WATERLOO - The No. 20 NIACC baseball team stopped Southeastern CC 13-5 in eight innings Friday at the NJCAA Region XI Tournament.
It is the 10th straight win for the Trojans at the regional tournament dating back to the 2015 season. The Trojans won five straight games out of the loser's bracket to claim the title in 2015 and cruised to four straight wins and their second straight regional title in 2016.
It is also the third straight win at the regional tournament for NIACC over Southeastern. The Trojans topped Southeastern 20-6 and 16-3 in the final two games at the 2016 regional tournament.
NIACC (39-17) faces Iowa Central at 7 p.m. Saturday with the winner advancing to the regional title game. Iowa Central topped Kirkwood 3-2 Friday night.
Southeastern (40-18) plays DMACC at noon Saturday in an elimination game.
In NIACC's win on Friday, the Trojans pounded out 11 hits to score their 13 runs. Freshman Joey Werner was 2 for 3 with five RBIs and freshman Mitch Neunborn was 2 for 4 with a 3-run home run in the third inning.
NIACC pushed across four runs in the sixth inning and ended the game via the eight-run rule with four runs in the eighth inning.
"Credit our offense," NIACC coach Travis Hergert said. "Joey Werner was the star of the show for us (Friday) and Mitch's hit was the hit of the game."
The 13 runs was more than enough for NIACC starter Jarod Large, who allowed five runs with four strikeouts and two walk in 6 1/3 innings of work.
Large (2-0) allowed two runs in the first inning but held the Blackhawks scoreless over the next three innnings letting the NIACC offense go to work.
"Jarod was outstanding," Hergert said. "He had a hard time early trying to figure some things out,
"He kept it in check. Two runs wasn't going to win that game with the way we've been swinging the bats. That was a gutty performance by him."
Large, who was relieved in the seventh inning by Brandon Williamson, said he knew his offense was going to put runs on the board.
"I just had to limit their runs," Large said, "and give us a chance. That's what I did.
"We just didn't stop hitting and didn't stop scoring."
Ellsworth 8, Iowa Lakes 5 (elimination game)
Kirkwood 10, DMACC 5
Southeastern 6, Ellsworth 4
DMACC 9, Ellsworth 5
NIACC 13, Southeastern 5 (8)
Iowa Central 3, Kirkwood 2
Noon - DMACC vs. Southeastern (elimination game)
3:30 p.m. - Kirkwood vs. Saturday noon winner
7 p.m. - NIACC vs. Iowa Central