Waterloo, Iowa – After scoring just two runs and recording six hits in their opening round game of the Midwest Collegiate Conference tournament, the Viterbo University baseball team found their offense in the second round as they defeated AIB College 8-2. The V-Hawk offense erupted for 14 hits in the win which puts them in the MCC Championship series tomorrow afternoon.
The V-Hawks got their offense going in the top of the second inning as Francisco Torres led off with a double and advanced to third on a single by Shea Coates. Torres then scored on a double by Pierce Belaustegui while Coates scored when Zach Benson reached on an AIB error. Then in the third inning, Torres would triple to score Steve Pascual who had reached via a single. AIB would get a run in the fourth inning as they recorded two hits and a walk.
The score would remain 3-1 until the top half of the eighth inning when Viterbo broke out the bats and scored five runs on four hits and an error. Pascual came up with the big hit in the inning as he drove in three runs with a two out double. Phil Pupillo and Taylor Reinhardt drove in the other two runs both coming on singles. AIB College would score a run in the ninth inning but would leave the bases loaded to end the game.
Senior Ben O'Reilly (7-4) picked up his fourth consecutive complete game and his fourth straight victory on the mound. O'Reilly allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out nine and allowing just one free pass.
The V-Hawk offense recorded 14 hits on the day and had five players record multiple hits. Leading the way was Pascual who was 2-5 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI's while Pupillo was 3-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Matt Watkins,Torres and Belaustegui also each recorded two hits and a run scored.
The win improves the V-Hawks to 30-17 overall and puts them one win away from the program's first ever MCC Tournament Title. The 30 wins in a season is the most by the V-Hawks since the 2007 season when the V-Hawks finished 32-20. Viterbo will play the winner of AIB College and Grand View University at 3:30 pm on Monday. If Viterbo was to lose that contest, the same two teams would play at 1:00 pm on Tuesday with the winner earning the MCC's automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament.