Southern Nevada, Florence-Darlington Tech join JUCO field
The College of Southern Nevada didn’t use all of its offense Saturday afternoon — the Coyotes saved just enough for the “if” game in the NJCAA Western District playoffs in Yuma, Arizona.
After the Coyotes blew the first game open with an eight-run ninth inning to beat Central Arizona 15-5, they scored two huge insurance runs in the ninth inning for an 8-5 victory. The 11th-ranked Coyotes had to come back through the losers’ bracket to clinch their first appearance in the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series since Bryce Harper led them to Grand Junction in 2010.
Southern Nevada (45-16) lost its first game of the district playoffs 15-5 to Central Arizona before edging Trinidad State 1-0 on a ninth-inning wild pitch and beating Arizona Western 6-4 to reach the title game.
Another first-year qualifier joined the field when Tanner Myatt got the final out on a called third strike to send Florence-Darlington Technical College (South Carolina) to the JUCO World Series for the first time in program history.
The Stingers (42-17) went 3-0 in the Eastern District playoffs, defeating Monroe College (New York) 8-0, then USC-Lancaster 9-4 to reach the title game. Lancaster came through the losers’ bracket, but Darlington put the championship away with a 14-0 rout.
Lefty Alex Hursey struck out 11 and at one point retired 16 straight hitters for Florence-Darlington, giving up three hits and pitching into the eighth inning.
A nine-run third inning put Darlington up 11-0.
The South Central tournament began after a venue change and a one-day delay because of weather, with third-ranked Crowder College (Missouri) claiming a 10-8 victory over Delgado Community College (Louisiana). Seminole State College (Oklahoma), which lost the opening game of the day 13-10 to Delgado, upended Crowder 2-1, leaving all three teams 1-1.
Seminole won the coin toss to get to today’s title game, with Crowder and Delgado playing at noon to advance.
The second day of the Northern District at Wabash Valley Community College in Mount Carmel, Illinois, was postponed until today by weather. Triton College (Illinois) and Indian Hills Community College (Iowa) play an elimination game, followed by Lincoln Trail Community College (Illinois) and Wabash Valley, both of which won their first-round games.
Another elimination game will follow, with the championship game Monday.
The pairings are all but set for the first day of the 60th annual JUCO World Series on May 27, with Cowley College (Kansas) facing Wallace Community College-Dothan (Alabama) playing at 9 a.m., followed by CSN and whichever team comes out of the rain-delayed Northern District at noon.
At 3 p.m., top-ranked Chipola College (Florida) plays the South Central champion, and Dyersburg State Community College (Tennessee) faces San Jacinto College-North (Texas) at 7:30 p.m.
Florence-Darlington and McLennan Community College (Texas) wrap up the first round at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 28.
Reserved seating and general admission tournament passes for JUCO are on sale at jucogj.org, with GA passes also at outlets throughout town at all Alpine Bank locations, City Market stores, B&H Sporting Goods and Home Loan.