WARNER — Top-ranked Delgado Community College, unable to put together base hits when they had the opportunities, fell to Connors State College 3-1 in the championship game of the NJCAA South Central District baseball tournament Saturday at Biff Thompson Field.
It was the Dolphins’ second straight loss to the Cowboys, and Delgado faced a must-win situation Saturday, hoping to force a third game Sunday. Delgado fell to Connors 11-10 in 10 innings Friday night.
Delgado (47-11) had a scoring opportunity in the fourth inning but was unable to push across runs, leaving two base runners aboard against Connors right-hander Daniel Concepcion (8-1) to thwart the threat. Concepcion, who went eight innings, scattered seven hits, while striking out six and walking two.
“We fought, fought and fought and just couldn’t get a big hit when we needed,” Delgado coach Joe Scheuermann said.
The Dolphins used two pitchers against the Cowboys, who pounded out nine hits, with Chase Hymel (7-2) taking the loss. Hymel went six innings, allowing six hits, striking out one and walking six. Hymel was relieved by Brandt Bourgeois, who worked the final three innings.
“I thought our pitching did a great job,” Scheuermann said. “We just gave up three runs, and guys who give up just three runs have a chance to win junior college baseball games.
“We had a great run, and unfortunately they played better than us this weekend.”
Luke Voiron led the Dolphins’ hitting attack with a 3-for-3 appearance, all singles.
Connors will advance to the NJCAA College World Series beginning Saturday at Grand Junction, Colo., against the Southern District champion.
Connors jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second on a hit and two sacrifice bunts against Hymel.
Victor Claudio walked to open the inning, followed by another walk to Eli Roundtree. Jiro Morales then moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Eric Kirkpatrick then singled home Claudio with a ground ball to center field for a 1-0 lead. Dalton Daniels then brought home Roundtree on a squeeze play for a 2-0 lead.
The Cowboys took a 3-0 lead in the fourth when Morales scored on an error by Delgado first baseman Cameron Hoffman. Dolphins third baseman Jordan Caillouet made a diving stop of a Christian Perez ground ball and on the throw to first Hoffman, in stretching for the low throw, dropped it, allowing Morales to score.
Delgado scored in the sixth when Voiron’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Brady Williamson, who doubled to open the inning. Williamson advanced to third on Patrick Riley’s infield out.
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