ENID, Okla. – The No. 19 NIACC baseball team looks to continue its magical ride tonight in the third round of the NJCAA Division II World Series.
NIACC (31-16) faces No. 3 Heartland Community College (49-9) at 7 p.m. at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
The winner of tonight’s game faces top-ranked LSU-Eunice at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The NIACC/Heartland loser plays the winner of today’s noon game between UConn-AP and Murray State at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Heartland opened the tournament with a 9-1 win over UConn-Avery Point as former West Des Moines Valley prep David Stagg gained the win. The Hawks tied a single-game World Series record with 10 stolen bases in their season-opening victory.
The Hawks entered the tournament with 207 steals in 57 games, an average of just under four steals a contest.
NIACC coach Travis Hergert said he expects to see sophomore right-hander Johnny Lieske (6-foot-3, 210 pounds). Lieske is 8-2 with a 1.19 earned run average. Lieske has 101 strikeouts and 16 walks in 68 1/3 innings pitched.
NIACC will counter with freshman right-hander Nick Veale (5-11, 185). Veale is 7-1 with a 3.14 ERA with 34 strikeouts and 23 walks in 43 innings pitched.
NIACC topped Murray State 7-6 in 11 innings on Monday as sophomore Hunter King hit a walk-off home run. The Trojans opened the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Madison College on Saturday.
Note – Three teams have been eliminated from the tournament (Lackawanna College, Brunswick CC and Grand Rapids CC).
In elimination games today, UConn-AP and Murray State meet at noon and Madison College faces Scottsdale CC at 3:30 p.m.