On Thursday May 31, Chipola pitcher Phillip Sanderson got the start against former World Series runner-up San Jacinto. Sanderson went five innings of shut out ball in the Indians 11-0 rout over the Gators. He ended the outing with a win on 73 pitches.
The next day was championship Saturday and the game was coming down to the wire. Sanderson is one of Chipola's best pitchers and had a semi-sore arm from the night before. But there came a time where head coach Jeff Johnson asked him to pitch the eighth inning.
Sanderson accepted and threw 21 total pitches in the eighth and ninth forcing the final out to help Chipola win its third championship in program history.
There was a huge dog pile of players on the mound and Sanderson found himself getting tackled and in the midst of all the chaos got a cleat right above his right eye.
"I got a little slit. I don't know if I got stepped on or just cut. But it'll be alright. It was worth it," Sanderson said. "Honestly the whole day in the dugout, I was like I don't really know. When it hit the fifth inning, I was like you know what.. Let's do it. I want to be put in. Coach Johnson asked me if I wanted to go one and I said, yeah I got it. Then I said you're not taking me out of this ball game after my first inning, I want to close it out. It didn't feel too good at first, but once that adrenaline kicked in, it was over."
Sanderson was named the most outstanding pitcher after his performance and is committed to play baseball at University of North Carolina Greensboro starting this Winter.