GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A 7-run second inning provided much of the difference as the Chattachoochee Valley Community College Pirates defeated the San Jacinto College-North Gators in a battle of the nation's top two ranked teams on Thursday night at Suplizio Field.
That barrage, highlighted by a 3-run Will Campbell home run, provided the fuel in the Pirates' 13-3, 7-inning, run-rule victory that set up a rematch in Friday night's Game 18 of the 59th Annual Alpine Bank Junior College World Series. Both teams are now 3-1 in the tournament and will square off again for a right to face Yavapai Community College in Saturday night's championship game.
Yavapai, 4-1 in the tournament, receives the bye to the championship game because they have played the most games of the remaining three teams. The Roughriders eliminated Iowa Western Community College by a 7-3 count earlier Thursday afternoon.
In the nightcap, Chattahoochee Valley banged out 15 total hits, while scoring three additional runs in the top of the fourth to go up 10-3 after San Jacinto made a bit of a rally with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third. Two more sixth-inning tallies, which also came via the long ball, and a single run in the seventh then allowed the Pirates to finish off the Gators early.
Chattahoochee Valley starter Chase Burks was sensational, allowing three runs on seven hits, striking out five in his final game for the Pirates.
His teammates recorded five hits in the second-inning bombardment as they chased Gator starter Montana Parsons, who gave up four hits and six runs, all earned, in 1 2/3 innings of work. Reliever Hunter McClellan then came in with a 2-1 count on Campbell but surrendered Campbell's blast over the left-field fence on his second pitch.
San Jac got on the board in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Max Wood before a 2-run double by Caden Williams cut the deficit to 7-3.
Campbell finished the game 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBI. AJ Willoughby, who had a 2-run home run in the sixth, went 2-for-4. Lead-off man Nolan Greckel also had a fine 3-for-3 evening in setting the table for his teammates.