Courier sports staff
Finally back home after opening the season with 10 games in the southwest, the Indian Hills baseball team had to wait an extra week for Mother Nature to make her way out of southeastern Iowa.
Finally on Thursday, the Falcons played their first game at home taking on perennial Division II in-state power Iowa Central. The Falcons fell just short of the Tritons despite a ninth-inning rally, losing a 6-4 battle to the sixth-ranked team in NJCAA DII.
IHCC was its own worst enemy at the plate, stranding 16 base runners over the nine innings as Iowa Central made an early four-run lead hold up. Down 6-2 in the ninth, Tyler Hermann came up with a big RBI single while Kevin Cicali, Joel Booker and Darryl Velez drew walks to load the bases with two outs.
With leading hitter Adam Deneke at the plate looking for one big hit that could give IHCC a come-from-behind walk-off win, Triton relief pitcher Nolan Webster coaxed Deneke into a popout to first to end the late Falcon rally.
The loss drops the Falcons to 4-7 overall on the season. IHCC is back on its home diamond for four more games over the next 48 hours as Indian Hills takes on Muscatine in a pair of doubleheaders to kick off Region XI play. The first doubleheader begins today at Daugherty Field at 3 p.m.
Iowa Central 6, Indian Hills 4
ICCC 130 011 000— 6 8 2
IHCC 001 100 002— 4 12 1
Indian Hills battery — Alsis Herrera (L, 0-1) (4IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3K, 2BB) and Joelfi Arias (5IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, K, BB), Kevin Cicali catching.
2B — Juan Figueroa.
3B — Tyler Hermann.
Hits — Dario Polanco 3-5, Hermann 2-5, Juan Figueroa 1-2, Cicali 1-3, Darryl Velez 1-3, Joel Booker 1-4, Taylor Ostrich 1-4, Jordan Berry 1-5, Adam Deneke 1-5.
RBI — Booker 2, Berry, Velez.
Runs — Edgar Lebron, Deneke, Hermann, Dario Polanco.