Grand Junction, Colorado
A game after the ball bounced the Reivers' way, the game of baseball reminded everyone that it's finicky. The College of Southern Idaho capitalized early on free passes and miscues and Sophomore righthander Mason Foltz dumbfounded Team 44 for 8 innings before a 9th-inning rally fell short in a 4-2 loss to the Golden Eagles of CSI in Game 10 of the 2018 JUCO World Series.
Starting pitcher Indigo Diaz was chased by Golden Eagle batters after just 2 2/3 innings of work and reliever Parker Shreve couldn't keep CSI off the board either. Diaz allowed 3 runs (1 earned) and Shreve was touched for the 4th tally of the game. Isaiah Peterson, the lone lefty in the Reivers' bullpen, came in to keep CSI at bay in 3 innings of work. Peterson struck out 6 and allowed only 1 hit to keep the score within arms reach.
Several times during the game it looked as if the Reivers might break through, but the opportunities were squashed before a legitimte threat materialized. A leadoff single by Brandon Bena off the glove of Foltz led off the Top of the 5th and was followed by Tanner Holen's first hit of the game with the hit-and-run on. Bena rounded easily to 3rd base, but heads up play by CSI's defense gunned down Holen trying to advance to 2nd. Foltz then induced the Reivers' into a strikeout and fly out to strand Bena 90 feet from a run.
In the Reivers' 7th, Ronald Sweeny was plunked to lead off the inning and advanced on a wild pitch. After a Ryan Sullivan strikeout, Bena singled again to right, advancing Sweeny to 3rd. On the play Sweeny slipped after receiving the stop sign by 3rd base coach Dax Leone. With the ball still in play, Leone helped Sweeny to his feet, which by rule is interference, eliminating the baserunner. Instead of 2 on with 1-out, the Reivers watched another rally flame out as Foltz again got the final out of the inning on a fly out.
With just 3 outs remaining, Iowa Western finally broke through. Kobe Hyland blasted a 1-out single through the left side and Sweeny followed with one through the right side to advance Hyland to 3rd base. Ben Sneider pinch-hit for Sullivan and was hit by a pitch to finally chase Mason Foltz after a 122-pitch performance. Reliver Jaden Jensen then walked Bena to drive in the Reivers first run and brought the go-ahead run to the plate. Tanner Holen flew out for a sacrifice fly to half the Eagles lead at 4-2, but pinch hitter Mason Speirs sharp liner was snared by CSI shortstop Colin Gordon to preserve the win.
The loss was the first for Head Coach Marc Rardin's squad since a 6-5 loss to Southeast CC on March 27th, a streak of 36 games. The Reivers now face defending National Champion Chipola on Tuesday afternoon (5/29) at 4:00 pm CST. The action can be heard locally on Iowa Western's 100,000 watt FM radio station, 89.7 the River and online worldwide at http://897theriver.com/stream.asp with the Voice of the Reivers, Jake Ryan, and Travis Jacobson on the call. Highlights from the games can be seen on Iowa Western Television's YouTube channel.