Storm baseball takes Region IX championship

Matt Hagemeier, Sports Reporter

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The SCC Storm will be hosting the District championship this weekend, after capturing their second straight Region IX championship, held in Rosemount, Minn., May 8-11.

Southeast won their opener against Dawson Community College, 12-4, and then were sent to the consolation bracket after a 12-2 loss to number one seed Williston State College. Head Coach Dion Parks told his team following the loss to take one game at a time.

“We told our guys that the hardest game to win was the next one, and we would go from there,” Parks said. “We knew it was going to be a fight each game, and our kids focused on each opponent.”

SCC beat Lake Region State College-ND 4-1 and followed that up with a 11-3 win over Bismarck State College. That set up a rematch with Williston State.

The Storm pitchers struggled in the first game with Williston. But it in the second game, freshman Brandon Acevado (Pemborke Pines, Fla.) served up a dominating performance on the mound, shutting out Williston 4-0. Acevado pitched a complete game, allowing only three hits and fanning 17 batters.

The win led to a winner-take-all showdown with familiar foe and tournament host Dakota County on Monday, May 11. The Storm hosted a series with Dakota earlier this year.

“We know Dakota County pretty well,” Parks said. “They have a good program and play hard.”

Facing elimination, Southeast jumped out to a 4-0 lead through four innings, but Dakota battled back to take a 5-4 lead heading into the top of the seventh. The Storm scored two runs to retake the lead and added an insurance run in the ninth to seal the win.

“It was a blood bath, and we knew it would be,” Parks said about the scrappy win. “We have a lot of respect for them. “

Sophomore righty Nick Houston (Omaha) came into the game in the top of the sixth and clamped down on the Dakota hitters to earn the win. Dylan Yost, Mitch Stickney and Sam Palensky each drove in two runs for Southeast.

There was less drama on the winner-take-all game on Monday, May 11. Peyton Kinney (8-1) controlled the Dakota hitters, striking out seven. Pitchers Colton Adams and Nick Houston came in to help seal the win.

Parks said his team’s pitching was outstanding after game two.

“Our staff is the MVP of the tournament,” the coach said. “They did a hell of a job competing and giving us a chance to win. It was a great win for our school, players, their families and the town of Beatrice.”

Southeast will take on North Iowa Area Community College Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May16, if necessary, for a best of three series and a right to go to the NJCAA DII College World Series held in Enid Okla., on May 23-30.

There will be a tailgate prior to the 1 p.m. first pitch. The coaches are encouraging fans to provide a “blackout” and gates will open early in the morning. Anyone who can’t make the game can view it online at ihigh.com/sccstorm.

“The District will be a lot of fun this week,” Parks exclaimed.

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