GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The fifth-seeded Cowley College baseball team was unable to exact revenge against sixth-seeded Central Arizona only three days after losing to the Vaqueros at the Alpine Bank Juco World Series.
Central Arizona ended Cowley’s season Wednesday afternoon by defeating the Tigers 12-8 at Sam Suplizio Field.
Central Arizona (50-7) advances to play Thursday at 3 p.m.
The Vaqueros (50-7) advanced to the semifinals, but were eliminated early Thursday afternoon in a 7-4 loss to San Jacinto North. Crowder was slated to take on McLennan in the other semifinal.
San Jacinto North advanced to the championship game at 7 p.m. today against the winner between Crowder and McLennan.
The Tigers (47-10) trailed 10-4 before closing to within 10-8 heading into the final inning of play.
“Our guys never quit playing and I am proud of them for that, we just could not throw up enough zeroes,” Cowley coach Darren Burroughs said. “I am always grateful to get to come here and have our players get to experience this.”
Making just his fourth start of the season, Cowley freshman Logan Kimbro pitched out of a jam in the second inning. With runners at first and second and nobody out, Kimbro retired the next three batters to keep the game scoreless.
Kimbro went the first three innings on the mound and did not allow a run with the Tigers leading 1-0. Kimbro allowed two hits and two walks while striking out four.
“He had not been out there in two weeks, so we knew his stamina wouldn’t be good, but he gave us three good innings,” Burroughs said.
Cowley’s first run came in the bottom of the third when Bryce Madron singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a double by Blake Robertson.
The Vaqueros got to Cowley’s bullpen, however, scoring two runs off Cole Miller in the fourth inning and two more off Miguel Obeso in the fifth before Miguel Fulgencio was summoned with a runner at second and nobody out. Central Arizona tacked on one more run in the fourth to lead 5-2.
The damage could have been much worse, but Fulgencio struck out the side, including the final two batters with the bases loaded.
Central Arizona starter Tyler Woessner allowed four hits and two runs in four innings. Cowley’s second run came when Gus Freeman doubled leading off the fourth and scored on a fielding error by Central Arizona third baseman Matt Aribal.
Fulgencio struck out four of the seven batters he faced before he was relieved by Jerome Tylicki after allowing a one-out triple to Kiko Romero in the top of the sixth. But Dusty Garcia promptly singled home Romero with Central Arizona’s sixth run of the game. Two batters later, Devon Dixon singled home Garcia to make it 7-2.
The Vaqueros scored another run off Tylicki in the top of the seventh.
Central Arizona turned to Leo Palacios in relief of Woessner. The left-hander kept the Tigers scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings before he ran into trouble in the seventh. After back-to-back walks, Palacios allowed a two-run single to Bryce Madron to pull the Tigers to within 8-4 and chase Palacios from the game.
DJ Carpenter came on in relief and struck out Janson Reeder before walking Blake Robertson and Michelle Artzberger to load the bases with two out and bring the potential tying run to the plate. Carpenter went to a full count on Freeman before striking him out to escape the jam.
Boston Dowd came on to pitch the eighth for the Tigers and surrendered a two-run homer to Matt Aribal, making the score 10-4. Jordan Brewer came on to record the final two outs of the inning.
The Tigers did not go away quietly. Madron stroked a two-run double and Janson Reeder produced a run-scoring single to make it 10-7. Robertson followed with an RBI double and again the tying run came to the plate. However, Central Arizona reliever Christian Sanchez came on to strike out Artzberger for the final out of the inning.
Brewer remained in to pitch the ninth, but allowed a leadoff single. Isaac Stebens took over, but was unable to get out of the inning before two more runs crossed the plate.
David Herring stroked a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth, but Sanchez struck out the next two batters to end Cowley’s season.
It was Burroughs’ first full season as head coach of the Tigers. Cowley won another conference title and region title, and finished fifth in the country.
“We did a great job coming back in the game, we just came up short,” Burroughs said. “Every year is a building block for the program and these guys did a great job of getting us back to Grand Junction. Heck, 47-10 is a pretty good year. It’s not the way we wanted it to end, but when you finish among the top five teams in the country you have to be proud of what we accomplished.”
Central Arizona 12, Cowley 8
Godfrey dh3001Madron cf4233
Sldmrg dh0000Reeder lf4121
McLghln lf5000Rbrtsn dh4022
Dooney 2b4120Artzbrgr 1b3000
Stewart ph1000Freeman c5110
Romero 1b4332Herring ss5010
Garcia cf6231Jackson 2b4000
Jarvis rf4210Chnr-Rnd rf5220
Dixon ss6131DeGrmo 3b3210
Beckstead c5133Kimbro p0000
Aribal 3b4223 Miller p0000
Woessner p0000 Obeso p0000
Palacios p0000 Fulgncio p0000
Crpntr p0000 Tylicki p0000
Davila p0000 Dowd p0000
Sanchez p0000 Brewer p0000
E — Jarvis, Aribal, Madron, Obeso, Stebens. LOB — Central Arizona 15, Cowley 9. 2B — Dooney, Romero, Madron, Reeder, Robertson 2, Freeman. 3B — Romero. HR — Anibal. SB — McLaughlin, Garcia, Beckstead, Anibal. CS — Chenier-Rondea. Sac — Aribal. SF — Godfrey.
(Davila faced 2 batters in the 8th)
(Obeso faced 3 batters in the 5th)
HBP — by Kimbro (Godfrey); by Fulgencio (Beckstead); by Brewer (Seldomridge). WP — Woessner, Palacios, Davila, Fulgencio, Tylicki, Brewer. Balk — Woessner. Time — 3:57. Att — 2,612.