The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) baseball team won three of four games against Northeast (Neb.) Community College (NEBCC) May 3 and 4 at Norfolk, Neb., and captured its first Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) championship since 2014.
The Bears lost the opener on May 3, 12-8, but responded with a 15-6 win in the second game. They won both games on May 4, 8-1 and 17-12 to finish the regular season at 37-15 and 12-7 in the ICCAC. DMACC finished two and a half games ahead of second-place Iowa Central Community College (ICCC).
Sophomore Jacob Pinkerton of Beatrice, Neb., had two hits, including a home run, and drove in four runs as DMACC lost the opener on May 3. NEBCC led 7-1 after two innings and maintained its advantage with single runs in the fourth and fifth and three runs in the sixth. The Bears put together a four-run rally in the top of the sixth to trail 9-8 before NENEB tallied three runs in the bottom of the inning to extend its lead.
Sophomore Jackson Uner of Maplewood, Minn., pitched the first inning and two-thirds and suffered the loss to fall to 0-1 for the season. He allowed seven runs on five hits, struck out one and walked two. Freshman Jonas Sanders of Fargo, N.D., threw four and a third innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He struck out six and walked two.
Sophomores Calen Schwabe of Thompson, N.D., Austin Murr of Stillwater, Minn., and Tavien Gillette of Rock Island, Ill., had three hits apiece and sophomore Denver Blinn of West Fargo, N.D., and freshman Grant Bohling of Lincoln, Neb., belted home runs for DMACC in the second game.
The Bears trailed 4-0 after the first inning and 6-1 after four innings, but got the win behind two runs in the fifth, four in the sixth, three in the seventh, three in the eighth and two in the ninth.
Blinn, Bohling and freshman Carter Troncin of Urbandale had two hits apiece, and Blinn and Murr drove in two runs apiece.
Freshman Logan Ymker of Sioux Falls, S.D., went one inning, allowing four runs on five hits. Freshman Garret Reisz of Council Bluffs worked four and a third innings and notched a win in his first decision of the season. He allowed two runs on six hits, struck out six and walked one. Freshman Thomas Bruchu of Stillwater, Minn., went three and two-thirds innings, allowing two hits, striking out two and walking two.
Sophomore Evan Salmon of Urbandale had two hits, including a home run, and drove in four runs to lead DMACC in the opener on May 4. The Bears took a 3-0 lead in the first, scored one run in each of the second and third innings and put the game away with three runs in the fourth.
Freshman Kaden Peterson of Luther pitched four and a third innings and improved to 1-0 with the win. He allowed one run on four hits, struck out two and walked two. Freshman Will Moritz of West Des Moines went two and two-thirds innings, striking out three and walking one.
Sanchez had three hits and sophomore Roman Vega of Buffalo, Minn., Bohling and Gillette had two apiece in DMACC's win in the final game of the series. The Bears led 5-4 after two innings and stretched their advantage with four runs in the third, two each in the fifth and sixth innings and four in the ninth.
Freshman Isaac Nelson of Sioux Falls, S.D., homered in the game and drove in four runs. Vega had three RBIs and Sanchez, Bohling and Gillette drove in two runs apiece.
The Bears used five pitchers in the win with sophomore Henry Ristvedt of Savage, Minn., freshman Kolton Scherbenske of Rapid City, S.D., sophomore Sam Laakso of Duluth, Minn., and freshman Keaton Duckett of Johnson throwing two innings apiece and freshman Nathaniel Gorczyca of Omaha, Neb., working one inning. Ristvedt allowed four runs on five hits, struck out one and walked one and Scherbenske allowed three runs on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Laakso gave up two runs on five hits, struck out one and walked two and Duckett allowed three runs on five hits, struck out five and walked one, getting his first win in his first decision of the season. Gorczyca retired all three batters he faced in his one inning on the mound.
DMACC will be the No. 1 seed in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XI Division II Baseball Tournament May 8 to 13 at Clinton. The Bears will begin tournament play May 10 when they face the winner of the NEBCC-Kirkwood Community College (KCC) game. In addition to winning three of four games against NEBCC this season, DMACC also won three of four games against KCC.