MUSCATINE, Iowa — It was just the right combination.
The Muscatine Community College baseball team got good pitching, played error-free baseball and knocked the ball around, and out, of Tom Bruner Field as the Cardinals swept a doubleheader from the Clarke University junior varsity Wednesday, winning 9-1 and 10-2.
"Anytime our pitchers do what they did — they threw strikes. We had three walks all day. And we caught the baseball when it was hit to us," MCC coach Dave Barb said. "If you do [that], no matter who you play you're going to be competitive. We played pretty well."
MCC starter Jay Peters got the Cardinals (16-29) off to a good start in Game 1. The freshman right hander pitched six innings of one run baseball and struck out four while walking just one.
Leo Salazar backed his battery mate at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBI in Game 1. His two-run homer gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead in the first inning they wouldn't relinquish.
Salazar, a freshman catcher, followed his first game performance with a 2 for 4 effort in Game 2. Both of his hits in the second game where home runs. He drove in five runs in Game 2.
"His average had gradually been climbing," Barb said of Salazar, who entered the day hitting .308. "He was starting to swing the bat better for us. ... He is seeing the ball pretty well. He kind of got us rolling both games. We're glad he's swinging the bat like that. He's coming into his own."
His offensive outburst, combined with Robin Felix's two-run home run, was more than enough support for MCC starter Dalton Stevens, who pitched five innings of one-run baseball with four strikeouts to pick up the win in the second game.
Now, with a difficult four-game series at Iowa Western Community College this weekend and a makeup game with Southeastern Community College Monday, the Cardinals have to keep it up.
"It's gonna be a huge challenge for us to finish up like that," Barb said.