JUCO: Santa Fe wins late, late show against Middle Georgia
The final game of the first day of the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series began a little too close to bedtime.
After an early extra inning game and a 70-minute rain delay in the third game, the final game between Middle Georgia College and Santa Fe (Fla.) College didn’t throw its first pitch until 9 p.m.
Playing into Sunday morning didn’t keep the bats from staying awake as the two teams combined for 30 hits as Santa Fe won 17-13.
For the Saints it was a big seventh inning that made the difference. Santa Fe entered the inning trailing 10-6, but six hits and six runs later, the Saints had the 12-10 lead they needed.
Ryan Mathews began the big inning by hitting a towering solo home run to center field. Two batters later, an Alex Godshall RBI single cut the lead to 10-8 and brought Middle Georgia coach Craig
Young to replace pitcher Bryan Blough with Jarret Leverett. The Warriors freshman didn’t last long as he gave up a RBI single to Tyler Cook that glanced off of him and scored Travis Yeckering.
Keon Broxton put the Saints back in the lead with a three-run home run off Brandon Barnette.
Both teams didn’t waste much time getting things going offensively, as Santa Fe struck in the top of the first inning off Brett Bozeman’s RBI single.
Middle Georgia answered in the bottom half with a Shawn Payne three-run home run to left field.
The Saints scored another run in the top of the second of Cook’s RBI single and took a 4-3 lead in the third inning when Nathan Hartman hit a two-run home run.
Cook, the Saints leadoff hitter, had a strong first game as he hit a double and tied the game at 5-5 on a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Middle Georgia’s Josh Purvis matched Cook’s home run in the bottom of the fourth, hitting a line shot over the right-center wall.
Purvis’s home run propelled the Warriors into a five-run inning that gave Middle Georgia a 10-5 lead heading into the top of the fifth.
In the top of the sixth, Santa Fe began to cut into the Warriors’ lead as Broxton hit his first home run of the night, a solo shot.
Middle Georgia matched with a run in the bottom of the seventh off a Jakob Dalfonso RBI single.
But a spectacular catch by Trace Venegas in foul territory got the Saints out of the inning.
Santa Fe put a cap on the game when Andy Mee hit a grand slam in the top of the eighth inning to make it 17-11.
The final game did lack a bit of the traditional electricity of a night game as the only 2,223 fans braved the cool weather and late start brought on by the rain.
Santa Fe advances to take on Cowley County (Kan.) Community College at 2 p.m. on Monday.
Middle Georgia plays Seminole State (Okla.) College today at 2 p.m.