Junior College World Series

First-timers Darton, Harford fill JUCO field

Five runs in two innings to earn a trip to Grand Junction.
One day after Darton State College (Georgia) staved off elimination with a victory over Dyersburg State (Tennessee), the Cavaliers did it again Sunday.
Darton turned a 4-1 deficit into a 6-5 victory, an East Central District championship and a spot in the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series.
It’s the first JUCO appearance in Darton’s 53-year history and it came in dramatic fashion.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, freshman Denzell Gowdy ripped a single to left field to drive in the winning run.
Down 5-3, the Cavaliers (44-20) started the ninth with a walk, then Landon Crowder roped a double to left. A fielder’s choice allowed the first run to score and, after a walk, a double from Kendall Herron tied the game. Another walk loaded the bases for Gowdy’s walk-off hit.
Eagles starter Paxton Stover kept the Cavaliers at bay despite a heavy workload. Stover threw 168 pitches, struck out 10 batters and walked five in eight innings pitched. A relief pitcher gave up the game-winning run.
“That starter for Dyersburg was pretty incredible,” Darton coach Scot Hemmings said. “He came back on three days’ rest and got up to 168 pitches and he settled in. We had kinda been threatening all game and we knew if we got (Stover) out of there we’d have a chance. Denzell worked a 3-2 count, fouled off a couple tough pitches and just smoked one down the line.”




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