GRAND JUNCTION– Connors State’s bid for a baseball national championship came to an end Tuesday afternoon as the Cowboys fell to Cochise (Ariz.) College 3-1 in the NJCAA College World Series at Grand Junction, Colo., before a crowd of 2,388 at Suplizio Field.
The No. 3-ranked Cowboys, who were making their fifth appearance under head coach Perry Keith at the CWS, ends the season with a 53-11 record, an Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference title and a South Central District championship.
The Apaches (50-8-1) scored in the first, second and seventh innings to get the win and advance in the tournament.
Connors only run came in the fourth inning when Yariel Gonzalez connected for his 12th home run of the year.
Cowboys’ Daniel Concepcion (8-2) took the loss as went eight innings, scattering five hits, striking out seven and walking three. Justin Ferrell finished the game in the ninth.
Steve Naemark went the distance on the mound for Cochise, scattering eight hits, striking out seven and waking one.
The Apaches struck first scoring a run to open the top of the first on one base hit off Concepcion. The sophomore struggled on the hill to open the game walking two and hitting a batter. Cochise’s run came on a single to left field by Esteban Bastidas, who plated Nate Hale who walked to begin the game.
Cochise made it a 2-0 in the second inning when Tagg Duce’s base hit to right center field scored Jason Parks. Parks reached base when he was hit by a pitch from Concepcion, his second hit batsman of the game.
Cowboys got back into the ball game in the fourth frame when Yariel Gonzalez hit a towering blast over the 365-foot marker in left centerfield to make it a 2-1 game. It was Gonzalez’ 12th home run of the season.
Connors had an opportunity to put more runs on the score board in the inning as Phil Diedrick and Victor Claudio followed with base hits up the middle after Gonzalez’ homer. However, Connors was unable to push a cross runs as Eli Roundtree flied out to center field and Jiro Morales was thrown out on an infield ground ball to end the inning.
The Apaches scored in the seventh to make it 3-1, as they took advantage of a base hit, walk, hit batsman and a throwing error with the bases loaded to push a across the run.
Cochise scored with the bases loaded and one out, when Frank Salas one hop ground ball to Kory Keith was fielded cleanly, but his throw to Morales at the plate to get the force out at home was in the dirt and wide allowing Steve Desgagne of the Apaches to score.
Keith, Claudio and Morales led the Cowboys hitting attack with two hits each.
GRAND JUNCTION—Top-ranked Spartanburg lived up to its advanced billing as the Pioneers run-ruled the Connors Cowboys 17-0 in five innings Monday afternoon at the NJCAA College World Series at Supilizo Field.
Connors (53-10) will battle Cochise (Ariz.) College at noon in an elimination game Tuesday. Cochise fell to Neosho (Kan.) Community College 2-1 on Sunday night.
Pioneers (47-13) left hander Jimmy Lindberg handcuffed the Connors batters, holding the Cowboys to just three base hits in the game. The Cowboys did not get a base runner past second base as they managed only four base runners in the game.
Christian Perez, Yariel Gonzalez each reach base on singles in the first inning, but it was not until the fifth inning before Connors was able to get a base hit again, a single by Dalton Daniels.
Lindberg faced just 19 Cowboys in the five innings, as he struck out three and walked three.
On the other side of the ledger Spartanburg pounded out 16 base hits against five Connors pitchers. Seven of the Pioneers base hits were for extra bases, three doubles and two triples.
Spartanburg exploded in the first inning, pounding out six base hits for six runs, knocking out the Cowboy starter Josh Hammill, who last only 1/3 of an inning. It was Hammill’s first loss of the season, as he goes to 8-1 for the year.
Hammill struck out the first batter he faced, but it was all downhill the remainder of the inning, before he was relieved by Andrew Simonetti. The Pioneers sent 10 batters to the plate as they connected on four singles and two doubles in the frame.
Spartanburg continued its hitting and scoring barrage in the second inning taking an 8-0 lead on two base hits. Pioneers’ John Leopard plated both runs with a single to right field, scoring Reid Morman, who singled and Elliott Caldwell, who reached on a walk.
The Pioneers did not let up in the third inning as they pushed a crossed five more runs for a 13-0 lead.
Keith brought in Jordan Romano to start the third frame but he walked his first two batters and was pulled in favor of Zyane Dougan, who gave up three runs on two base hits. The big blow was a three-run triple by Reid Morman. Two runs in the inning were charged to Romano.
