DAYTON, Tenn. -- The 2012 Indiana Wesleyan University baseball season is underway with a fantastic start to the season at the Tennessee Valley Invitational in Dayton, Tennessee.
Indiana Wesleyan (2-0) swept Friday play with an 18-7 victory versus Tennessee Temple University and then earned its second win of the day in a 7-4 win over Berea (Ky.) University.
In the season opening win, junior shortstop Josh Ellis put Indiana Wesleyan in front 1-0 with an RBI single in the top of the second. Tennessee Temple (4-5) quickly answered with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to lead 4-1.
In the fourth Ellis once again knocked in a run on a single. Freshman third baseman Preston Fugita came up next and clubbed an RBI double to cut the deficit to 4-3 while junior designated hitter Quinn Nofziger connected on a sac fly to tie the game 4-4. Fugita later scored on a wild pitch and senior centerfielder CJ Sandmann scored on an error as the five run inning resulted in a 6-4 Wildcat lead. Tennessee Temple responded in the home half of the inning with a run for a 6-5 ballgame.
Indiana Wesleyan added insurance runs in the sixth inning to pull away from Tennessee Temple. Senior catcher Alex Ridlen drew a bases loaded walk and junior right fielder Craig Dollens was up next and he hit a two-run single. Junior Javier Aponte came up to bat as a pinch-hitter and hit a sac fly for a 10-6 lead.
Tennessee Temple scored one run in the bottom of the sixth which led to a huge Indiana Wesleyan seventh inning. IWU plated eight in the top of the inning to pull away for the 18-7 victory.
Nofziger earned the first big hit of the seventh with a two-run single. Then bases loaded walks and wild pitches scored Nofziger and freshman Trey Shigley. Freshman second baseman Jacob Murphy hit into a fielder's choice that score a run while Ridlen and Dollens collected RBI base on balls for the huge inning.
In game two against Berea the Wildcats again scored first with a two RBI double by Nofziger. Ridlen later followed with a two-run single while Dollens hit a double to plate another run for a five run second inning.
Berea (0-4) would close to within one at 5-4 with one run in the fourth and three more in the fifth. But junior first baseman Peter Engle added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh with a two run home run to put Indiana Wesleyan in the lead 7-4. IWU closed out the seventh for their second win of the day.
Indiana Wesleyan will complete play at the Tennessee Valley Invitational on Saturday with two games.