WATERLOO - Facing a win-or-go-home scenario, the third-seeded Iowa Central baseball team rallied for an 8-7 victory over No. 7 seed Iowa Lakes in the consolation bracket of the Region XI NJCAA Div. II Tournament Friday afternoon at Riverfront Stadium.
Trailing by four runs in eighth inning, the 17th-ranked Tritons (37-18 overall) erupted for a seven-spot. Cleanup batter Jason Galeano went 3-for-5 with a RBI and run scored for Iowa Central, while Tanner Buenting and Nate Steger each finished 2-for-4. Steger also drove in a pair, and Indiana State signee Andy DeJesus crossed the dish twice.
Iowa Hawkeye recruit Luke Vandermaten (Fort Dodge) posted the victory in relief. Vandermaten (4-0) allowed two hits and no earned runs - with no walks and four strikeouts - over three innings of work.
Luis Sterling collected three hits for the Lakers (19-23), while Sean Alp and Manny DeLeon both managed a pair of hits.
Iowa Central was able to overcome eight errors in the game.
"It might have been the ugliest worst-played game I've ever won as a coach or player," said ICCC head coach Rick Pederson. "The bottom line, though, is we won. Nothing had went our way here and then all of a sudden some good things finally happened. Hopefully, we can carry that momentum over into (today)."
NIACC 9, IOWA CENTRAL 6
NIACC 000 030 204-9 10 2
Iowa Central 002 000 004-6 6 2
WP-Nick Veale (8 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K); LP-Joe Hawks (3-5; 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K).
2B-N: Daniel Bradley, Brett Guba, Jake Adams; ICCC: Tanner Buenting, Andy DeJesus, Noah Pickard. HR-N: Zach Fricke; ICCC: Jason Galeano. SB-N: Casey Hall (2), Guba, Adams. LOB-N 8, ICCC 5.
IOWA CENTRAL 8,
IOWA LAKES 7
Iowa Lakes 300 000 022-7 10 3
Iowa Central 000 100 07x-8 10 8
LP-Juan Perez (L, 0-1; 2/3 IP, 4 H, 0ER, 1 BB, 1 K); WP-Luke Vandermaten (W, 4-0; 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K).
2B-IL: Luis Sterling; ICCC: Tyler Franko. SB-IL: Griffin Cole; ICCC: DeJesus, Nate Steger, Justin Smith. CS-IL: Manny DeLeon. LOB-IL 9, IC 9.
In their tournament opener Thursday night, which featured a 49-minute lightning delay, the Tritons dropped a 9-6 decision to sixth-seeded North Iowa Area. Galeano was a perfect 3-for-3 with his seventh longball of the year, two RBI and a run scored. Buenting added three RBI on a bases-clearing double in the ninth.
Up 2-0 in the fifth, Iowa Central saw the Trojans answer with nine straight runs.
Brett Zuba, Jake Adams and Zach Fricke each recorded two hits for NIACC (23-29).
"It was disappointing that we couldn't get anything going," Pederson said. "We had bad approaches at the plate and swung at a lot of pitches out of the strike zone."
Awaiting the Tritons here this morning at 10 a.m. is fourth-seeded Kirkwood (30-18-1). The Eagles fell to No. 1 seed Des Moines Area on Friday, 7-1.