ENID, Okla. — A ninth-inning rally came up short and ended the Heartland Community College baseball team’s run at the NJCAA Division II World Series on Tuesday at David Allen Ballpark.
The Hawks fell, 5-3, to Cecil (Md.) College in an elimination game to finish with a 54-11 mark.
Heartland cut the deficit to three runs in the ninth inning and loaded the bases with two outs before Cecil reliever Dan Tieberi got a popup to end the game for the save.
“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to win the whole thing; it wasn’t to reach the World Series,” Heartland coach Nate Metzger said. “We thought we had a group in place capable to winning the whole thing. But as cliche as it may sound, we certainly had a good year.”
Bloomington High School graduate Dylan Johnson had two of Heartland’s eight hits and drove in two runs. Zac Zellers added a triple.
Heartland starter Aaron Hauge lasted 6 2/3 innings and gave up four runs while striking out five and walking three.
Cecil scored three runs in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead and made it 5-2 in the eighth.
Metzger said all 15 Heartland sophomores will continue their playing careers at four-year institutions, with about a dozen playing Division I.
“Talent-wise, leadership and effort, this has been a pretty good group the last couple of years,” Metzger said.