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JUCO Baseball: NIACC earns second-seed for NJCAA Region XI tournament

MASON CITY – The NIACC baseball team wrapped up its regular season with a 6-3 win over Northeast CC on Sunday at Roosevelt Field.

NIACC (34-17 overall) scored two runs each in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings as the Trojans completed a 21-12 ICCAC season and earned the second seed for the upcoming NJCAA Region XI tournament.

With the second seed, the Trojans earn a first-round bye and open the six-team regional tournament Friday at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids.

“We’ve had some ups and some downs,” NIACC’s interim head coach Lincoln Hochmuth said. “We’ve kind of put things together here at the end to be a little bit stronger. It’s been a fun road, for sure.”

NIACC won 16 of its final 19 regular season games and the Trojans are 7-2 in the month of May.
“We had a couple of pitchers get things going late in the season,” Hochmuth said. “Our bats have been scorching hot for the last few weeks and got us rolling.

“You have to tip our cap to our offense, for sure. We had a lot of games where we scored double digits and that’s what has carried us the last few weeks.”

In Sunday’s 6-3 win, NIACC’s Cayden Nicoletto was 4 for 4 and scored two runs. The Trojans’ Cole Fuecker was 2 for 3, including two doubles, with an RBI and scored two runs.

NIACC’s Ike Mezzenga drove in two runs with a double in the eighth inning.

NIACC’s Brandt Thompson (6-0) gained the win on the mound. Thompson, who has a career record of 9-3, allowed one run on three hits in six innings of work with five strikeouts and two walks.
“Brandt Thompson did his thing for us (Sunday),” Hochmuth said. “He was dominant on the mound and we had some timely hits in some big spots.

“Cleaning up the field before the game got us warmed up and ready to go.”

Hunter Day pitched the last three innings to gain the save for the Trojans. Day, who struck out two and walked one, did not allow a hit in his three innings as the Hawks scored two unearned runs.

Day recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning as the Trojans secured their No. 2 seed and a first-round bye for the regional tournament.

“That’s huge moving through the tournament,” Hochmuth said of the first-round bye. “You can definitely save some pitching there, but at the end of the day, we have to be ready to go from game one.”

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