CENTERVILLE - The Marshalltown Community College baseball team had a pair of shortlived leads in an eventual 7-5, season-ending loss to Indian Hills in Sunday's semifinals of the NJCAA Division I Region XI tournament.
The Tigers advanced with a pair of wins on Saturday but couldn't go any farther after running into their nemesis. Indian Hills improved to 9-1 against MCC this season by erasing both deficits they faced in prompt fashion.
The Falcons eventually fell to Iowa Western, 18-4, in the regional final. Iowa Western (54-4), the top-ranked team in the country, advances to the JUCO World Series for the sixth year in a row.
Indian Hills (35-24) had to rally back from a pair of one-run margins in Sunday's semifinal. Marshalltown (28-31) jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first half inning, and the Tigers later rallied with a four-run seventh to take a 5-4 edge.
In the seventh, MCC got going with a leadoff double from William Salas. An error and a pair of passed balls helped the Tigers surge, while singles by Anderson Villarroel and Ben Lott plated another.
Marshalltown missed its chance for more as a double play ended the inning with the bases loaded.
Now leading by one, MCC's defense made a pair of errors to start the bottom of the seventh and Indian Hills made it count. The Falcons scored twice to regain the lead and added an insurance run in the eighth.
Five of Indian Hills' 11 hits went for doubles. Falcons reliever A.J. McElderry tossed two scoreless frames for the win.
MCC's Zach Throckmorten took the loss in relief. Jake Whaley went 5 1/3 innings as the starter, allowing four runs (two earned) while striking out three. Nick Weeter got Whaley out of a jam in the sixth by inducing a double play.
Salas and Villarroel both had two hits to lead the Marshalltown offense, which had eight hits and received six walks but left eight runners stranded. Lott, Kyle Simpson, Andrew Utterback and Tyler Evans each added singles, and Jordan McCoy plated Lott as MCC's first run with a sacrifice fly.