The Chipola Indians came into the 2019 Alpine Bank JUCO World Series seeking a three-peat.
Instead, they are the first team heading home.
The Indians fell in the second day of tournament play at Suplizio Field, 20-12 to the Cowley Tigers. Their second loss of World Series (L to Navarro, 10-6 Saturday) eliminates Chipola from postseason contention.
The Tigers were close to a mercy in the opening innings. Cowley scored 5 runs in both the 3rd and 4th innings, leading 11-1 after the top half of the 4th. Corbin Lill homered to right field, scoring Cade Stephens and Grady Davenport and giving the Tigers their biggest lead of the tournament.
Chipola locked down in the 6th inning. Trailing 12-5, the Indians brought seven runners across the plate to tie the game. Right fielder Connor Kehl singled to right, scoring lead-off hitter Jordan Anderson. The comeback was capped off by a fielding error on Cowley, scoring Julio Carrion.
Cowley didn’t allow Chipola to celebrate for long. George Specht singled in the following inning, giving clearence to Davenport to score one more time. The Tigers grabbed the lead with four runs in the top of the 7th and never looked back.
The Tigers advance in the losers bracket, and will play the Monroe Mustangs on Memorial Day at 2:00 p.m.
Game 5: Iowa Western 18, Connors State 10
Game 6: Cowley 20, Chipola 12
Game 7: Monroe 8, New Mexico JC 2
Mustangs pitcher Brandon Backman becomes the first pitcher to throw a complete game in the 2019 JUCO World Series, firing 147 pitches in a victory over the Thunderbirds. Backman ended the day with eight strikeouts, seven walks (with the majority coming in the later innings), only surrendering two earned runs on five hits.
Backman’s counterpart from New Mexico, Mark Barillas, was equal to the task. Barillas fanned 11 batters, throwing 6.1 innings and allowing six runs to cross home plate. Barillas picked up the loss in his only outing of the World Series. The Mustangs win their second JUCO World Series game in school history.
MEMORIAL DAY SCHEDULE:
Game 8: Chattahoochee Valley vs. Central Arizona 10:00 a.m. (winner’s bracket)
Game 9: Cowley Tigers vs. Monroe Mustangs 2:00 p.m. (loser’s bracket)
Game 10: Walters State vs. Navarro 7:30 p.m. (winner’s bracket)
Weather permitting, there will be fireworks following the conclusion of the Walters State/Navarro game at Suplizio Field.