Trailing 5-2 in the fourth inning and with a tenuous one-game lead in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference thus hanging in the balance, Wabash Valley College baseball manager Rob Fournier was pleased with what didn’t happen next. “We held our poise and didn’t panic.”
What did happen was his 18th-ranked Warriors finally got the offense cranked up, scoring the final 11 runs in a 13-5 turnaround victory over Southeastern Illinois and a sweep of a Saturday doubleheader. The hosts cruised in the opener, 12-2.
“This is the most proud I’ve been of our team all year,” said Fournier after the win. “We dealt with some adversity. That’s what good teams do.”
A two-run error and one RBI hit sent Southeastern in front in the top of the fourth. WVC got one run back, but still trailed 5-3 heading to the home half of the fifth.
That’s when the floodgates opened. Wabash (34-10) scored six runs to take its first lead of the game at 9-6. The hosts added four more runs in the sixth inning to finish off the Falcons (11-26), who were on a season-high four-game winning streak coming in.
“That team was playing really well,” said Fournier of SIC. “We made a couple big errors, but we stuck together. Today was a turning point for our season, because we’ve been working on staying mentally tough. We could have folded right there.”
Cole Gleason starred at the plate on the day, finished 6-of-7 with four doubles, and eight runs batted in. Edgar Figueroa added four RBIs and Garrett Gordon, who signed scholarship papers earlier in the week to play next year at Arkansas, had two doubles and four RBIs.
In the first game, Southeastern scored once in the first, but WVC countered with two runs in their first and four in the second to take a 6-1 lead into the third. Stopper Spencer Drake went six innings and struck out nine to improve to 8-0 on the season.
Wabash, 13-3 in GRAC games, needed both wins to stay on top, because runnerup Rend Lake beat Lake Land twice on Saturday to improve to 13-4.