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NIACC wins series against Kirkwood, 2-1-1

Brandon Williamson at Kirkwood on Tuesday

CEDAR RAPIDS – The NIACC baseball team won the four-game series with No. 8 Kirkwood, 2-1-1.

After splittling a pair of games last Thursday, NIACC won Tuesday’s opener 8-3 behind a gem by left-hander Brandon Williamson and the two ICCAC rivals tied 1-1 in 11 innings in the nightcap.

The final game of the series was called due to darkness after the Trojans’ Tom Skoro escaped a bases loaded, one-out jam with a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the 11th inning.

In the league standings, Kirkwood and No. 15 Southeastern are tied for first based on a winning percentage of .750. Kirkwood is 10-3-1 in the league and Southeastern is 12-4.

NIACC (19-17-1 overall) sits in third in the league with a record of 9-6-1.

In the first game Tuesday, Williamson (5-3) struck out a career-high 13 and walked five in six innings of work. He allowed one run on three hits in winning his third straight start.

Williamson gained the win (15-1) against Northeast CC on April 2 with nine strikeouts in five innings of work. On April 7, Williamson tossed a complete-game (7 inning) four-hitter with 12 strikeouts in a 2-1 win over DMACC.

Williamson has 64 strikeouts with 25 walks with a 3.61 earned run average in 42 1/3 innings of work this season. He has 111 career strikeouts, which ranks fifth on the school’s career list.

NIACC’s Kyle Pike drove in two runs and Nate VanKan also added an RBI. Kamrin Arons was 2 for 5 and scored two runs.

In the second game, NIACC took a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Arons. Kirkwood managed to tie the game in the last half of the ninth inning with a 2-out RBI single by leadoff hitter Korry Howell.

NIACC starter Spencer Chirpich, who scatterded seven hits, did not allow a run in 7 1/3 innings of work with six strikeouts and two walks. Skoro pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and didn’t give up a run with six strikeouts and two walks in his first relief stint of the season.

VanKan collected two hits in the second game.

Notes: Tuesday’s second game was the first tie in the career of sixth-year NIACC coach Travis Hergert, who has a career mark of 210-117-1 … Hergert is 16-8-1 allt-time against Kirkwood.

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