Melean Slams Walk-Off HR to Beat NIACC

Melean Slams Walk-Off HR to Beat NIACC

IOWA FALLS, IOWA -- Jean Melean came through in the clutch, slugging a 2-run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning, to give the Ellsworth Panthers a 4-3 win against NIACC in ECC's home opener Wednesday.  Melean had homered earlier, a solo shot, as the Panthers overcame an early 3-0 deficit.  NIACC had a comeback of its own in the nightcap, pushing across 4 runs in the 7th to claim a 12-10 victory and gain a split in the ICCAC twinbill.

Melean's homer made a winner of Jake English, who pitched an inning of relief after Justin Roitman gave ECC 5 strong innings out of the bullpen.  English retired all 3 batters he faced.  Roitman permitted 4 hits and an unearned run and struck out 4 in his stint.  Dariel Colon had the other RBI for Ellsworth.  Tanner Short and Bryce Hoskinson scored runs and Short swiped a pair of bases.

The Trojans were on top 3-0 after 2 1/2 innings but were shut out after that.  ECC got single runs in the 3rd and 6th, then pulled out the win on Melean's round-tripper.

In the second game, NIACC got a run in the 1st, but Ellsworth answered with 4 in the 1st and 3 in the 2nd to go ahead 7-1.  NIACC tallied 5 in the 3rd and tied the score at 7-all in the 4th, then went ahead in the 6th.  ECC had a brief 10-8 lead with a 3-run 6th before the Trojans jumped on top and stayed there.

Luke Saxton paced the ECC offense going 4-for-4 with 2 RBIs.  Short was 2-for-4, doubled twice, scored 3 runs and knocked in 3.  Gabriel Monosmith also had 3 runs scored and Brandon Weigel 2.  Riley Schrader and Colon knocked in 2 runs apiece.  Luke Greth got the start for Ellsworth and pitched into the 3rd.  Alex Stewart went 4 innings in relief, Jaxson Cornett took the loss and Casey Clair finished with 2 scoreless innings, retiring 6 of 7 hitters.

The Panthers are slated to play 3 games at Marshalltown CC this weekend, 2 on Saturday and a single game Sunday.