NIACC sweeps Iowa Central

MASON CITY - Two games, two walk-off home runs.

The NIACC baseball team swept Iowa Central on Friday in an ICCAC twinbill at Roosevelt Field with a pair of walk-off home runs.

NIACC won the first game 6-5 on a 3-run walk-off home run by sophomore Ben Fitzgerald in the seventh inning. With two outs, Fitzgerald deposited an 0-2 pitch over the fence to give the Trojans the dramatic come-from-behind victory.

The Trojans completed the Friday sweep with a 12-4 win in the nightcap with Fox Leum ending the game early via the eight-run rule with a solo home run leading off the eighth inning.

The two wins gave NIACC coach Travis Hergert his 250th career win. Hergert, who took over the Trojans in 2013, has a career record of 250-141-1.

In the first game, NIACC trailed 6-3 heading into its last at-bat and Iowa Central set down the first two Trojan hitters.

No. 9 hitter Jake Christianson drew a two out walk and leadoff hitter Carson Parker walked setting the stage for Fitzgerald, who hit his seventh home run of the season and 11th of his career.

Fitzgerald's walk-off home run made a winner out of Jarod Large, who relieved starter Michael Oh in the sixth inning. Large (2-1) struck out the side in the sixth inning and also pitched a scoreless seventh inning.

Shane Kelleher and Gabe Denton both hit solo home runs for NIACC. Kelleher hit his home run with two outs in the fourth inning and Denton's homer led off the fifth inning.

NIACC took control of the second game by scoring six runs in the second inning.

NIACC hit five home runs in the second game, including two each from Leum and Will Sturek. Ross Cochran also homered in the nightcap for the Trojans.

Leum was 3 for 5 with three RBIs with a double and two home runs. Leum now has 12 home runs this season and 21 for his career.

Sturek was 3 for 3, including a double and two home runs, with three RBIs. Sturek now has seven home runs this season.

The two home runs in the second game Friday by Leum and Sturek was the 41st and 42nd time in the Hergert era that a NIACC player hit two home runs in game.

Patrick Pridgen gained the win for the Trojans in the nightcap. Pridgen (5-2) allowed four runs on five hits with five strikeouts, three walks and two hit by pitches in five innings of work.

NIACC (22-21 overall, 11-11 in the ICCAC) returns to action Sunday at Iowa Central. The twinbill is slated to start at 1 p.m.







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