PRAIRIE CITY — The Grinnell Tigers (9-12) headed to Prairie City on Monday evening to take on the PCM Mustangs (17-11) in a cross-class and cross-conference showdown of two very hot teams.
The Mustangs came into the game on a five-game heater highlighted by their sweep of Pleasantville in Saturday’s road doubleheader.
Meanwhile, despite a start to the season that saw the Tigers lose seven games during an eight-game stretch, Grinnell has put together six wins in its last eight games.
On Monday, the Tigers got on top early, and were able to rally back on the Mustangs after losing an early 2-0 lead. The Tigers came out on top, 4-2.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick lead following a two-run top of the first inning. The score would hold at 2-0 until the bottom of the third, when Alek Breckenridge crossed the plate to cut the lead in half.
Breckenridge would score again in the fifth to tie the game. The Tigers were able to put together two clutch runs in the top of the sixth, and despite a small threat in the bottom of the sixth, Grinnell held the Mustangs at-bay the final two frames to secure the win.
PCM starter Keith Timmons took the loss for the Mustangs. He pitched the first six innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits. Timmons picked up six strikeouts over his six innings of work.
Timmons was replaced in the top of the seventh inning by senior Nathan VandeWall. VandeWall pitched one perfect inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced.
The Mustangs scraped together five hits in the game. Senior left fielder Breckenridge had two of those hits in his three plate appearances. Breckenridge scored both of the PCM runs.
Freshman center fielder Clay Cooper had a single in his three at-bats. Sophomore Trey Lindsay, who started at second base, also was 1-for-3 with a single. The final hit belonged to VandeWall, who went 1-for-3.
The Mustangs only have five games left to play before the postseason starts. The team has had some promising performances lately, and the Mustangs aren’t likely to be discouraged by the home loss to a hot Tigers team.
The Mustangs are treading water at 8-7 in the Heart of Iowa Conference. That barely above .500 record places them sixth in the 10-team conference. Two of the Mustangs’ final five games will be against HOI foes, and PCM’s boys should see this as an opportunity to finish in the top half of the standings.
Sports writer Dustin Turner may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 440, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.