Play ball: JUCO field complete

Finally, they’re all in.

Play in the 52nd annual Alpine Bank Junior College World Series begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, and despite numerous rain delays and a few upsets along the way, 10 teams have won district titles and earned spots in the national championship field.

Seminole State (Okla.) College qualified for its 15th JUCO World Series on Monday by defeating MCC-Maple Woods 7-5.

The Trojans earn the berth from the South Central District and return to Grand Junction for the first time since 2004.

Seminole had the upper hand in the tournament, but lost 5-2 on Sunday to host school Maple Woods (Mo,). In Monday’s final, the Trojans fell behind early but got a three-run home run from David Jackson to give Seminole a 4-2 lead after four innings.

Maple Woods made its runs late in the game, but Seminole was able to keep the Monarchs from closing the gap.

“We seemed to be able to get the big inning when we needed it.” Seminole State coach Jeff Shafer said. “The guys played well all weekend.”

Seminole State ended the year unranked in the NJCAA final top 20 poll and enters JUCO 38-17.

The Trojans have been runners-up four times but have yet to win the JUCO championship.

Seminole plays Cowley (Kan.) College at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Suplizio Field.

The Southeastern District tournament took nine days to finish, had numerous weather delays, but finally wrapped up Monday with Shelton State (Ala.) Community College defeating Faulkner State 13-1. The Buccaneers entered the final day of the tournament undefeated, which forced Faulkner to beat them twice. The Sun Chiefs got the job done in the first game, defeating Shelton 13-9 in extra innings.

Shelton regrouped in the second game, scoring five runs in the top of the fifth inning to break the game open. The Bucs’ Josh Wirnsberger pitched a complete game, allowing one run on six hits.

This is Shelton State’s third straight year to qualify for the JUCO World Series. The Bucs, who finished second last year, play their opener at noon on Saturday against Iowa Western Community College.


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