GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The Cowley College baseball team finally ran out of pitching Tuesday at the 2019 Alpine Bank Juco World Series.
Eight pitchers combined to allow a pair of grand slams and three home runs in a 16-5 run-rule loss to Navarro (Texas) College.
Navarro (40-8) advanced to the semifinals.
The Tigers (47-14) won two games at the World Series. The 47 wins were the second-most victories in a season in the past decade.
“Tip your hat to Navarro — they took it to us,” Cowley coach Dave Burroughs said. “Our guys had a hard time finding the strike zone and when they did, Navarro hit it. Two grand slams pretty much sealed the game. You’re disappointed, but anytime you can end your season in Grand Junction, it’s been a good year.”
Navarro struck first thanks to a passed ball and a pair of singles off starter Cole Larsen in the top of the first inning.
The Tigers threatened in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles from Cody Milligan and Blaze Brothers. However, a double play and a groundout thwarted the rally.
Cowley did not squander is scoring opportunities in the second inning.
Corbin Lill tripled to drive home Daniel DeSimone, and scored on a groundout by Logan Steenstra to put Cowley in front 2-1.
Larsen allowed just one unearned run in two innings before Kaid Karnes took over on the hill to start the third inning. Karnes failed to retire any of the three batters he faced before giving way to Ryan Westerhoff with the bases loaded.
“Cole gave us what we wanted,” Burroughs said. “He wanted to stay in and my reply was, ‘You have signed with the University of Kansas and we are not going to sacrifice your career for a championship.’”
Westerhoff allowed a two-run single to Stacey Bailey before freshman Hunter O’Toole took over with the bases loaded and one out.
O’Toole surrendered a grand slam to Dawson Woods and a solo shot by Kyle Hawkins back-to-back to cap a seven-run third inning and lead 8-2.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out in the fourth when Adam White came on in relief of O’Toole. Jose Gonzales Jr., who homered three times Saturday, blasted a grand slam to make it 12-2.
Navarro scored one more time in the five-run fourth.
Sophomore catcher Cody Milligan delivered a three-run double in the bottom of the fourth for Cowley. However, the Bulldogs tacked on three more runs in the fifth off three relievers to build their lead to 16-5.
Navarro starter Austin Faith (8-4) went all five innings, allowing nine hits and five runs. Faith retired the side in order in the bottom of the fifth to finish off the run-rule win.
Milligan went 2 for 3 and batted .500 at the Series, while freshman Tyler Halstead batted .545 in four games.
Navarro 16, Cowley 5