Trojans push win streak to 10 with dramatic win in nightcap

MASON CITY - The NIACC baseball team pushed its winning streak to 10 games but the Trojans needed some late-inning heroics in the second game Saturday against Iowa Lakes to push the the win streak to double digits.

After winning the opening game of the four-game series 10-3 behind a strong pitching performance from Spencer Chirpich, the Trojans rallied from a three-run deficit heading into the bottom of the ninth to win 13-12 with a walkoff single from Fox Leum.

NIACC tied the second game at 12-12 with a one-out, 3-run, pinch-hit home run from freshman Ben Fitzgerald, who deposited a 3-2 pitch over the right-center field fence for the second home run of his career.

After Fitzgerald tied it with his 3-run blast, leadoff hitter Shane Kelleher doubled down the left field line and Joey Werner reached on an error to put runners on second and third with one out.

Leum then provided the game-winner with a single up the middle scoring Kelleher with the winning run and giving the Trojans their 13th straight win over the Lakers.

The 10-game winning streak is the longest since the Trojans won nine straight at one point in the 2016 season. The longest win streak in the Travis Hergert era, which began in 2013, was an 11-game win streak in 2015.

NIACC has not lost to the Lakers since dropping a 6-4 decision in the second game of the 2015 four-game regular season series.

In the second game, NIACC jumped out to an 8-3 lead after seven innngs, Iowa Lakes scored seven runs in the eighth inning to take a 10-8 lead.

NIACC (29-17-1 overall, 15-6-1 in the ICCAC) trimmed the deficit to 10-9 with a single run in its half of the eighth inning, but Iowa Lakes plated two runs in the top of the ninth to take the 12-9 lead heading into the Trojans' final at-bat.

NIACC hit two home runs in the second game - a solo shot from Bryce Ball, who hit his one the roof of the bus barn in right field and a two-run home run from Ben Komonosky in the seventh inning.

In the first game, Chirpich gained the win by allowing one run in six innings of work. Chirpich struck out eight and did not walk a batter.

Chirpich took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before allowing a home run to the Lakers' Tavan Shahidi.

NIACC hit three home runs in the opener. Kamrin Arons hit a two-run homer in the first inning, Kelleher hit a two-run home run in the second inning and Komonosky hit a 3-run home run in the sixth inning.

NIACC hit six home runs in the doubleheader giving the Trojans 75 home runs on the season, which ranks second in NJCAA Division II. Western Oklahoma State leads the nation with 81 home runs.

Ball leads the Trojans with 13 home runs and Arons ranks second with nine home runs.

NIACC and Iowa Lakes (16-26, 5-17) wrap up their four-game series on Sunday with a twinbill starting at 2 p.m.

NIACC'S 10-GAME WIN STREAK (April 20-28, 2018)

NIACC 17, Marshalltown CC 9

NIACC 5, Iowa Central 2

NIACC 10, Iowa Central 7

NIACC 4, Iowa Central 0

NIACC 7, Iowa Central 3

NIACC 11, Marshalltown CC 0

NIACC 10, Wartburg JV 5

NIACC 8, Wartburg JV 5

NIACC 10, Iowa Lakes 3

NIACC 13, Iowa Lakes 12

HERGERT'S LONGEST WIN STREAK (11 games - April 13-25, 2015)

NIACC 6, Loras College JV 3

NIACC 12, Loras College JV 1

NIACC 6, Century College 3

NIACC 14, Century College 2

NIACC 5, Kirkwood 1

NIACC 7, Kirkwood 0

NIACC 8, Kirkwood 3

NIACC 12, Kirkwood 7



NIACC 12, Southwestern 2