OTTUMWA — Ernie Banks, the legendary shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, used to always show up at the park and say “let’s play two.”
He might have had second thoughts Saturday, if he would have confronted the low 30-degree temperatures with an even lower wind chill at Legion Field in Ottumwa, however.
The Indian Hills Falcons played host to Ridgewater Community College and heated up enough offense and pitching to sweep the baseball doubleheader — 10-5 and 2-1. The sweep followed a doubleheader sweep of Southwestern CC Friday and moved the Falcons’ record to 16-8.
The visiting Warriors scored three times in the top of the first. After the first two batters reached base via a hit by a pitch and a walk, IHCC starting pitcher Aaron Doughty struck out the next two hitters. Ridgewater used a walk and two hits to take a 3-0 lead. IHCC answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first.
Joel Booker started the Falcon rally with a one-out single. After a Ridgewater error, Booker scored on an RBI groundout by Dario Polanco. Junior Santos followed with a two-out walk and stole two bases before he scored on a single by Mitch Langer.The factors that led to IHCC’s runs would continue to be big as the game progressed. Booker and Langer would each have two more hits and Santos would steal three more bases. The Falcons stole nine bases in the first game.
“We have good team speed — especially at the top of our lineup,” IHCC coach Cam Walker said. “We think that by being aggressive we can use that as a real weapon. Last year we had more steals than anybody in our region by a huge margin.”
A Falcon double play kept the visitors off the board in the second and the Falcons tied it at three on Booker’s second hit — an RBI single.