Miami Dade College the latest qualifier for JUCO World Series
Miami Dade College (Florida) drained its pitching staff making it to the championship game of the Gulf District Tournament on Wednesday in Lakeland, Florida, but the Sharks dug deep to defeat the College of Central Florida 3-1 in the morning before topping No. 13 Polk State 4-2 in the afternoon.
That made Miami Dade the third team to qualify for this year’s 10-team Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.
“We had a run of four in a row there and had to come out of the loser’s bracket,” Miami Dade coach Danny Price said. “Our pitching staff is exhausted because we used just about everyone to make it out of the tournament. It was a whirlwind. Florida has a lot of talented junior college baseball programs down here, and we went out there and had a lot of two-, one-run games.”
The Southeastern District championship game between No. 1 Chattahoochee Valley Community College (Alabama) and Alabama Southern was rained out after one inning Wednesday and will resume at 1 p.m. MDT today.
Miami Dade downed Central Florida despite a complete game from Patriots’ ace Boomer Biegalski, who struck out 13 batters. The Sharks also avenged a 7-6 loss to Central Florida in the third round of the tournament.
With the Sharks leading 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth, reliever Alejandro Castro shut down Central Florida after two singles and a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position with one out. Castro struck out three of the five batters he faced to seal the win.
Two-out RBI singles from Jose Gomez and David Palalenzuela in the top of the sixth and a solo home run from Armando “Mandy” Alvarez accounted for the scoring for Miami Dade.
Against Polk State, the Sharks fell behind 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning after a walk and an error scored a run.
Miami Dade rallied for the lead in the seventh. The Sharks’ Cody Fulton singled home Alvarez and Bryan Colon hit an RBI single two batters later.
In the eighth inning, Patrick Carter added another run, hitting a single and later scoring on an error. Carter also shut down the Eagles on the mound, striking out seven batters in 2 2/3 innings of relief.
“It’s a tough series to win down here, and it really prepares us for anything,” Price said. “But we’re already pretty tough. We’re a pretty balanced, blue-collar, grind-it-out team with no Superman-type guy. We just pitch well and play solid baseball.”
Chattahoochee No. 1 in Poll
Chattahoochee Valley Community College of Alabama (44-9) remained at No. 1 in Wednesday’s NJCAA Division I Top 20 baseball poll.
Chattahoochee Valley was playing for the Southeastern District championship Wednesday, but the game was postponed until today because of rain.
No. 2 Delgado Community College (Louisiana) moved up one spot after winning the Region XXIII title. The Dolphins (40-10) will begin play Friday in the South Central District, hosted by No. 8 Crowder College (45-15)in Neosho, Missouri.
Iowa Western Community College (48-10), moved up four places to No. 3 and will host the Northern District Tournament in Council Bluffs, Iowa, starting Friday.
No. 4 Georgia Perimeter (43-12) hosts the East Central District tourney, starting Friday. It will be joined there by No. 7 Columbia State of Tennessee (41-11), the Region VII champ.
Johnson County Community College (Kansas), ranked No. 5, punched its ticket to Grand Junction on Tuesday night as the Cavaliers (46-12) won the Central District championship.
No. 6 Spartanburg Methodist (South Carolina) will take part in the Eastern District Tournament, beginning Friday in Sumter, South Carolina. The Pioneers (42-15) were regular-season champs in Region X.
No. 9 Chipola (Florida) and No. 10 Gulf Coast State (Florida), were eliminated from the Gulf District Tournament.