The rallies the Marshalltown Community College baseball team were waiting for just never materialized.
The Tigers scratched out the game's only run in the eighth inning to win the opener of Tuesday's conference doubleheader against Southwestern at Shawn Williams Field, but game two was all Spartans in a five-inning affair, 14-4.
Marshalltown was coming off two wins against NJCAA Division I No. 1 Iowa Western over the weekend and that momentum didn't carry over.
"We were sluggish all day," said MCC head coach Rich Grife. "We just never got things going."
Seven shutout innings from sophomore pitcher Blake Brommel in game one saved a Tiger offense that saw 18 in a row retired in order from innings 1-7.
Brommel allowed four hits, walked two and struck out seven (one in each inning) over his shutout ball. Zach Throckmorten pitched the eighth for the win.
"Blake pitched really well. He made it look easy today. Finally we got a run there," Grife said.
Marshalltown (22-27, 13-15) had a base hit from Ben Lott with one out in the first and didn't reach base again until an error in the seventh.
Cody Munslinger started the eighth by drawing a walk, moved to second on a groundout and took third on a wild pitch. Munslinger scored on MCC's second hit of the game, an infield single by William Salas with two down.
Greg Young took the loss for Southwestern (14-32, 7-18), allowing one run on two hits, walking one and striking out seven.
The Spartans needed only eight hits to score their 14 runs in the finale as they took full advantage of nine walks by MCC pitchers. Southwestern tallied three in the first off starting pitcher Sean McGuire and they added seven in the second, one in the third and three in the fifth against the bullpen.
Dillon Coates and Drew Bower both homered for Southwestern. Caleb Cline added a three-run triple.
Salas was 2-for-2 for the Tigers. Bryce Manning drove in two, while Steven Murtha had a triple.
"For the season we won six of eight against Southwestern," Grife said. "still the last game wasn't a lot of fun."
Two of the biggest wins of the season came Saturday and Sunday for MCC as they won one time both days at Iowa Western to split the set. The two Tiger wins represent only the second and third losses of the season for the Reivers.
"On the weekend we played clean ball. The guys stayed on the ball and swung it well. We were having better at-bats. The pitching was good, there were fewer walks," Grife said.
Marshalltown closes out the regular season this week with a trip to NJCAA Division II No. 13 NIACC on Thursday, then the Tigers wrap up conference play with a home series against Muscatine on Saturday and Sunday.
"We're going to have to play better baseball the rest of the way," Grife said.