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Windians! Chipola Claims Second Straight JUCO National Title

It almost didn't happen.

Chipola needed miracles during the week-long tournament gauntlet stay alive.

A David Meadows prayer in the form of a throw from left field, gunning down an Iowa Western Reiver to prevent a walk-off.

A Jared Howell home run in the 9th inning, clearing the right field fence to escape an upset-minded Barton Cougars team.

Battling past adversity to reach Saturday night, the Indians' spirit sent a decisive message to the Junior College baseball nation: champions die hard.

Chipola completed their run through the losers bracket of the 2018 Alpine Bank JUCO World Series, winning their second straight national title by topping Walters State, 10-7 from Suplizio Field.

"I'm just so proud of these guys," head coach Jeff Johnson said with a grin after the game. "The resiliency these guys showed, the trust that they have in one another. When things got bad, they wouldn't fold."

On Saturday night, things got bad early. The Senators jumped out to a 5-2 lead against the Indians. Chipola's starter Jack Dellinger, visibly frustrated by a lackluster performance, was pulled after just 1.1 innings of work. Dellinger allowed two earned runs and five hits before coach Johnson went to his bullpen. Walters' Hunter Wolfe singled in the 4th inning off of Andrew Grogan, scoring Dyland Harris and Luke Berryhill.

As was the norm througout the World Series, Chipola relied on the top of their lineup to provide timely hits. Edmond Americaan, Max Guzman, and tournament Most Outstanding Player Morgan McCullough combined for three RBIs and five runs. The Indians David Meadows gave Chipola the lead in the 6th inning, doubling to score two runs and putting the Indians on top 6-5.

Third baseman Julio Carrion drove in two more runs in the 7th, doubling to right center and extending Chipola's lead to 9-7. Americaan added a home run to right field in the 8th to pad the lead. Phillip Sanderson pitched the final two innings for Chipola, striking out four without allowing a hit. Walters State's Duncan Pence grounded out to third for the final out, as Chipola mitts were launched skyward during the celebration.

Chipola wins back-to-back championships for the first time since Grayson County (TX) in 1999 and 2000. It's the Indians third title in school history (2007, 2017-18).


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