Home-opening no-no

Gonzalez throws five-inning no-hitter as MCC sweeps Madison Area Tech

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • MCC pitcher Juan Carlos Gonzalez (23) hugs catcher Max McCay after Gonzalez completed throwing a five-inning no-hitter in game two of a doubleheader against Milwaukee Area Technical College Sunday afternoon at Shawn Williams Field. Gonzalez allowed no walks and struck out nine in the 14-0 win.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • MCC pitcher Juan Carlos Gonzalez (23) hugs catcher Max McCay after Gonzalez completed throwing a five-inning no-hitter in game two of a doubleheader against Milwaukee Area Technical College Sunday afternoon at Shawn Williams Field. Gonzalez allowed no walks and struck out nine in the 14-0 win.

Having not played in six days and having not won a game in 21 days, the Marshalltown Community College baseball team was desperately seeking a victory.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez dealt while the MCC offense delivered to give the Tigers what they were looking for. Gonzalez tossed a five-inning no-hitter in a run-shortened nightcap as the Tigers belted out 20 runs between the two games with Milwaukee Area Technical College Sunday afternoon at Shawn Williams Field in MCC’s first games at home this season.

MCC took game one 6-2 after the Tigers scored three in the bottom of the sixth to turn a one-run game into a four-run advantage late, and the Tigers tattooed the Stormers for nine runs in the third inning of game two to win 14-0.

“We’ve been playing pretty rough,” said MCC coach Rich Grife of a Tiger team that was on a five-game skid. “We had to get over the hump a bit. Last weekend we blew two leads late. Just struggling.

“It was good to get home.”

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • MCC baseball players Diogen Ceballos (28) and Luis Duran (19) tap helmets in celebration of Duran hitting a home run in the second game of a doubleheader against Milwaukee Area Technical College Sunday afternoon at Shawn Williams Field. Ceballos also homered in the game as MCC swept the twinbill.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING • MCC baseball players Diogen Ceballos (28) and Luis Duran (19) tap helmets in celebration of Duran hitting a home run in the second game of a doubleheader against Milwaukee Area Technical College Sunday afternoon at Shawn Williams Field. Ceballos also homered in the game as MCC swept the twinbill.

Gonzalez, the MCC (9-9) sophomore left-handed hurler, didn’t allow a baserunner until two outs in the third when Jalen Bitly reached safely on an error by third baseman Luis Duran. The error, which was a hard throw to begin with as the groundball took Duran’s momentum away from first base into foul territory, turned out to be no harm, no foul as Gonzalez pitched around MATC’s (0-4) first baserunner to get out of the inning. Another error, this time by MCC first baseman Marcus Wittmer, put Wyatt Herbert to begin the fourth inning. But Gonzalez locked in and got the next three Stormers to all strikeout swinging to get out of the inning. In total, Gonzalez gave up no hits or walks while striking out nine to earn his second win of the season.

“He’s got the depth on his breaking pitch back,” Grife said. “His three or four first starts he was OK but not great. Last weekend you could tell his breaking pitches were getting more explosive. Today was really, really good. He had control of that thing from the start. You can always tell with him, he gets in a rhythm, it’s almost like he’s dancing on the mound.”

The Tiger offense backed up its pitcher’s performance on the mound with an equally impressive outing at the plate in game two. Jalen Horton led off the bottom of the first with a walk and later scored as part of a two-run home run to left field from the bat of Diogen Ceballos on an 0-2 pitch with two outs. Tony Salato followed with a single up the middle and then stole second base. Adam Barrett walked after a 14-pitch at-bat, and when the MATC defense relaxed while Barrett trotted to first, Salato scooted over to third base. Salato scored when Barrett successfully stole second and beat the throw home for a 3-0 lead.

MCC needed just four hits to score nine runs in the third thanks to five walks and a pair of Stormer errors. Duran atoned for his error with a two-run home run to left-center, scoring Enmanuel Lopez. Jose Mieses knocked out a two-run single with the bases loaded after Salato reached on an error and Barrett and Max McCay walked. Horton hit an RBI sac fly after Kaleb Hanks walked to reload the bases.

Another bases loaded opportunity was taken advantage of when Duran collected two more RBIs with a single up the middle. Ceballos then sent a single into the outfield that traveled all the way to the fence when it got past leftfielder Dale Cetnarowski, allowing two more runs to score.

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

Another pair of runs were tacked on to MCC’s total in the fourth when Barrett led off with a home run, and McCay scored on a Mieses triple.

The Tigers took advantage of multiple bases loaded chances in the second game after struggling to cash in on them in game one. All three bases were occupied in the second inning with no outs, but Peyton Stephens hit a screaming line drive that was caught by MATC shortstop Josue Rosado who stepped on second base for unassisted double play. Hanks was hit by a pitch to load the bases again, but Horton grounded out to end the inning.

Hanks was hit by a pitch again in the fourth to load the bases again, and Mieses scored when Horton was walked. However, with the bases juiced again and no one out, John Magnuson struck out looking and Lopez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. MCC left the bases load again in the fifth, scoring just one run. The Tigers left 10 runners on base in a game that was a one-run contest through the first five innings. MCC tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth thanks to two batters hit by pitch and a Stormer error.

“I think early in the first game, they were really excited and jumping at the baseball,” Grife said. “In the second game, they started staying back a little bit more.

“As a group, early on in the year we were taking advantage of those things and scoring a bunch of runs. Here lately, we’ve gotten into a little funk. Just had to pull ourselves out of it. It just seemed like for a little bit there, anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.”

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

MCC is back home Wednesday, hosting Kirkwood Community College for a doubleheader. First pitch of game one is slated for 2 p.m.

At Marshalltown

Game One

Marshalltown CC 6, Milwaukee Area Technical College 2

MATC 100 010 0 — 2 3 5

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

MCC 001 113 X — 6 8 1

Joshua Olson, Dylan Malecki (5) and Hunter Garsky; Diogen Ceballos, Enmanuel Lopez (7) and Tony Salato. WP–Ceballos (3-1); LP–Olson. LOB–MATC 4, MCC 10.

Game Two

Marshalltown CC 14, Milwaukee Area Technical College 0 (5 inn.)

MATC 000 00 — 0 0 2

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM RING

MCC 309 2X — 14 8 2

Chris Mercier, Tyler Mauch (3) and Tyler Davidson; Juan Carlos Gonzalez and Max McCay. WP–Gonzalez (2-1); LP–Mercier. 3B–MCC: Jose Mieses. HR–MCC: Luis Duran, Diogen Ceballos, Adam Barrett. LOB–MATC 2, MCC 3.