Four districts about to punch JUCO tickets
Neosho County nearly nails down first World Series berth
Junior college baseball teams in the Central, Gulf, Southern and Southwest districts are one game away from clinching berths in the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.
Neosho County (Kan.) could have been the first qualifier Monday, but instead, Coffeyville took an early 3-0 lead and held on for a 5-3 victory over the Panthers to force a second championship game tonight in the Central District tournament in Wichita, Kan.
Three teams remain, each with one loss, in Lakeland, Fla. Chipola College upended previously undefeated Palm Beach 9-1 in seven innings Monday, and State College of Florida defeated Seminole 8-1. Chipola plays State College of Florida this morning to get to this afternoon’s title game against Palm Beach.
Navarro outlasted San Jacinto College-North on Monday in a matchup of top seeds from their respective divisions in Texas, winning 15-13 to reach today’s title game.
Alvin and Bossier Parish played late Monday, with that winner playing San Jac this afternoon for the right to play Navarro tonight for the JUCO berth. A second game, if necessary, is Wednesday.
In the championship bracket, Midland (Texas) College scored one run in the bottom of the ninth Monday to edge Howard 7-6 and advance to today’s championship game.
Grayson, the No. 1 seed from the North Division, lost in the first round and has come all the way back, beating New Mexico Junior College 5-3 Monday. Grayson will face Howard this afternoon.
That winner plays Midland, the No. 1 seed from the West, for a spot in the JUCO World Series. Whichever team plays Midland must win twice.
East Central District
Walters State (Tenn.) hosts Volunteer State, Middle Georgia and Georgia Perimeter from May 16-19.
Potomac State College of West Virginia University defeated Hartford (Md.) Community College 5-2 on Monday for its 11th regional title in the past 14 years and hosts Spartanburg (S.C.) Methodist, South Carolina-Lancaster and ASA (N.Y.) College on May 17-19. Spartanburg plays Potomac, and Lancaster faces ASA in the first round.
Kaskaskia (Ill.) defeated Wabash Valley 17-7 in the Region 24 championship game Monday, with both teams advancing to the district tournament at Kaskaskia.
South Suburban and defending JUCO champion Iowa Western are also in the double-elimination tournament Friday through Sunday.
South Central District
Delgado (La.) beat Baton Rouge 6-2 on Monday to win Region 23 and advance to the district tournament starting Thursday at Warner, Okla. Connors State (Okla.) and Maple Woods (Mo.) are also in the district.
Southern Union moved to the winners’ bracket final with a 6-4 victory over Wallace-Hanceville on Monday in Ozark, Ala.
Shelton State and Central Alabama played in a late game in the other winners’ bracket semifinal.
Hanceville plays Lurleen B. Wallace, and the Shelton-Central Alabama loser plays Wallace-Dothan today in elimination games. The tournament championship game is Thursday morning, with an “if necessary” game to follow.
Northeastern Junior College hosts Cochise (Ariz.) and Western Nevada starting Thursday in Sterling.