JUCO field is closer to completion

Playing through the night and rain delays are part of qualifying for the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.

Three districts opened play over the weekend: the Southwestern (West Texas, New Mexico), Southern (East Texas) and Central (Kansas). By midweek, half of the field will be complete for JUCO, which begins May 29 at Suplizio Field.

Here’s a look at how the final eight district tournaments are shaping up this week:

Southwestern: The eight-team, double-elimination tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, which includes defending national champion Howard College, began Sunday and runs through Wednesday. Also in the field are Midland, Grayson, Odessa, Temple, McLennan, New Mexico and Weatherford.

Southern: San Jacinto is through the first two rounds of the tournament in Mount Pleasant, which runs through Wednesday. Northeast Texas and Wharton played a late game Saturday for the right to play San Jacinto in the winners’ bracket final.

Central: Rain in Wichita, Kan., washed out Saturday’s first day, but it cleared enough to play Sunday, with Hutchinson defeating Butler County 9-8. Seward and Cowley County were playing the night game in the four-team, double-elimination tournament that ends Tuesday.

Western: Thursday’s first-round matchups at Lamar have Central Arizona (43-18) playing Lamar (47-10) at noon and Southern Nevada (46-13) playing Western Nebraska (24-37) at 3 p.m. The tournament ends Saturday.

South Central: Delgado (La.) Community College defeated Meridian (Miss.) 7-3 early Sunday morning to win Region 23. Delgado plays the champions from Region 2 (Oklahoma, Arkansas) and Region 16 (Missouri). The Region 16 champion will host the tournament.

Northern: Iowa Western defeated Indian Hills 3-0 to win Region 11 on Sunday, and Wabash Valley (Ill.) won Region 24. Those teams are awaiting the Region 4 champion (upper Illinois) for a three-team tournament Friday through Sunday at Iowa Western.

East Central: Gordon (Ga.) College won the Region 17 title and will plays Chattanooga (Tenn.) Community College in a best-of-three series starting Friday in Barnesville, Ga.

Eastern: Pitt Community College hosts Potomac State College of West Virginia University in a best-of-three series Friday and Saturday in Greenville, N.C.

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