In the fourth it was more of the same from Spartanburg as they added four more runs on four hits, which included a two-run RBI triple by Matt White, who was 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs. Morman and Leopard led the Pioneers’ hitting assault. Morman was 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and Leopard 3-for-3 with five RBIs.
Emmanuel Arnaud was the fifth reliever for the Cowboys as he went 2/3 of an inning, giving up one earned run and two base hits. Dougan went 1 1/3 innings giving up six runs, all earned, allowing five hits, striking out one and walking two.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.—- Connors State once again playing its version of “grind it out” baseball, held off No. 2-ranked Navarro 10-9 in its opening game of the NJCAA College World Series Saturday night at Suplizio Field before a crowd of 8,991.
The No. 3-ranked Cowboys will take a 53-9 record into a Monday afternoon game against top-ranked Spartanburg, South Carolina at 3 p.m.
The Cowboys‘ starter Kelvin Rivas (9-2) worked out a several jams to get the win. Rivas worked 6 2/3 innings before being relieved by Justin Ferrell in the seventh. Rivas scattered eight base hits, struck out five and walked just two batters.
Ferrell pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to pick up his 12th save of the year as he scattered three base hits while striking out one in facing 10 batters.
Connors pounded out 12 base hits with Korey Keith going 3-for-3 with an RBI, Yariel Gonzalez getting two hits, which included a double and triple with four RBIs and Dalton Daniels was 3-for-4 at the plate.
In other first round games Central Alabama defeated Palm Beach State College 6-4, Midland, Texas rolled over Kaskaskia College in five innings 12-2 and top-ranked Spartanburg, South Carolina stopped Walters State College 19-11.
Cowboys wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard opening the game with a run in the first inning.
Christian Perez laced the second pitch from Navarro’s ace Lucas Schiraldi down the third base line into the left field corner for a double. Keith then laid down a bunt to move Perez to third. Perez then scored on Yariel Gonzalez’ sacrifice fly ball that was caught on the warning track in left field.
Cowboys made it a 3-0 in the third inning when Gonzalez collected his third RBI of the game with a triple to the right center field gap that scored Dalton Daniels and Keith.
Daniels singled to left field to open the third inning and went to third base on Keith’s base hit to left center. That set the stage for Gonzalez blast to the wall.
Connors’ hitting assault continued in the fourth with three more base hits resulting in another Cowboys run for a 4-0 lead.
Victor Claudio singled to center field and advanced to third base on Jiro Morales’ base hit to right field. Eric Kirkpatrick plated Claudio with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Navarro needed five innings before they put runs on the scoreboard, touching Rivas for four runs on four base hits to deadlock the game.
Jovan Hernandez, Kaleb Goodwell and Drake Roberts produced RBI base hits, along with Mason Salazar’s infield out.
The Cowboys chased Schiraldi in the fifth with back-to-back base hits by Keith and Gonzalez. It was Schiraldi’s first loss of the season against 10 wins.
Navarro called on Chad Young to end the Cowboys threat but immediately walked Phil Diedrick on four pitches and then wild pitched his fifth allowing Keith to score for a 5-4 advantage. Keith collected his second hit of the game with a rocket off the right field wall.
Claudio’s infield out plated Gonzalez for a 6-4 Cowboys’ lead. Gonzalez reached base with a single to right field. Diedrick who had walked and advanced to third base on a ground out and wild pitch, came home when Young was called for a balk, giving Connors a 7-4 lead.
With two outs in the sixth Rivas pitched out of jam, when Claudio misplayed a fly ball by Grayson Lewis in which he went back for what would have easily been caught by Diedrick in right field. Grayson went to third base on the play.
Hernandez followed with a walk and Rivas then struck out Salazar to end the threat.
Connors answered the threat with three runs in the sixth inning for a 10-4 advantage, however, Navarro charged back with three runs in the top for the seventh to make it a 10-7 game. Rivas, who was relieved by Ferrell with two outs, got Lewis to line out to Perez in center field ending the threat.
The Bulldogs would not quit as they scored two more in the eighth on three base hits to make it a 10-9 game. But it was Perez’ diving catch in center field with Bulldog on second base that saved a run which would have tied the game.
Additional Photos of their latest win are available here