, Culver-Stockton would get another solo home run for the final scoring of 5-3.
Peru State scored their five runs on eight hits and committed two errors. Culver-Stockton scored their three runs on six hits and committed one miscue.
Banuelos was the only Bobcat with more than one hit as he finished two for four and drove in two. Ventura Castro and Hasch each added one RBI.
Albert Rosario (Carolina, Puerto Rico) tossed a complete game for the win. Rosario allowed six hits, three earned runs, and struck out eight.
Saturday Second Game Action
The second game was a pitcher’s duel; however, both teams did leave runners on base in several innings. There was no scoring until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Bobcats got on the scoreboard.
After an out, Kelly singled to shallow left-center. After another out, Kelly went to second on a passed ball and then would go to third on another passed ball. Gianfranco Garlobo (Carolina, Puerto Rico) reached with a walk and then stole second. Ventura Castro doubled to deep left to drive in both base runners to put the Bobcats up 2-0 at that point.
Culver-Stockton would score one run in the top of sixth and then would leave the bases loaded in the top of the seventh.
The Bobcats scored their two run on three hits and committed five errors. The Wildcats scored their two runs on two hits and had two miscues.
Kelly, Ventura Castro, and Ocasio each had one hit with Ventura Castro driving in both RBI.
Eddy Tavarez Cabrera (San Cristobel, Dominican Republic) threw a complete game for the win. Tavarez Cabrera allowed just two hits, one earned run, and struck out four.
Sunday Game One Action
Neither team scored in the first two innings.
In the bottom of the third, after an out, Chaz Dunn (Falls City) singled up the middle. On a wild pitch, Dunn moved to second. Kelly singled shallow down the left field line to drive in Dunn and would go to second on the throw. The Bobcats would leave two on base, but had a 1-0 lead at that point.
Culver-Stockton would tie it in the top of the fourth with a run and also left two on base.
In the bottom of the fourth, Ocasio led off with a single thru the hole at short stop. Del Hoyo entered to run for Ocasio. After an out, Seth Thomason (Holt, Fla.) singled up the middle with Del Hoyo stopping at third. Edwin Muniz (Dorado, Puerto Rico) stepped to the plate and hit a three-run home run over the left field fence on a 2-1 count to make it 4-1 at that point.
Peru State would add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Garlobo singled to short and would go to second when Ventura Castro singled to shallow right. On a wild pitch, both base runners advanced. On a ground out, Garlobo scored to increase the lead to 5-1.
The Wildcats would then score two in the top of the sixth to cut the deficit to 5-3, but left two on base and then could not score in the top of the seventh.
The Bobcats scored their five runs on nine hits and committed two errors. Culver-Stockton scored their three runs on four hits and had one miscue.
Garlobo was the lone Bobcat with more than one hit as he finished the game going two for three. Muniz led the team with three RBI while Kelly and Ocasio each added one.
Cory Royer (Las Vegas) was the winning pitcher as he tossed a complete game. Royer allowed four hits, three runs – two earned, and struck out seven.
Sunday Game Two Action
Sunday’s second game was similar to Saturday’s second game as it was primarily a pitching duel. The only scoring took place in two different half innings.
The Wildcats scored two in the top of the second and then threatened one other time. The Bobcats had trouble getting the bats going the entire game and scored in the bottom of the seventh.
After an out, Garlobo doubled deep down the right-field line. Ventura Castro singled to shallow left with Garlobo moving to third. Garlobo would eventually score on the play as there was an error. But, that would be all that Peru State could muster as the Wildcats won 2-1.
Culver-Stockton scored their two runs on four hits and committed one error. The Bobcats scored their lone run on four hits and had three errors.
Garlobo, Ventura Castro, Ocasio, and Muniz each had one hit in the final game of the series.
Joshua Santiago (Carolina, Puerto Rico) tossed a good game after the second inning, but was tagged for the loss. Santiago allowed four hits, two runs – one earned, and struck out four.
Peru State will play three mid-week games before finishing off the regular season with a four-game series in Heart play.
The Bobcats will travel to Bellevue to face the Bruins on Tuesday in one nine-inning contest beginning at 4 p.m. Bellevue is presently 29-19 on the year and have won six games in a row.
On Wednesday, the ‘Cats will travel south to Hillsboro, Kan., to take on Tabor College in a double header beginning at 2 p.m. The Blue Jays, who are receiving votes in the latest NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, are 30-15 on the season and have won five out of their last six contests.
The final four games will be in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Friday and Saturday as Peru State will take on Heart North Division rival William Penn. The double headers both days will begin at 1 p.m. The Statesmen are presently 13-28 on the year and are 6-20 in the Heart North. William Penn has lost five games in a row.