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NIACC falls to Kirkwood at regionals

CLINTON – The NIACC baseball team dropped a 13-5 decision in eight innings to Kirkwood in the second round of the NJCAA Region XI tournament Friday afternoon at Ashford University Field.

NIACC took a 5-3 lead after seven innings as Shane Kelleher stole home to tie the game and Ben Komonosky gave the Trojans a 5-3 lead with a double.

Kirkwood, however, scored 10 runs in the eighth inning and held the Trojans scoreless in the bottom half of the inning to advance via the eight-run rule.

NIACC (36-19-1) plays Iowa Central at noon on Saturday in an elimination game.

Kirkwood plays Southeastern in the winner’s bracket final at 6 p.m. Saturday.

In Friday’s game, Kirkwood pitchers held NIACC to five hits over eight innings.

Sophomore designated hitter Bryce Ball was 2 for 3 and scored one run.

NIACC starter Brandon Williamson pitched seven-plus innings allowing seven runs on eight hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks.

Williamson became NIACC’s career strikeout leader with 151. He passed Dan Loats (2015-16), who was the career leader with 148. Williamson also became the all-time single-season strikeout leader at NIACC with 104 passing Derek Lieurance (1016), who had 96.

NJCAA Region XI tournament
Wednesday’s play-in game
Northeast CC 11, Iowa Lakes 9
Thursday’s results
Ellsworth 8, Iowa Central 7
Kirkwood 9, DMACC 1 (8)
NIACC 7, Northeast CC 2
Friday’s results
Southeastern 16, Ellsworth 8 (8)
Kirkwood 13, NIACC 5 (8)
5 p.m. – DMACC vs. Northeast CC (elimination game)
Saturday’s games
Noon – Iowa Central vs. NIACC (elimination game)
3 p.m. – DMACC/Northeast CC winner vs. Ellsworth (elimination game)
6 p.m. – Southeastern vs. Kirkwood
Note – Two elimination games are set for noon and 3 p.m. on Sunday with the championship game set for 6 p.m. Sunday. If necessary, a second championship game will be played at noon on Monday.

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