Marshall, Mo. (March 14, 2015)- The Missouri Valley College baseball team opened Heart of America Athletic Conference play Saturday in a road doubleheader at Avila (Mo.) University.  The Vikings dropped both games by scores of 6-2 and 7-5.

Game one of the doubleheader started with Avila jumping on Missouri Valley early.  The Eagles scored a run in the first and three runs in the second inning.  The Vikings battled back in the top of the third inning, getting a Senior Catcher Anthony Corona (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) sac-fly to score Senior Second Baseman Zach McGill (Richmond, Mo).  Junior Leftfielder Lucas Doerhoff (Jefferson, City, Mo.) brought home a second run with a sac-fly, but the Vikings finished the inning with two stranded on base and trailed 4-2.  Avila answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning to stretch its lead to 5-2.  The Vikings put two on with one out in the top of the fifth inning, thanks to singles from Corona and Senior First Baseman Josh Hartin (Washburn, Mo.), but both were left stranded.  Missouri Valley only had two base runners in the final two innings and fell to Avila 6-2.

Leading the way was Senior Shortstop Josh Felz (Independence, Mo.) who was 3 for 4 from the plate with a double.  Hartin finished 2 for 3.  The loss went to Junior Pitcher Kevin Key (Guarenas, Venezuela) who went 1.2 innings with three hits and four earned runs.

Game two opened with Missouri Valley taking an early lead.  Corona worked a two-out single to start a Viking rally.  Freshman Kolten Perfect (Warren, Texas) pinch-ran for Corona and after a wild throw moved him to second base, Hartin brought him home with a single to give MVC a 1-0 lead.  Avila answered back with a run in the bottom of the first inning, then took the lead with five runs in the bottom of the second inning.  Missouri Valley shrunk its deficit in the top of the fourth inning thanks to a Junior Designated Hitter Dylan Candaele (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) ground out that score Doerhoff, but MVC still trailed 6-2.  The Vikings put together a long fifth inning that started with a Junior Centerfielder Jake Stafford (Richmond, Mo.) walk, followed by a Felz double that score Stafford.  Corona singled to score Felz and later in the inning Doerhoff was brought home on a Senior Third Baseman Trevor Duffy (Oak Park, Calif.) double to make the score 6-5 in favor of Avila.  Missouri Valley only had one base runner in the next three innings, but Avila got an insurance run in the eighth to make the score 7-5.  The Vikings were taken down in order and lost by a 7-5 score.

Leading the way for Missouri Valley in the second game was Doerhoff who was 3 for 4 with two runs scored and a double.  Corona had two hits and one RBI.  Junior Pitcher Logan Faber (Springfield, Ill.) picked up the loss going 2.2 innings giving up four hits and three earned runs.

The losses drop Missouri Valley to 7-5 overall and 0-2 in HAAC play.  Avila improves to12-7 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.

The Vikings will next play a doubleheader at home against Baker (Kan.) University Wednesday with the first game starting at 1 p.m.

(Courtesy of Missouri Valley College)

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