Storm baseball team hosting district tournament

The Southeast Community College baseball team hosts North Iowa Area Community College this weekend in the North Plains District Tournament at Christenson Field in Beatrice.

The tournament was to begin Saturday, but heavy rain Friday on an already saturated field has pushed the first game to 1 p.m. Sunday. But Storm Head Coach Dion Parks said that may be tentative since more rain is forecast for the weekend.

As of now, games are scheduled for 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday. A third game, if necessary, will be played at 1 p.m. Monday.

Fans are encouraged to go to www.southeast.edu/MensBaseball and click on the schedule for updated game times. Fans unable to attend the tournament in person can tune in online as games will be streamed at www.ihigh.com/sccstorm.

The winner of the best-of-three series qualifies for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II World Series in Enid, Okla., May 23-30.

SCC, 41-19 overall, has won eight of its last nine games since breaking a five-game losing streak in late April and early May. The Storm have been efficient at home, sporting an 18-3 record at Christenson Field. Parks said his team is ready, but it also knows it will be facing a good team in NIACC.

"I think we're a pretty confident group," Parks said. "We had to win five games in less than 72 hours. We did that, so the players feel they can overcome anything. We're playing good defense, getting timely hits and our pitching has been solid."

NIACC enters the series with a 46-13 overall record. The Trojans are 25-2 since April 12 and are ranked ninth in the latest NJCAA Division II poll. Freshman Robbie Glendinning leads the team offensively, batting .418 with 99 hits, 70 runs and 25 doubles. The Trojans are hitting .338 as a team and have pounded 74 home runs this season. Sophomores Davis Bryan (8-1, 5.55 ERA) and Quinn Ahern (8-3, 4.02 ERA) lead the Trojan pitching staff. Ahern leads the team with 58 strikeouts. NIACC has a combined 4.78 ERA.

"We're getting ready to play a heckuva team," Parks said. "They have physical guys who can hit the ball and drive the ball out of the park. And their pitchers are going to compete. They will be a tough opponent who has a history of playing their best baseball late. We'll get their best."

Offensively, SCC is led by sophomore Sam Palensky from Papillion (Papillion-LaVista South High School), who is batting .412 with 53 runs and 61 hits. Sophomore Dylan Yost from Omaha (Burke H.S.) and sophomore Chase Egelston from Blue Springs, Mo., (South H.S.) lead the team in home runs with 10 each, while Yost has driven in 66 runs on a team-leading 73 hits. Tyler Edwards, a freshman from Savage, Minn., (Prior Lake H.S.) is right behind with 72 hits so far this season. He also leads the team with 32 stolen bases. SCC is batting .330 as a team.

On the mound, freshman Payton Kinney from Lincoln (Norris H.S.) leads the team with an 8-1 record and a 3.95 earned-run average. Kinney and sophomore Nick Houston from Omaha (Millard South H.S.) lead the team with 11 starts each. Houston, sophomore Colton Adams from Beatrice (Beatrice H.S.) and freshman Jacob McCort from Thornton, Colo. (Mountain Range H.S.) each sport 6-3 records. Houston also leads Storm pitchers with 61 strikeouts in 66.2 innings. SCC pitchers have a combined 3.94 ERA.

Southeast opened the Region XIII Tournament last weekend in Rosemount, Minn., with a 12-4 victory over Dawson (Mont.) Community College. But in Game 2, the storm dropped a 12-2 decision to Williston (N.D.) Community College, meaning SCC would have to work its way through the loser's bracket in order to advance.

The Storm did just that. Southeast beat Lake Region (N.D.) 4-1 and Bismarck State (N.D.) 11-3 on Saturday, then faced Williston on Sunday for a chance to reach the championship game. SCC knocked off Williston 4-0 to reach the regional final against unbeaten and two-time defending region champion Dakota County Technical College (Minn.). Southeast won the first game 7-5, forcing a deciding second game on May 11. SCC won that game 7-2.

SCC, in its seventh season as a competitive program, lost in the district final last season.

"It's going to be fun," Parks said. "We're going to scrap and fight and try and get two wins."

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For more information contact:
Stu Osterthun
Administrative Director of Public Information and Marketing
402-323-3401
sosterthun@southeast.edu