Sioux City, Iowa- The Hastings College baseball team had some 7th inning magic, scoring both the game-winning runs in the 7th inning in their 2-1, 1-0 wins over Briar Cliff at Bishop Mueller Field on Saturday.
Game one saw Hastings score first in the 2nd inning, with Bryce McMullen (SR/Omaha, NE) hitting a 1-out single and advancing to second on a balk. Grant Kraus (JR/Castle Rock, CO) grounded out to get McMullen into third, setting up Zack Petersen (JR/Waverly, NE) with an RBI-single to put Hastings up 1-0.
Hastings threatened again in the top of the 4th, as Will Frei (SR/Omaha, NE) led off the inning by getting plunked, but was forced out on an Alex Utrup (JR/Lincoln, NE) bunt. McMullen singled and Petersen hit a bunt single two batters later to load the bases with 2 outs in the inning, but could not score any runs.
Briar Cliff's Brady Harpenau led an offensive push by the Chargers in the 4th inning with a 1-out walk. Harpenau stole second and scored on a 2-out single to tie the game up 1-1.
In the 7th inning, Ty O'Brien (JR/Omaha, NE) hit a leadoff single and advanced on a Brandon Utrup (JR/Lincoln, NE) sacrifice bunt. O'Brien scored two batters later on a Ty Neill (SR/Ogallala, NE) single to give the Broncos the 2-1 win.
Andrew Kuta (SR/Edgar, NE) had another strong outing, allowing only four hits in his complete game effort.
Offensively, McMullen and Neill led the Broncos, both going 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI, respectively.
Game two had another pitcher's' duel, with Frei starting against Briar Cliff's Andrew Stover.
Briar Cliff had its biggest threat in the 2nd inning as Jeff Hackenmueller hit a 2-out bunt single, then Avery Foltz and Ryan Welsh walked to load the bases, but Frei induced a groundout to end the threat and keep the game scoreless.
Donato Santos (SR/Manitou Springs, CO) started the Broncos' threat in the 7th inning with a 1-out bunt single and stole second. O'Brien hit a single that put runners on the corners with only one out in the inning still. Brandon Utrup finished the job with an RBI safety squeeze as Santos slid in to home plate barely beating the tag to give Hastings their eventual 1-0 win.
Frei went seven strong innings, allowing only four hits before being subbed-out for Xander Schmidt (SR/Hastings, NE), who had two innings of 1-hit baseball for a 6-out save.
The Broncos (26-20, 15-11) return to Sioux City on Tuesday to make up the April 28th doubleheader against Briar Cliff. First pitch is schedule for 1 p.m.