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Tigers fall to fifth-ranked Reivers in regionals

COUNCIL BLUFFS — A four-run outburst by fifth-ranked Iowa Western in the bottom of the eighth inning stole the wind from the sails of the Marshalltown Community College baseball team, and the Tigers lost back-to-back games to the Reivers in Saturday’s opening round of NJCAA Region XI play.

MCC’s season ended at 15-39 overall.

The Tigers took a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning before Iowa Western capitalized on a hit batsman to start the frame. MCC pitcher Sam Tyrpa had limited the Reivers to just five hits until pinch-hitter Jordan Logan doubled in Thatcher Kozal, Aaron Staehlely singled home Logan’s pinch-runner Treyton Kozal, pinch-hitter Jaden Brown singled in a run and Benjamin Palmer followed with an RBI double.

MCC scored the game’s first run in the top of the third, when Weston Durman doubled and scored on Luke Pell’s groundout. Iowa Western pulled even in the home half when Carter Wright singled home Kyle Huckstorf, but the Tigers regained their advantage in the fourth.

Brock Stewart led off with a hit-by-pitch and eventuall scored on a two-out passed ball to make it 2-1 MCC. The lead stuck for four more innings before the Reivers retailated with a four-run eighth.

Will Stevens surrendered a two-out single to Durman in the ninth but struck out the side to end the game.

Tyrpa took the complete-game loss, allowing five earned runs on nine hits with no walks and one strikeout. Stevens got the win in relief, allowing one hit over four scoreless frames. He walked one and struck out nine.

MCC struck out 16 times in the first game in the best-of-three series. Durman went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, while Pell, Ernesto Moreno Jr. and Bryan Morales each had a single.

The Tigers’ season ended with an 8-2 loss in the second game. The score was tied at 2-all until the Reivers rallied up one run in the seventh, two in the eighth and three in the top of the ninth.

MCC relief pitcher Nolan Vlcek took the loss, allowing two runs on three hits, two walks and two hit batsmen over three innings. He struck out one.

Iowa Western took a 2-0 lead in the fourth before the Tigers tied it up in the bottom of the fifth. Joel Suraganan led off with a single but was erased on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Stewart. One out later, Spencer Ralston ripped an RBI double and Durman followed with a run-scoring single to tie the score at 2-apiece.

Both batters hit by Vlcek scored in the seventh and eighth as the Reivers advanced to the Region XI finals. Chase Spoonemore was 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs to lead Iowa Western offensively, and Peyton Zabel pitched 6 1/3 innings for the win. He allowed two runs on three hits and a walk, striking out six.

Five different players had hits for MCC.

Iowa Western (49-8) will face No. 2 seed Indian Hills (37-12) for a best-of-three series Friday and Saturday, if necessary, in Council Bluffs.

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