Teams are beginning to arrive in Grand Junction for the 2017 Junior College World Series.
Cowley and Crowder practiced Wednesday for their first time in Grand Junction. The Cowley Tigers, out of Arkansas City, Kansas, are making their eighth appearance at JUCO. Cowley won the World Series in 1997 and repeated as champs in 1998. The Tigers come into this year's JUCO having won seven straight games and 19 of their last 20. They believe their hot streak will continue into the World Series.
"That'll just keep the momentum, so we don't have to think about our last game we had some uh-oh," said third baseman Connor Litton. "We've had seven in a row of good ball we played so if we keep it going we should have a good chance of making some noise this year."
Cowley plays in the first game of the tournament, Saturday at 9:00 a.m. against Wallace-Dothan.
The Crowder Rougriders are also riding momentum into JUCO. From Neosho, Missouri, the only other JUCO appearance for the Roughriders was in 2010. Two current assistant coaches played for head coach Travis Lallemand when he brought Crowder to Grand Junction in 2010. Due to weather conditions, Crowder did not win their regional championship until Monday. The Roughriders were one of the last two teams to qualify for JUCO, and they think the short break will help continue their momentum into the World Series.
"For this group in particular I think it's good," said head coach Travis Lallemand. "When we had a long lay off earlier in the spring with weather, we came out a little flat. We played pretty consistently throughout the rest of the year so for this club in particular I think it matters. For clubs in the past, it might not have, but for this one I think it will be big."
Crowder plays Chipola at 3:00 p.m. Saturday.