Region XI Tournament Preview

Region XI Tournament Preview

With the regular season finished, the MCC baseball team now sets its sights on the Region XI Tournament. After finishing the season 6-18 in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC), the Tigers hold the third seed in the tournament and will take on the Falcons of Indian Hills Community College in the first round. With the tournament beginning on Friday, May 11, we take a look at the four Division I teams.

#1 Seed: Iowa Western Community College 47-5 (24-0 ICCAC)

Iowa Western has been a staple of excellence in baseball under Head Coach Marc Rardin. Rardin has been at the helm for 16 years, winning three National Championships, he has been named National Coach of the Year three times, and currently holds a 756-209 career record as a Reiver. The Reivers have continued their dominance this season, going a perfect 24-0 in conference play.

The Iowa Western baseball team is led at the plate by sophomores Tyler Reichenborn and Ryan Sullivan. The pair have dominated pitchers all season long, recording the top two batting averages in the conference, each over .400. Reichenborn is currently third in the conference with 47 RBIs and second in the conference with 19 stolen bases. Iowa Western also has multiple pitchers that have done damage this season. Sophomores Sean Chandler and Indigo Diaz are both 9-0 this season on the mound and have ERAs under 2.00. The Reivers enter the Regional Tournament ranked 2nd in the country and look to get back to the JUCO World Series after being knocked out of the Regional Tournament by Indian Hills Community College last year. The Reivers will play the Spartans of Southwestern Community College in the first round starting at 11:00 AM.

#2 Seed: Indian Hills Community College 34-20 (15-9 ICCAC)

The Falcons have had an up and down season, but are entering the Regional Tournament on a hot streak as they have won ten of their last eleven games. Head Coach Cam Walker has spent 25 years at the helm of the Falcons program and sits at 980 career wins. Walker has consistently kept his teams in the hunt for a regional title, winning at least 35 games 14 times in his career.

The Falcons have had a dominant presence at the plate this season in sophomore Ryan Humeniuk. Humeniuk has recorded 63 hits this season with a conference leading 63 RBIs. Fellow sophomores Zachary Fascia and Justin King have each recorded 54 hits and combine for 18 home runs. Indian Hills averages over seven runs per game and has hit 44 home runs this season. After defeating Iowa Western last year to advance from the Regional Tournament, Indian Hills will again look for the upset this season. The Falcons will play Marshalltown Community College at 2:00 PM in the first round.

#3 Seed: Marshalltown Community College 8-32 (6-18 ICCAC)

The Tigers struggled early on in Head Coach Kim Johnson's first season with the team, dropping twelve of their first fourteen games. Coach Johnson has over 30 years of coaching experience at the junior college level and has tailed 480 victories. This year's team is led by returning All-Region selection Jose Mieses, who has recorded 45 hits and 19 stolen bases this season. Freshman Walter Hernandez has led the Tiger pitching staff this season, throwing 45 innings and recording 36 strikeouts. The Tigers picked up six conference wins in 2018, taking five games from Southwestern Community College as well as a game from the Falcons of Indian Hills. The Tigers will take on the Falcons in the first round of Regional play at 2:00 PM.

#4 Seed: Southwestern Community College 10-35 (3-21)

While the Spartans finished with a better record than the Tigers, they struggled in conference play, picking up only three wins. Sophomore Pedro Nazario leads the Spartans in most batting statistics with 44 hits, 14 doubles, 6 home runs, and a .367 batting average. Oscar Rivera has put together a solid season on the mound for the Spartans, pitching 59 innings and recording 68 strikeouts. His 4.55 ERA leads the team and ranks fourth in the conference. The Spartans will take on the Reivers of Iowa Western in the first round starting at 11:00 AM.