GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Trailing 5-4 through five innings, No. 1 Chipola College (FL) erupted for 11 runs over the final four frames to win the 2017 NJCAA Division I Baseball World Series with a 15-6 victory over No. 8 San Jacinto College-North (TX). The title is the second in program history for the Indians.
One day after forcing a winner-take-all championship game with San Jacinto, head coach Jeff Johnson’s Indians relied on a series of hitters as four different players posted multi-hit games in Chipola’s 12-hit attack. Led by winning relief pitcher Ryan Shauger, the Chipola bullpen limited the Gators to just one run over the final four innings.
Sophomore Jose Caballero of Chipola was named the Preston Walker Most Valuable Player after batting .448 (13-29) in the tournamnet. Chipola's Evan Steele was named the Robert Purkey Most Outstanding Pitcher of the tournament after earning two victories on the mound.
Friday’s contest saw Chipola score early and often to force Saturday’s matchup, but it was San Jacinto that struck first in the tournament finale. The Gators plated a run in each of the first two innings only to see the Indians chip away to pull within one after five innings.
The offensive spark for Chipola started with Te’kwaan Whyte’s three-run home run in the sixth inning. The Indians used four runs on four hits in the seventh, including a two-run home run from Brody Wofford to seal the victory.
The Indians battled out of the consolation bracket, having won their final five games in the World Series after losing to San Jacinto on Monday to finish the season with a 51-9 record.
- Chipola’s previous World Series title came in 2007, also under Johnson, a 7-3 victory over New Meixco Junior College.
- Chipola’s 15 runs set a new single tournament record for total runs with 85, breaking the College of Southern Idaho’s previous record of 79 in 1984.
- Johnson, the 2007 NJCAA Coach of the Year, was named the Bus Bugman Coach of the Year.
- Saturday’s contest featured four home runs to eclipse the all-time record in a single tournament with 66. San Jacinto’s Herbert Iser set the new mark with a second-inning solo shot.
- The Gators finished their 10th national tournament appearance under head coach Tom Arrington as the national runners-up with a record of 48-18. San Jacinto has posted six second-place finishes since 2003.
- With San Jacinto’s five victories in the World Series, Arrington extended his all-time tournament wins record to 41
Photos courtesy of Todd Bennett