The Walters State baseball team is headed back to Grand Junction again this year as they took the first two games of their best of three series against Gordon State to claim the NJCAA East Central Championship. A predetermined matchup with Cowley (KS) awaits them on Saturday at 9am MDT (11am EST) in first round action. The Senators are hoping for the championship after finishing second last year.
In both contests in the series, Gordon jumped out to quick leads only to see the Senators answer to take both games by scores of 5-2 and 5-4. In the first game, Gordon staked themselves to a 2-0 lead in the first inning before Walters tied the score with single runs in the bottom of the first and second. They would add single runs in their half of the fourth thru sixth inning for the final score. Drew Haynie and Bryce Hodge each had three hits in the Senators 11 hit attack. Michael Robinson followed with two hits with a run scored and an RBI. No Senator had more than one run scored or RBI. Alex Haynes got the start and went the first 4 1/3 innings, surrendering the two runs on four hits with six strikeouts. Blake Petty got credit for the win in relief allwing one hit with three strikouts in three innings of work. Koby Davidson got the save, alling no hits with three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings of work.
In the clincher on Thursday, Gordon jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. They would add another run in the fifth for a 4-0 lead. Walters would tie the game in the top of the sixth on a groundout and a three run homer by Jerry Hammons. They would take the lead on a two out pinch hit single by Jacob jennings to score Xavier Arnette. The Senators had eight hits in the game with Hammons the only player with multiple hits with the home run to go with two singles. Andrew Lindsey got credit for the win in relief as he went 3 2/3 innings. He allowed an unearned run on three hits with four strikeouts. Davidosn came inn for another five out save as he surrendered one hit with three strikouts.
The Senators now sit at 52-9 on the year. Their first round opponent, Cowley, stands at 45-12 for the season. They are the Central District Champion out of NJCAA Region VI. Walters currently sits #3 in the national poll while Cowley is the #12 team in the country.