May 6—CENTERVILLE — Keep grinding away.
"It's all we can really do," Indian Hills head baseball coach Matthew Torrez said.
The Indian Hills baseball team closed out a successful regular season on Wednesday by grinding out two regional wins against Iowa Central. After holding off the Tritons in game one, clinching a 9-8 win in the top of the seventh, the Warriors erased a five-run deficit for the second time in three games completing the doubleheader sweep with an 8-6 win in game two.
Indian Hills will take a 35-12 overall record into postseason play, finishing in a tie for second place in the overall Iowa Community College Athletic Conference standings after matching Kirkwood with a 30-12 record in regional play. Iowa Western, the top seed in the ICCAC Division I tournament, won the regular-season league title by eight games over the Warriors and Eagles with a regional record of 38-4 and a final overall regular-season record of 47-8.
"I don't know that these games were that important, but you always want to keep doing things the way you're supposed to do it," Torrez said. "We played some different line-ups. Our normal midweek guys were not on the mound. We got some guys in that haven't gotten a lot of innings so far this season.
"The idea was to let them go out there and perform. They needed these innings to show they have the ability to come and get some innings next year."
Indian Hills opened the final regular-season doubleheader of the season by scoring three runs with two outs in the very first inning. Dave Janssen and Ricardo Van Grieken singled in all three Warrior runs, staking IHCC to a quick 3-0 lead.
Gavin Baker rallied the visiting Tritons in the third inning of game one, driving a game-tying three-run homer over the fence in left field at Pat Daugherty Field. Indian Hills answered in the bottom of the fourth, plating six runs including what proved to be a key two-run homer to left by Alejandro Gonzalez, giving IHCC a 9-3 lead.
Derek Kay tripled in a run and scored on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth, pulling Iowa Central back within 9-5. Devin Hurdle homered to open the seventh inning before Alex Walsh followed a single to center by Jack Sievers with a two-run homer to left, cutting IHCC's six-run down to one with no outs in the seventh.
C.J. Castillo came on to pitch, collecting the save working around a walk to Kay that put the tying run on base. Kay stole second, but was stranded in scoring position as Castillo forced a pop up, a fly out to left and ended the opening game striking out Max Holy swinging.
Iowa Central (31-21, 23-17 ICCAC) jumped out to a 6-1 lead in game two, scoring five runs in the top of the fourth. The Warriors, however, rallied back as Justin L'Archeveque stepped up driving in Billy Rivera on an RBI groundout in the fifth before helping IHCC tie the game in the sixth an RBI infield single that brought in Noah Butler as Indian Hills created chaos on the bases including Pier-Olivier Boucher's successful steal of home.
Castillo walked and eventually scored in the seventh, coming home on a sacrifice fly to center by Ryan Telenko. L'Archeveque brought home Noah Butler in the eighth on a squeeze bunt, capping a three-RBI game for the Indian Hills freshman.
Garcel Reyes-Alvarado recorded his third save in the past five games, bouncing back from a pair of walks to strike out two straight batters. After walking the bases loaded with two outs, Reyes clinched IHCC's 35th win striking out Noah Susong to clinch the sweep.
"He's getting better. He's getting in there and throwing the fastball for strikes," Torrez said of Reyes. "I'm really happy with our team. In general, we've had a quality year."
Indian Hills opens postseason play at Pat Daugherty Field Saturday hosting the first two games of a regional semifinal best-two-out-of-three series against Southwestern starting at 11 a.m. Should the teams split Saturday's doubleheader, a decisive third game will be played Sunday at noon with the winner advancing to the best-of-three regional championship series.
Indian Hills 9, Iowa Central 8
ICCC 003 020 3 — 8 6 1
IHCC 300 600 x — 9 8 0
Iowa Central battery — Lane Glaser (IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, K, 2BB), Payton Leonard (L, 1-4) (3IP, 5H, 6R, 3ER, 3K, BB, HBP), Jace Davidson (IP, 2K) and Jake Swanson (IP, BB), Ben Gallaher catching.
3B — Derek Kay.
HR — Gavin Baker, Devin Hurdle, Alex Walsh.
Hits — Kay 1-1, Walsh 1-1, Hurdle 1-3, Jack Sievers 1-3, Baker 1-4, Ryan Wickman 1-4.
RBI — Baker 3, Walsh 2, Hurdle, Kay.
Runs — Kay 2, Baker, Hurdle, Travis Rittenhouse, Sievers, Walsh, Wickman.
Indian Hills battery — Douglas Rojas (3IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 3K, BB), Charles Lefebvre (W, 2-3) (IP, 3K) Kohta Kubota (2IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 2K, HBP) and C.J. Castillo (S, 1) (IP, K, BB), Dave Janssen catching.
2B — Ren Tachioka.
HR — Alejandro Gonzalez.
Hits — Castillo 2-3, Janssen 2-3, Ricardo Van Grieken 2-3, Gonzalez 1-3, Tachioka 1-3.
RBI — Gonzalez 2, Janssen 2, Tachioka 2, Van Grieken.
Runs — Castillo 2, Tachioka 2, Pier-Olivier Boucher, Noah Butler, Gonzalez, Arturo Rodriguez, Van Grieken.
Indian Hills 8, Iowa Central 6
ICCC 100 500 000 — 6 5 3
IHCC 010 014 11x — 8 3 1
Iowa Central battery — Jalen Martinez (5IP, H, 2R, ER, 3BB), Ben DeTaeye (IP, H, 3R, K, BB, HBP), Gavin Baker (L, 0-2) (IP, R, ER, K, BB) and Brock Johnson (IP, H, R, ER, BB), Riley Reed catching.
3B — Isaac Becker, Max Holy.
Hits — Deric Fitzgerald 1-3, Holy 1-3, Becker 1-4, Johnson 1-4, Noah Susong 1-4.
RBI — Becker 2, Holy, Jeff Lamp, Susong.
Runs — Holy 2, Becker, Jalen Martinez, Reed, Susong.
Indian Hills battery — Milan Van Der Breggen (3IP, H, R, ER, 3K, 2HBP), Jurgen Zwitzer (1/3IP, H, 4R, 4ER, K, 2BB, HBP), Nick Hays (3 2/3IP, 3H, R, ER, 5K, BB), Dade Hensley (W, 5-0) (IP, 2K) and Gercal Reyes-Alvarado (S, 3) (IP, 3K, 3BB), Justin L'Archeveque catching.
2B — Noah Butler.
Hits — Butler 1-3, L'Archeveque 1-3, Billy Rivera 1-4.
RBI — L'Archeveque 3, Rivera, Ryan Telenko.
Runs — Butler 2, Telenko 2, Pier-Olivier Boucher, C.J. Castillo, L'Archeveque, Rivera.