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."