CLINTON — Triston Houzenga couldn’t have asked for a much better situation.
With his Morrison baseball team tied with Riverdale, he stepped to the plate with one out, the bases loaded and the top of the order waiting behind him in the second inning Wednesday evening.
He fell behind in the count but then delivered, his two-run single giving the Mustangs the lead for good in a five-run inning that turned into a 12-3 victory in the second of three Three Rivers Conference baseball games at Ashford University Field.
“It felt good coming through,” said Houzenga, the No. 9 batter in the Morrison lineup. “We really needed something, and it felt good coming back after two strikes.”
The win kept the Mustangs (7-3, 5-1 TRAC-9) a game behind Erie/Prophetstown in the loss column in the conference standings.
Morrison’s big inning began when Brock Deter reached on an error. He moved up on a wild pitch, then Connor Duncan walked. After a popout, Bill Lee Greul singled to load the bases and set up Houzenga, who was coming off a 4-for-4 game Monday against Sterling Newman.
“I was just looking for a hit,” Houzenga said.
He got it, stroking a two-run single into right field for a 3-1 lead. Alexander Volckmann and Danny Willis followed with run-scoring singles, ending the night for Riverdale starter Jared Richmond.
Morrison tacked on one more run before the inning was over, scored single runs in the third and fourth innings, got a two-run double from Andrew Connelly in a three-run fifth and scored its final run in the seventh on Duncan’s RBI double.
Morrison pitcher Alex Fischbach limited Riverdale to five hits while striking out seven batters. He settled down after giving up a triple to Ruben Garza and a run-scoring bloop single to Josh Lohman, the first two batters he faced.