Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Kirkwood Baseball

Kirkwood - Baseball

Eagles headed to JUCO World Series

Todd Rima rolled the dice a little bit when he left a strong program at NIACC six years ago to become the new head coach at Kirkwood.

It paid off handsomely on Sunday.

The Eagles spanked Southeast Community College of Nebraska, 10-1, to win the North Plains district baseball title and earn the school's first trip to the NJCAA Division II World Series since 1999.

Kirkwood (42-15-1) will be one of only 10 teams at the national tournament in Enid, Okla., from May 26 to June 2.

Rima spent 11 years at NIACC, a junior college in Mason City that competes in the same conference with Kirkwood. He thought Kirkwood had more resources than NIACC to compete at a national level on a regular basis and moved his young family to Cedar Rapids to embrace the job.

Kirkwood made four trips to the World Series in the 1990's under Coach John Lewis and finished second on two of those trips, but the program had slipped a little when Rima arrived.

Now the Eagles are back, joining the Kirkwood basketball teams, softball team, men's golf squad and volleyball team as national powers.

"This athletic department deserves the baseball program to go back to the World Series," Rima said after getting a bucket of ice water dumped on his head and hugging his family. "This community deserves it.

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Kirkwood - Baseball

Eagles in showdown for World Series

The Kirkwood Eagles made four trips to the junior college World Series in the 1990's, but it's been 19 long years since they made their last appearance in the national tournament.

Now it's do-or-die time for the Eagles.

Kirkwood split the first two games of the North Plains district tournament with Southeast Community College on Saturday and now they'll play the decisive third game on Sunday.

The showdown in the best-of-3 series is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Kirkwood field.

The Eagles cruised in the first game, 10-1, behind a strong outing by Peyton Long, but Southeast took the nightcap, 14-9, when Kirkwood pitchers walked 12 batters and hit two others.

Now it's 12th-ranked Kirkwood (41-15) against unranked Southeast of Lincoln, Neb. (42-14) for a trip to the NJCAA Division II national tournament in Enid, Okla., May 26-June 2.

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Kirkwood - Baseball

8 Eagles make all-region baseball team

Eight members of the Kirkwood baseball team have been named to the All-Region squad for 2018.

Third baseman Izaya Fullard and center fielder Taylor Jackson were named first team all-region. Pitcher Cameron Leff and shortstop Korry Howell were selected for the second team.

Pitchers Peyton Long and Adam Ketelsen received honorable mention, along with second baseman Chili Moseley and left fielder Ellison Hanna.

Fullard is hitting .448 with six homers and 68 RBIs. Jackson is hitting .372 with nine homers and 53 RBIs.

Leff has a 7-2 record and 2.78 ERA. Howell is hitting .393 with two homers, 42 RBIs and 39 stolen bases.

Long has a 3-2 record and 2.39 ERA. Ketelsen is 8-1 with a 2.45 ERA. Moseley is hitting .363 with one homer and 30 RBIs. Hanna is hitting .331 with nine homers and 53 RBIs.

Kirkwood (40-14-1) will be hosting Southeast Community College of Nebraska (41-13) in the district tournament this Saturday at noon. The district champion advances to the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

   

Kirkwood - Baseball

No. 16 Eagles whip DMACC for regional title

CLINTON - The Kirkwood baseball team finished the NJCAA Division II  regional tournament in style Monday afternoon with another impressive  performance along the banks of the Mississippi River.

The 16th-ranked Eagles thumped DMACC, 10-2, in the championship round  to claim the regional title at Ashford University Field in Clinton.

"It's a special moment for our program, for our kids and our staff,"  said Coach Todd Rima. "I'm super-happy for the guys that all their  hard work paid off."

Kirkwood (40-14-1) will host Southeast Community College (41-13) of  Lincoln, Neb., in a two-team district this Saturday and Sunday, with  the winner advancing to the World Series.

The Eagles went 4-0 in the regional tournament and outscored their  opponents, 37-12, highlighted by a thrilling 5-4 victory over  seventh-ranked Southeastern on Saturday.

Cal Stalzer (6-3) pitched five strong innings for Kirkwood Monday,  allowing two runs and just one earned run. Adam Ketelsen tossed 3 2/3  shutout innings in relief and Kaden Wadle got the final out.

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Kirkwood - Baseball

Eagles facing DMACC for regional title

CLINTON - The Kirkwood baseball team's quest for the regional title was delayed Sunday, but not by Mother Nature.

The 16th-ranked Eagles can blame (or thank) the DMACC Bears, who eliminated the No. 2 seed and the No. 1 seed from the tournament on Sunday and earned an extra day of rest before facing Kirkwood for the title.

College baseball teams are not allowed to play three games in one day, so the championship round between Kirkwood and DMACC was pushed to Monday at Ashford University Park in Clinton.

Kirkwood has a 3-0 record in the double-elimination tournament and needs one victory to claim the regional title. DMACC has a 4-1 record and needs two victories over the Eagles to wear the crown.

The first championship game Monday is scheduled for 11 a.m. A second championship game, if necessary, would follow.

Kirkwood topped DMACC, 9-1, in the first round of the tournament on Thursday, but since then the Bears have won four straight games to keep themselves alive.

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