GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO
Momentum at the NJCAA Division 1 JUCO World Series took a hard, 180-degree turn, on Thursday night. Iowa Western (51-10, 3-1 JUCO) had the script flipped on them when Navarro College (41-17, 3-1 JUCO) plated 23 runs in 5-innings to hand the Reivers their first loss of the tournament and prevented them from moving to the championship series.
The Bulldogs took advantage of 13 walks from five different Reiver hurlers and another uncharacteristic four errors from the IWCC defense to batter the basepaths. Navarro scored a game-high 8-runs in the 4th, but also added 6 runs in two different innings, adding 13 total hits, seven of them for extra-bases to punctuate the bases on balls and miscues. Bulldogs slugger Jose Gonzalez, Jr. pounded his tournament-leading 5th home run to highlight Navarro's offensive outing.
The Reivers equaled the 13 hits from Navarro, but failed to earn one free pass from Bulldog pitching. Isaiah Peterson (.500 JUCO) mashed his first homer of the series on a 3-3 night, while Ronald Sweeny III also picked up three hits in three at-bats to improve his JUCO average to .583 and Colin Kasperbauer (.462 JUCO) drove in three runs in a 2-2 performance. Caleb Balgaard continued his hot hitting at the plate as well, increasing his tournament average to .529, going 2-3.
The loss forces the Reivers into an 8:00 PM CST rematch with Navarro in Game 18 of the JUCO World Series on Friday night. The winner will face Central Arizona on Saturday for the 2019 National Championship.
All action from the Reivers run at the 2019 JUCO World Series can be heard on Iowa Western's FM radio station, 89.7 the River. The station streams for free, worldwide, at www.897theRiver.com.
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