They started the weekend scoring four runs against the two-time defending national champions. They duplicated that feat in the fourth and final game of the regional series.
Three times in four games against Iowa Western, the Indian Hills Falcons took leads into the fifth inning or later. In the final game of the series, Cam Walker's squad seemed to have command of the Reivers with a 5-0 lead and seemed like they would at least have the last laugh against the team that has take the last seven regional titles from IHCC.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, getting past that black-and-blue colored hurdle will have to wait a few more weeks until the regional postseason tournament in Muscatine. Iowa Western rallied three times from late deficits to turn what easily could have been a series defeat into a sweep of Indian Hills as the Reivers rallied from 4-0 deficits to win 7-5 wins in the first and fourth games of the series.
Iowa Western, ranked third in the latest NJCAA Division I poll, also rallied in Sunday's first game after being shut out by game three IHCC starting pitcher Adam Deneke through the first five innings. Down 1-0 on the strength of Tyler Hermann's first-inning RBI single, Alex Greer's solo home run tied the score for the Reivers in the sixth inning at 1-1 before a one-out error opened the door to a walk-off hit-by-pitch draw by Grant Kay.
In their first shot at the defending two-time national champs this season on Saturday, Indian Hills got off to a fast start. The first five Falcon batters of the weekend reached base against the Reivers with a two-RBI double by Jordan Berry and an RBI single by Tyler Hermann highlighting a four-run opening inning for IHCC.
Berry scored a third-inning run for the Falcons on a Kevin Cicali single to put IHCC up 5-3, but the Falcons left the bases loaded in that same inning. That would come back to haunt the Falcons as Iowa Western would rally back late and take their only lead of the first game Saturday as Greer tied the game with an RBI triple and scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth as the three-run frame lifted the Reivers to their first 7-5 victory.
Greer got Iowa Western off to a quick start in game two on Saturday with an RBI single in a two-run first. Kevin Valera drove in Dario Polanco with IHCC's only run in Saturday's nightcap before being picked off first base to end the top of the second before the Reivers used a three-run third inning highlighted by George Gugino's two-RBI double to help put away a 7-1 win.
IHCC got a clutch two-out RBI single by Hermann in the opening inning to drive in Caleb
Just as they started the series, IHCC used a four-run frame to try and beat the Reivers. Two-run singles by Polanco and Deneke staked the Falcons to the 4-0 lead in the Sunday finale.
Up 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the first two Reivers hitters were hit by pitches to begin a big rally. The Reivers scored three times before giving up an out, then tied the game on Grant Kay's two-RBI double and went ahead for the final time this weekend on Luke Tewes tiebreaking two-RBI single.
Indian Hills (15-14, 6-6) returns to the diamond at home for a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday afternoon against North Central (Missouri) at Pat Daugherty Field in Centerville beginning at 3 p.m.
No. 3 (DI) Iowa Western 7, Indian Hills 5
IHCC 401 000 0 — 5 9 3
IWCC 120 013 x — 7 8 0
Indian Hills battery — Jacob Stalzer (L, 2-2) (6IP, 8H, 7R, 5ER, 4K), Kevin Cicali catching.
2B — Jordan Berry.
Hits — Tyler Hermann 2-3, Caleb Ratzman 2-3, Joel Booker 1-2, Cicali 1-2, Berry 1-3, Junior Santos 1-3, Dario Polanco 1-4.
RBI — Berry 2, Cicali 2, Hermann.
Runs — Berry 2, Hermann, Ratzman, Santos.
No. 3 (DI) Iowa Western 7, Indian Hills 1
IHCC 010 000 0 — 1 5 0
IWCC 203 200 x — 7 7 1
Indian Hills battery — Christian Torres (L, 4-1) (3IP, 3H, 5R, 5ER, K, 4BB), Joelfi Arias (2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, K, BB) and Marcco Lovato (IP, H), Kevin Valera catching.
Hits — Joel Booker 1-1, Tyler Hermann 1-3, Taylor Ostrich 1-3, Caleb Ratzman 1-3, Valera 1-3.
RBI — Valera.
Runs — Dario Polanco.
No. 3 (DI) Iowa Western 2, Indian Hills 1
IHCC 100 000 0 — 1 1 1
IWCC 000 001 1 — 2 7 0
Indian Hills battery — Adam Deneke (L, 3-2) (6 1/3IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 7K, 3BB), Kevin Cicali catching.
Hits — Tyler Hermann 1-3.
RBI — Hermann.
Runs — Caleb Ratzman.
No. 3 (DI) Iowa Western 7, Indian Hills 5
IHCC 400 010 0 — 5 7 1
IWCC 000 070 x — 7 9 1
Indian Hills battery — Sam Ross (L, 2-2) (4 1/3IP, 7H, 6R, 4ER, 2K), Matt Lashlee (2/3 IP, 2H, R, ER, BB), and Derek Kawlewski (IP, K), Kevin Cicali catching.
Hits — Cicali 2-3, Adam Deneke 2-3, Taylor Ostrich 1-3, Dario Polanco 1-3, Junior Santos 1-3.
RBI — Deneke 2, Polanco 2, Ostrich.
Runs — Caleb Ratzman 2, Ostrich, Polanco, Santos.