By Juanita Hernandez and Brianna Harmon
The Eastfield Harvesters won their fourth Metro Athletic Conference series of the season last week, taking two of three games at Cedar Valley.
Eastfield trailed 16-9 in the opening game of the series on April 2, but exploded for 12 runs in the seventh inning, keyed by Daniel McConn’s three-run double, to take a 21-18 win.
Cole Hill went 5-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, three RBIs and six runs scored to pace the Harvesters. Other offensive leaders included Casey Maack, 3-for-7 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored; Jason Serchay, 3-for-5 with a double, four RBIs and a run scored; McConn, 3-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and four runs; and Michael Kister, 3-for-6 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs.
Jacoby Tipton (2-0) earned the win in relief.
In the first game of the April 3 doubleheader, Eastfield had nine hits but couldn’t put together a big inning in a 5-3 loss in seven innings. Serchay and Kister both contributed RBI singles in the loss.
Blake Barr (5-3) only allowed five hits but was hurt by four errors, leading to five unearned runs and handing him the loss.
In the second game, the Harvesters bounced back for a 9-2 win as Hill went 4-for-5 and an RBI. Blayten Magana, Maack, Mason Arasato, Tanner Dickerson and Kister also drove in runs.
Emelio Gonzales (1-0) earned the win on the mound, allowing two runs on 10 hits while striking out seven.
Eastfield 7, Paris JC 4
The Eastfield Harvesters have shown that they can win baseball games in a variety of ways this season.
Sometimes they’ve used dominant pitching. Other times they’ve used the long ball. On March 30, the Harvesters used a “small-ball” attack to get the job done in a home win over the Paris Junior College Dragons.
“We just wanted to keep having some good at bats, stringing [some hits] together back-to-back and putting some pressure on them, and hopefully create some opportunities to score,” Eastfield coach Michael Martin said. “We bunted some guys over and got them into scoring position and happened to get a hit here and there or a sac fly to drive in some runs. That kind of expanded our lead a little bit.”
Paris (8-25) scored a run in the top of the first inning, but Casey Maack answered with a solo home run and Jason Serchay scored off of an error in the bottom half of the inning to give Eastfield a 2-1 lead.
The homer was Maack’s sixth of the season in 20 games, and he also carries a .487 batting average. Maack was 2-for-4 in the game with two RBIs.
“Before the game, Coach [Travis] Graves talked to me about turning my shoulder,” Maack said. “He told me to keep it straight instead of turning my back toward the pitcher whenever I stride and just keep my backswing and shoulders square. And that’s what I did. I had a good day.”
Simon Sedillo (1-0) came on in middle relief in the fourth inning and got a win for Eastfield, giving up two hits and no earned runs in three innings of work. Brandon Saddler shut down Paris over the final three innings to close out the win, giving up two hits and a solo home run in the seventh while striking out four batters.
“After that home run, I started to settle in a little bit,” Saddler said. “That was about the only blemish. I wanted to go in there and throw strikes.”
Serchay was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run for the Harvesters, while Michael Kister was 1-for-1 with a double, two walks, a run scored and a RBI. Cole Hill added a double, Connor Scruggs had a single and a run scored and Zach Red added a run.