In the first elimination game of the NJCAA World Series saw the Red Hawks and Lincoln Land CC have a little bit of everything. With a stat line of 17 runs, 22 hits, 5 homeruns, a grandslam and 6 errors it was a wild pitch in the bottom of the tenth inning that scored Skyler Strickland from third to win the game 9-8 and allow the Red Hawks to continue to battle for a National Championship
Lincoln Land was able to strike first in the top of the second using two one out singles and then a homerun over the left field fence to take the lead 3-0.
The Red Hawks could only muster two hits heading into the fourth, but in the bottom of the fourth the Red Hawks bats woke up for a six run inning. A Lou Matarazzo double to left field scored Brandon Ford, who reached on a one out double. After an Alex Minton walk, Skyler Strickland hits a single to centerfield to score Matarazzo. Leadoff batter Ty Andrus loaded the bases reaching on a bunt single. With two outs, Ivan Acuna took the first pitch over the left field fence for a grand slam to give the Red Hawks a 6-3 lead after four.
Lincoln Land was able to get one run closer in the top of the fifth using back to back one out doubles. Phillip Black was brought in to relieve starting pitcher Byrce Hensley with runners on first and second. Black used a strikeout and groundout to get the Red Hawks out of the inning.
In the top of the seventh Lincoln Land uses a one out walk and a wild pitch to get a runner to third. A deep sacrifice fly to centerfield brings in the runner cutting into the Red Hawks lead, but Aaron Biggerstaff who was brought in at the start of the inning had a strikeout looking to end the inning and maintain the Red Hawks 6-5 lead.
The Red Hawks are able to extend their lead with back to back two out solo homeruns from Danny Sullivan and Randal Ortiz in the bottom of the seventh. However Lincoln Land was able to score on a passed ball after the runner reached on an error. A one out two run homerun to left field tied the score at 8-8.
In the bottom of the tenth Strickland was able to reach on a walk. After a throwing error by the pitcher and an Andrus groundout Strickland reached third with 1 out. Lee struck out at the next at bat, but a wild pitch allowed Lee to make it to first. On the first pitch to Acuna the pitcher was distracted by Lee running to second and threw the ball high allowing Strickland to score from third for the winning run.
The Red Hawks offense was led by Brandon Ford and Ty Andrus who each had 2 hits. Danny Sullivan and Randal Ortiz each hit a homerun while Ivan Acuna went yard hitting a grandslam.
Taylor Purus who struck out the final batter in the top of the 10th earned the win. The Red Hawks will play the winner of Madison CC and North Iowa Area College, who play tomorrow (5/27) morning at 10:00am, at 4:00pm tomorrow.