WATERLOO - The Iowa Central baseball team will begin play in the Region XI Tournament here at Riverfront Stadium this evening.
The Tritons (36-17 overall), who are the No. 3 seed, face North Iowa Area (22-29) at 7 p.m. The winner moves on to face either second-seeded Southeastern (38-18) or No. 7 Iowa Lakes (19-21).
In other action, 10th-ranked and top-seeded Des Moines Area (36-16) faces off with Southwestern (6-33), while Kirkwood (29-17-1) squares off with Ellsworth (22-28).
Iowa Central has won five in a row and are 11-4 in its last 15 games overall. Earlier in the year, the Tritons took three of four from the Trojans, including two 10-0 wins.
Damian Rutherford and Andy DeJesus both are batting over .370 on the year, with Rutherford hitting a team-high seven home runs and driving in 53 runs.
Alex Hayden is 8-1 on the mound with an earned run average of 4.28. He has 54 strikeouts on the year.
REGION XI BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
Kirkwood vs. Ellsworth, 10 a.m.
Des Moines Area vs. Southwestern, 1 p.m.
Southeastern vs. Iowa Lakes, 4 p.m.
Iowa Central vs. North Iowa Area, 7 p.m.
Kirkwood/Ellsworth loser vs. DMACC/Southwestern loser, 10 a.m.
Southeastern/Iowa Lakes loser vs. Iowa Central/NIACC loser, 1 p.m.
Kirkwood/Ellsworth winner vs. DMACC/Southwestern winner, 4 p.m.
Southeastern/Iowa Lakes winner vs. Iowa Central/NIACC winner, 7 p.m.
Ryan Boetler sports a 6-2 record with a 2.95 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched.
University of Iowa signee and former Fort Dodge standout Luke Vandermaten has recorded 11 saves and has 30 strikeouts in just over 32 innings pitched with a 1.39 ERA.
The double-elimination tournament continues through the weekend. The winner will host the North Plains District Championship May 17-18.