MASON CITY, Iowa – The North Iowa Area Community College baseball team sits just below the .500 mark on the year entering the last week of the regular season. Head coach, Travis Hergert, says the team is right where they want to be right now, but he has a victory of his own to celebrate even though it was just another game to him.
“Honestly, it’s just a number to me,” said Hergert. “I don’t do this for my own personal accomplishments, I really don’t.”
Hergert is talking about earning win number 250 this past Friday in a doubleheader sweep of Iowa Central. While the win might now mean much to him, he means more to the players than he could ever imagine.
“He’s so passionate about us as a team and you just know that he’s going to have your back at all times,” said infielder/outfielder, Carson Parker. “He got tossed out of a game and that just shows you that he’s all in for us.”
10 games remain on the regular season schedule for the Trojans with all of them being played in the next eight days. Hergert says the team is peaking at just the right time.
“I really feel that in the last couple of weeks we’ve turned the corner in trying to play some consistent baseball,” Hergert said. “We have our sight set on Clinton – we have our sights set on the region tournament because it’s wide open this year, more than any year I’ve ever coached in this conference.”
One of the weapons NIACC has to its advantage is hitting, especially from guys like Fox Leum who leads the team with 13 home runs and a .338 batting average. Leum says his hot bat didn’t come without a few tweaks.
“Working on the approach and a few minor mechanic things that I had to change from the beginning of the season,” said Leum. “Just trying to stay as consistent as I can getting into finishing out the season right now.”
Parker concurs there is always time to get better.
“Obviously we want to get better every time we go out there,” said Parker. “It took a while to get where we’re at but we still feel like there’s more to do and we have a few games to do that.”
If all goes according to plan, they’ll pick up at least 10 more wins for Coach.
“I’d run through a brick wall for that guy. He’s one of the best,” said Leum.
NIACC returns to action on Wednesday vs. Dakota County Tech at 2 PM in Mason City.