CLINTON - Staying alive.
The NIACC baseball team stayed alive at the NJCAA Region XI tournament with a dramatic come-from-behind 7-6 victory over Iowa Central in an elimination game Saturday at Ashford University Field.
NIACC (37-19-1) plays DMACC in another elimination game at noon on Sunday.
In Saturday's game against Iowa Central, sophomore Ezequias Encarnacion plated two runs with a triple in the eighth inning to give the Trojans a 7-6 lead.
Relief pitcher Tom Skoro, who came on in the eighth inning, held the Tritons scoreless in their half of the ninth inning and recorded a strikeout for the final out. Right fielder Nate VanKan made a running catch toward the right-field line for the second out of the inning.
NIACC jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and led 3-0 after five innings.
Iowa Central scored three runs in its half of the sixth inning to tie the game at 3-3, but the Trojans responded with a single run in its half of the sixth to regain the lead (4-3).
The Tritons took the lead (6-4) with three runs in the top of the eighth inning and the Trojans took the lead for good with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame, two coming in on Encarnacion's triple that got past the Iowa Central center fielder.
NJCAA Region XI tournament
Wednesday's play-in game
Northeast CC 11, Iowa Lakes 9
Ellsworth 8, Iowa Central 7
Kirkwood 9, DMACC 1 (8)
NIACC 7, Northeast CC 2
Southeastern 16, Ellsworth 8 (8)
Kirkwood 13, NIACC 5 (8)
DMACC 11, Northeast CC 3 (8)
NIACC 7, Iowa Central 6
DMACC 11, Ellsworth 2 (8)
Kirkwood 5, Southeastern 4
11 a.m. - NIACC vs. DMACC (elimination game)
3 p.m. - NIACC/DMACC winner vs. Southeastern (elimination game)
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