MASON CITY — This NIACC baseball team doesn’t lack confidence.
Still, it was one thing for the NIACC baseball team to rack up wins on its spring trip in Florida.
It was another for the Trojans to earn a sweep of conference foe and 17th-ranked Iowa Central on Saturday afternoon at Roosevelt Field.
Lucas Bakker lowered his already league-leading ERA with a 2-1 win in the opener before NIACC overcame a 5-0 deficit en route to a 13-8 victory in the nightcap.
This day couldn’t have been any better for a NIACC team that has strung together 15 wins.
“We have a great team,” Bakker said. “We execute when we need to. We execute, that’s what baseball is about. When you execute you win.”
Bakker, the Trojans’ ace, pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on five hits.
He moved his record to 5-0 this season. He came into Saturday with a 1.31 ERA.
A big reason for Bakker’s win was Nick Tillo’s hot bat.
The sophomore from Sioux City North deposited a two-run homer in the fourth to break a scoreless tie. He also had a pair of doubles on the afternoon.
“I was just waiting fast ball,” Tillo said of his homer. “It’s huge, especially (winning) the first conference games.”
It didn’t take long in the nightcap to see how NIACC would respond when faced with some adversity.
Iowa Central jumped out to a 5-0 lead after an inning and a half. NIACC was committing errors and playing sloppy defense, something it hadn’t done during its win streak.
But a few bloop hits in the second seemed to kickstart the offense.
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The Trojans plated five runs in the second to tie it before breaking the game open with a seven-run third.
NIACC dinked and dunked its way into the game before Tyler Peterson, the Trojans’ scorching-hot No. 3 hitter, smacked a two-run double.
In the second and third innings, NIACC’s 6-9 spot in the order — Hunter King, Nate Olin, Robert Swenson and Tanner Unklel — combined to score eight runs.
Swenson added a solo shot in the fourth to give NIACC its 13th run.
The four-game series against Iowa Central continues today at 1 p.m. at Roosevelt Field.
“To answer the way we did was a a lot of fun,” NIACC coach Todd Rima said. “I think we know who we are. It’s a matter of everybody else believe in who we are.
“The guys are working hard and playing the right way.”
NIACC 2, IOWA CENTRAL 1
Iowa Central 000 010 0 — 1 5 0
NIACC 000 200 x — 2 7 1
Andrew Redman (2K, 1BB) and Taylor Peterson. Lucas Bakker (6K, 0BB), Ean McNeal (7) (0K, 0BB) and Robert Swenson. HR — Nick Tillo (N), Winder Fuentes (IC). 2B — Tillo. Multiple hits — Tillo 2, Jose Perez (N) 2, Scott Splett (IC) 2. Multiple RBI — Tillo 2.
NIACC 13, IOWA CENTRAL 8
Iowa Central 321 020 0 — 8 10 1
NIACC 057 100 X — 13 16 2
Logan Willard (0K, 2BB), Cory Ferm (3) (4K, 0BB) and Peterson. Jeremy Cronk (2K, 2BB), Lee Gealow (5) (0K, 0BB, 1 HBP) and Swenson. HR — Swenson. Jacob Threlkeld (IC), Fuentes. 2B — Splett, Peterson (IC), Hunter King (N), Peterson (N) 2. Multiple hits — Reynalda Sala (N) 2, Peterson (N) 2, Tillo 2, King 2, Swenson 2, Tanner Unkel (N) 3, Threlkeld 2, Splett 2, Fuentes 2. Multiple RBI — Peterson (N) 2, Drew Verstegen (N) 2,