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Coyotes crush No. 1 seed

WC now 2-0 in JUCO World Series


The Weatherford College Coyotes are making quite the impression in their first-ever appearance at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado.

At press time the Coyotes (52-9) had won their first two games, scoring two dozen runs in the process. They opened with a thrilling walk-off 10-9 victory against Delgado Community College of New Orleans (45-12) on Saturday, May 27. They followed with a 14-6 drubbing of top-seeded College of Central Florida (52-7) on Monday, May 29, a game that was ended after seven innings by the tournament’s mercy rule.

The fourth-seeded Coyotes, who ran their win streak to 20 games, were set to play either No. 5 seed Blinn (45-13) or third seed Wabash Valley, Illinois (54-11) on Wednesday.

The Buccaneers (Blinn) are in the World Series for a seventh time, the most of any of this year's entrants, but it is their first time since 2014. Wabash is in for a fourth time and a second straight season.

"I've heard about Grand Junction for many years. It's exceeded expectations," Coyotes head coach Jeff Lightfoot said. "A phenomenal atmosphere."

As for his team's explosive offense in the series so far, Lightfoot said with a chuckle, "Hitting the ball over the fence kinda helps."

The Coyotes banged out 15 extra-base hits in their first two wins, including nine home runs, five doubles, and a triple. They also showed patience at the plate, drawing 13 walks.

"That's what our lineup has done over the past 50-60 games," Lightfoot said. "We've had contributions from all of the lineup."

In the victory against Delgado, the Coyotes built a 7-2 lead through five innings before the Dolphins, who were making their sixth JCWS appearance and first since 2016, stormed back to lead 9-7 entering the bottom of the ninth. Jack Arthur tied the game with a two-run home run and Robin Villanueve ended the contest with a solo blast.

Villanueve, Arthur, Jack Clark, and Kevin Duran each hit a pair of homers in the first two games. Clark had two against Delgado and Duran had two hits against Central Florida.

In defeating the top seeded Patriots, who were making their fourth appearance in Grand Junction and a second straight, the Coyotes scored four times in the first inning and pulled away with six in the fourth. After their fireworks came fireworks following the game, which wrapped up the day's action.

"Win or lose this one you've got to enjoy the atmosphere," Lightfoot said. "You've got to enjoy the crowd, the fireworks show.

"I'm just proud of my team. That's a good team in the other dugout. Excited to come out and play well."

A victory Wednesday would move Weatherford College into the semifinals at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 1, Central Standard Time. A loss would send them into a losers bracket matchup Thursday at 3 p.m. CST, where they could reach the finals with a victory in the double-elimination tournament.

Should the survivor of the losers bracket defeat the team from the winners bracket on Friday at 8 p.m. CST, a winner-take-all contest would be played Saturday at the same time.

All Weatherford College games can be heard with the broadcast team of Dave Cowley and Brent Baker on The Coyote radio station, 88.5 and 102.5 FM or on the Coyote app.

NJCAA Division I World Series

in Grand Junction, Colo.

Weatherford College (51-9) 10, Delgado Community College, La. (45-12) 9

WC hitting: Jack Clark, 2-for-3, 2 HR, BB, 4 RBI; Jack Arthur, 2-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI; Robin Villanueve, 2-for-4, 2B, HR, BB, 2 RBI; Joey Baran, 1-for-4; Dayton Tockey, 1-for-3, RBI; Eddie Calzoncit, 1-for-3, BB; Kanon Sundgren, 1-for-3, 3B, BB, RBI; Josh Zapata, HP.

WC pitching: Ryne Rodriguez, 6 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; Davin Ronquist, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; Cole Brody, 0.1 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 HP, 3 Blk., 1 K; Cody Morse, 0 IP, 2 BB; Charlie Giese (W), 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K.

WC (52-9) 14, College of Central Florida (52-7) 6

WC hitting: Villanueve, 2-for-3, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI; Baran, 2-for-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI; Tockey, 2-for-5, HR, 4 RBI; Duran, 2-for-3, 2 HR, BB, 4 RBI; Chase Pendley, 2-for-5, 2B; Arthur, 1-for-5, HR, RBI; Sundgren, 1-for-4, 2B; Clark, 3 BB; Calzoncit, BB.

WC pitching: Robert Fortenberry, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; Ronquist (W), 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; Garrett McLaughlin, 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Brody, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.

Weatherford College, Weatherford College baseball, NJCAA, NJCAA World Series


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