As the postseason is nearing, the Peru State baseball team knows what they have to do and it started on Saturday with a sweep of the visiting Baker (Kan.) Wildcats.
The Bobcats swept the battle of the 'Cats by winning 5-3 and 9-5.
With the wins, Peru State improves to 16-20 on the season and more importantly 13-10 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) North Division. Baker fell to 20-23 overall and 10-13 in the Heart South.
The sweep moved the Bobcats back into the third spot in the Heart North with two sets of conference double headers to play.
First Game Action
Baker scored two runs right away in the top of the first to take the early lead.
The Bobcats would come back to get one in the bottom of the first. Luis Landaeta (Porlamar, Venezuela) doubled to deep left-center to start the game and went to third on a ground out. On the second ground out, Landaeta scored to make it 2-1.
That score would remain until Peru State would eventually tie it in the bottom of the fourth. Sterling Rupp (Grand Island) doubled to deep right-center and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Edwin Muniz (Dorado, P.R.). Rupp would score on a sacrifice fly by Eddy Pimental (San Juan, P.R.) to tie the score at 2-2.
The Wildcats would score their final run in the top of the fifth as Peru State got out of a jam as Baker left the bases loaded.
Peru State scored their winning runs in the bottom of the fifth. Joshua Banuelos (Moreno Valley, Calif.) doubled to deep left-center to start the inning. Landaeta singled up the middle to drive in Banuelos to tie the game at 3-3. Zach Nolin (Bonifay, Fla.) reached on a fielder's choice with Landaeta being forced out. Darren Hasch(Destin, Fla.) singled to deep right-center with Nolin going to third. Hasch would steal second. Adam Cendejas (Chino Hills, Calif.) would single to short with Nolin and Hasch both scoring on a couple of throwing errors on the Wildcats.
The Bobcats scored their five runs on eight hits and committed one error. Baker scored their three runs on six hits and committed three miscues.
Landaeta, Rupp, and Banuelos each had two hits for the Bobcats. Landaeta, Hasch, and Pimental each had one RBI.
Alberto Rosario (Carolina, P.R.) started the game for Peru State and was credited with the win. Rosario threw five innings and allowed six hits, three runs – two earned, and struck out seven. Tyler Wheelock (Omaha) tossed one inning and struck out one. Carlos Gonzalez (Gurabo, P.R.) threw the final inning and earned the save.
Second Game Action
After an out in the bottom of the first, Jesus Tavarez (Santo Domingo, P.R.) homered over the left field fence on a 0-1 count to give the Bobcats an early 1-0 lead.
Baker would tie it in top the second with a home run.
In the bottom of the third, Peru State would score four runs. Landaeta started the inning with a double to deep left. On a passed ball, Landaeta advanced to third. Tavarez reached on a walk. Hasch singled thru the hole at second base with both Landaeta and Tavarez scoring. Hasch would move to second on the play. After a pitching change, Cendejas reached on a walk. After an out, Abner Vincenty singled thru the hole at second base with Hasch scoring and Cendejas advancing to third. Chaz Dunn (Falls City) would ground out, but it was enough to score Cendejas to put the Bobcats up 5-1 at that point.
The Wildcats would get their second home run of the game to pull within three at 5-2 in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, after two outs, Tavarez reached on a walk and then would steal second. Hasch would hit a bomb over the right field fence on a 1-2 count to put the score at 7-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Vincenty homered over the center field fence to extend the lead to 8-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, after a pitching change, Banuelos reached on a walk. Jaxson Balm (Auburn) entered to run for Banuelos. After an out, Balm stole second. Tavarez then singled to drive in Balm for Peru State's final run of the game.
Baker would try to make it interesting in the top of the seventh as they score three runs and left the bases loaded.
The Bobcats scored their nine runs on eight hits and did not commit any errors. Baker scored their five runs on three hits and also did not have any errors.
Tavarez, Hasch, and Vincenty each had two hits to lead Peru State. Hasch was credited with four RBI while Tavarez and Vincenty each had two RBI.
Eddy Tavarez Cabrera (San Cristobel, D.R.) threw the first six innings and gained the win. Tavarez Cabrera allowed two hits, two earned runs, and struck out eight. Gonzalez came in and could not get an out while allowing one hit and two runs – one earned. Zack Pinkerton (Beatrice) gave up one run. Wheelock got the final three outs.
Upcoming Contests
The Bobcats will play a non-conference double header on Monday against Doane in Crete beginning at 1 p.m. The Tigers are 15-25 on the season.
Peru State will then finish its regular season with a pair of conference double headers at home on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) will be the opponent with the first game beginning at 1 p.m. The Pioneers are presently 15-13 on the season and 13-8 in the Heart South.
Saturday will be Senior Day and Baseball Alumni Day with Evangel (Mo.) being the opponent at 1 p.m. for a double header. The Crusaders are 16-21 overall and are 6-17 in the Heart South.
Between games, the baseball alumni in attendance will be announced along with a Senior Day recognition for Bobcat women's golfer Lindsay Harlow (Dawson). Following the game, a large group of Peru State senior baseball players will be honored.