Levi Convirs, Sports Information Director
WICHITA – The (RV) Friends University Falcons extended their conference winning streak to 12 games and won for the 15th time in 16 games overall with a sweep Saturday of the McPherson College Bulldogs at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The Falcons won the first game 6-5 and then the second tilt 6-2.
The wins move the Falcons to 17-4 and into a first-place tie in the KCAC with No. 4-ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
Like the series opener Friday night, the Falcons were forced to rally behind for the victory in the first outing.
Friends was in a 5-0 hole after six innings before getting on the board on an RBI single by Jacob Trimble that chased home Justin Fink.
The Falcons then struck for five runs in the eighth to surge ahead.
A pair of Bulldog errors helped the Falcons’ cause and Troy Puga also delivered a big pinch-hit double to score Emilio Navarro that made it 5-3.
With the score 5-5 and the bases loaded, John Gardner was hit by a pitch that brought home Trimble with the eventual game-winning tally.
When the Bulldogs threatened in the seventh by putting runners on first and second with no outs, Patrick Gonzales entered the game out of the bullpen and stifled the rally by retiring the next three batters to pick up the save.
Navarro had two hits in the opener for Friends and Trimble drove in a pair of runs.
Alex Dafoe started for the Falcons and pitched eight innings in a winning effort, allowing five runs, but none earned with two strikeouts.
The Falcons didn’t have to make a comeback in the nightcap after taking charge with three runs in the bottom of the first.
Augie Isaacson reached base on an error to start the inning and then promptly swiped second and third base for his KCAC-leading 23rd steals of the season.
Gardner then singled home Isaacson for the first run and Navarro doubled home Reily Carroll and pinch runner Zach McAnally to finish the frame.
The Falcons tacked on another run in the second on an RBI single from Carroll that scored Trimble.
McPherson got a run in the fourth, but the Falcons got that back and then some with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Justin Braziel led off with a double and scored on a wild pitch before Isaacson hit his sixth triple of the season and crossed the plate on another wild pitch.
Sean Cruz was the winning pitcher for the Falcons (24-10, 17-4 KCAC), lasting six innings and giving up just one earned run and striking out five.
Gonzalez then made another appearance and wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing a hard liner that Carroll snared at third and flipped to Isaacson at second for the game-ending double play.
Dominick Ramos went three-of-three for the Bulldogs (25-16, 5-13 KCAC).
The Falcons will next host Panhandle State University Tuesday afternoon (Apr. 3) at 4 pm.