The Carthage baseball team was able to get in one game of a scheduled College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin doubleheader Friday against Wheaton at Lee Pfund Stadium in Carol Stream, Ill.
It was enough for the Red Men to pull into a first-place tie atop the conference.
Carthage rallied from a 3-1 deficit with four runs in the top of the seventh inning and held on for a 6-4 victory over the Thunder in the first of a three-game series.
Friday’s second game was postponed until noon today at Wheaton. The third game of the series, originally scheduled for noon today at Carthage’s Augie Schmidt Field, doesn’t yet have a makeup date scheduled.
Tie atop CCIW
Carthage — ranked 26th in the latest ABCA/Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III Top 30 poll — has won four straight and 20 of 22. The Red Men (21-4 overall, 8-1 CCIW) also moved into a first-place tie with North Central, which was idle Friday.
Against the Thunder, Carthage right-hander Kevin Tibor battled through his toughest start of the season but still improved to 6-0. The Bradford graduate surrendered four runs (all earned) on 10 hits with no walks and six strikeouts in seven innings.
Trailing 3-1, the Red Men opened the seventh with walks by Jake Marczuk and Colton Klein and a bunt single by Ryan Kramer to load the bases with no outs. Cody Phelps plated one run with a sacrifice fly to right, then Nick Pierce reached on a fielding error that allowed Klein to score and tie the game. After Vince Schwartz flied out to right, Ryan Dalton ripped a go-ahead double down the left-field line that scored Pierce and Kramer for a 5-3 lead.
Wheaton (13-12, 4-5) scored in the bottom of the seventh, but Carthage scratched out an insurance run in the eighth. David Woods and Brian Polaski covered the final two innings to finish it off.
Polaski collected his seventh save over 1⅓ innings by retiring the final four hitters he faced.
Flyers sweep Rangers
UW-Parkside lost both games of a Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader to Lewis in Romeoville, Ill., falling 6-1 in Game 1 and 7-3 in Game 2.
Parkside (3-20 overall, 2-8 GLVC) managed only four hits off two Lewis pitchers in Game 1, one apiece by Troy Bittenbender, Domenic Hammudeh, Max Widmar and Lovell Chandler. Bittenbender’s triple scored Chandler in the top of the third for UWP’s lone run.
Connor Cunningham (0-6) took the loss. He allowed six runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts, but none of the runs were earned as Parkside made three errors.
The Rangers tallied three hits in Game 2, but they tied it at 2-2 in the top of the fifth via Bradford graduate Vinnie Hubli’s RBI double and Tremper graduate Hunter Weddel’s RBI groundout.
The Flyers (13-18-1, 6-7) took the lead back with four runs in the bottom of the inning, however, as Parkside reliever Conner Lowman (0-1) took the loss.
The teams are scheduled to play another doubleheader at Lewis beginning at noon Sunday.