CENTERVILLE – Southwestern’s baseball season came to a close Friday afternoon in the Region XI Div. I Tournament.
A long season that was marred late by injuries was closed out on a 14-0 loss to Iowa Western and an 8-2 loss to Marshalltown.
Iowa Western eventually went on to win the Region XI over Marshalltown in a 10-2 final.
In game one the Spartans couldn’t get anything working at the pate as SWCC tallied only one hit, a Cade Cox single.
Spartan pitchers struggled to hold back the No. 1 seeded Reivers, allowing five doubles in the four innings the Iowa Western offense had at the plate. A three-run first followed by a five-run inning in the second and third set up for the run rule.
The Reivers added one more run in their last plate appearances before knocking SWCC into the consolation bracket.
In the consolation bracket the Spartans faced off against Marshalltown, a team SWCC had faced five days prior. The four-game home series May 4-5 ended in a clean sweep from Marshalltown, who have caught fire at the end of the season.
Southwestern’s three-run top of the third put the Spartans ahead 3-1, poised to bounce back in an elimination game and stay alive in the tournament. Two runs in the fifth, three in the sixth and one in the seventh saw SWCC’s hope vanish as Marshalltown took the lead and ran away with it for the 8-3 win.
Isaac Esquilin had a triple and an RBI in the contest. Elier Santana pitched five innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out five.
The loss ended Southwestern’s season and gave Marshalltown an opportunity to play Indian Hills, beating it 10-5. Marshalltown then lost to Iowa Western in the finals.
“If you looked at the bracket the tournament played out exactly how the season did,” said Southwestern head coach Kenny Namanny. “We were the four seed after struggling, being banged up a little bit. Iowa Western was then favorite and they won it ... Marshalltown was hot at the end ... the tournament kind of went the way it did in the regular season I guess you can say.”
The Spartans end the season 6-40, going 3-21 in ICCAC play. As a unit SWCC hit .219 with 26 home runs this season.
Namanny announced Monday afternoon via Twitter that he is joining SportsPlex West as an Operations Coordinator for the Iowa Sticks. He’ll start the position this week.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Namanny. “I’ll be busy with it pretty much year round.”
The Sticks are a Des Moines urban area prep group that works with high school aged baseball players in honing their craft for the next level. The team operates all year, primarily working with baseball players that may not play a fall or winter sport.
The program has been in operation for 12 years, helping create more than 145 collegiate and professional baseball careers. It has also helped create more than 20 coaching careers as well.
Namanny did not comment on his potential replacement, saying his decision to leave early was done to give Southwestern ample opportunity in its search.