CLINTON, Iowa – The Northeast Community College baseball team needed two wins on Sunday for a spot in the Region XI championship, and it did just that.
The Hawks (30-18, 16-12 ICCAC) routed Des Moines Area Community College 8-3 earlier in the day, before taking down Kirkwood Community College 7-4 at Ashford Field in Clinton, Iowa.
The second-year program under head coach Marcus Clapp, notched the 30-win mark with the win over Kirkwood to move on to the championship game against Southeastern Community College at Noon tomorrow. If the Hawks take the first game, there will be a winner-take-all game 30 minutes following.
Northeast managed to overcome a 3-1 lead over DMACC, after tacking on three runs in the fifth and four in the seventh.
Drew Smith (Elkhorn, Neb.) went 2-for-4, with two runs, two RBI, a double, a stolen base and a walk. Cale Hlavac (Omaha, Neb.) and Jayden Sinju (Murray, Utah) each went 2-for-5, with a run and an RBI. Derek Botaletto (Omaha, Neb.) and David Richardson (Bellevue, Neb.) each added a double.
Lane Koetter (Grand Junction, Colo.) picked-up his fourth win of the season, tossing six innings, allowing two earned runs off seven hits, while walking two batters and striking out one.
It was all Northeast in the final elimination game of the day as the Hawks went on to take a demanding 5-0 lead after two innings. Kirkwood eventually made a small comeback in the fifth, but the Hawks answered with two insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh.
Christian Dumont (Bellevue, Neb.) led the Hawks at the plate, going 3-for-5, with two runs and an RBI. Bryce Walker (Papillion, Neb.) was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Smith, Dumont and Hlavac all had a double in the win.
Lefty hurler Cam Taylor (Bellevue, Neb.) pitched seven innings, giving up three earned runs off four hits, while striking out eight batters and walking one for his eighth win of the season.
The championship game will be steamed live at: https://vcloud.volarvideo.com/broadcast/embed/124096?windowed=true
For all news related to Northeast Community College athletics, visit northeasthawks.com for complete coverage. Fans can also follow the Hawks on Twitter @NortheastHawks for game-day coverage.