WCC takes 3rd a NJCAA World Series

By on June 7, 2013

Tyler, Texas—Waubonsee Community College jumped on second-ranked Century (MN) College right away, but could not hold on to the lead as the Mighty Wood Ducks eliminated the Chiefs’ from the 2013 NJCAA Division III World Series on May 28 at Mike Carter Field.

Century (42-12) rallied for a 10-7 victory to advance to the National Championship game against top-ranked Gloucester (NJ) College (48-3), while the sixth-ranked Chiefs (38-24) finished third in the nation.

Waubonsee pounced on Century, scoring six times in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by two-run singles each by Jake Jouris and Omar Fernandez. The Chiefs threatened to add to that lead in the second inning, getting three hits and having a batter reach base on an error. However, Waubonsee failed to score as two runners were thrown out on the base paths. Century got to Chiefs’ starter Kyle Bender in the top of the third, taking advantage of a walk, a hit batsman, a two-run double and a two-out, run-scoring single to cut their deficit in half.

Waubonsee got one of those runs back in the bottom of the frame when Cody Burton grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. The Chiefs, who left seven runners on base for the game, eventually stranded runners at second and third as Century carried momentum into the fourth inning. The Wood Ducks erupted for four runs and tied the game with a double off reliever Tanner Cook, who was eventually tagged with the loss. Hayden Chelius then came on in relief and issued a walk and hit a batter to load the bases with one out. A wild pitch then gave the Wood Ducks the lead at 8-7 before Chelius struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

The score remained 8-7 in favor of Century all the way into the ninth inning as Waubonsee stranded a runner at third base in both the fourth and eighth innings, and hit into inning-ending double plays in both the fifth and seventh frames.

Chelius, who struck out six and allowed only two hits through five innings of work, began to tire in the ninth. A one-out single followed by a double down the left field line put runners at second and third. Chelius then enticed a ground ball to shortstop Ryan Vega for the second out. Chris Anderson, who tossed a complete game, three-hit shutout in the Chiefs’ series opening victory over Brookhaven (TX) College on Saturday, then took over for Chelius. However, Waubonsee’s only defensive miscue of the evening resulted in two huge insurance runs for Century before Anderson registered a strike out to end the inning. The Chiefs, who out-hit the Wood Ducks 14-10, were unable to mount a rally in the bottom of the ninth, bringing an end to their memorable season.

Burton finished the game 3-for-5 with two stolen bases, a run scored and a run batted in. Bobby Smith also went 3-for-5 with a run scored, while Jouris and Harry Vickers each collected two hits. Anderson and Burton were both selected to the World Series All-Tournament team.

The Chiefs’ 38 wins set a new Waubonsee single-season mark for wins, eclipsing the previous school record of 37 set in 2011. Among NJCAA Division III teams, the Chiefs led the nation in hits (587) and stolen bases (189), recording nearly 50 more thefts than the next highest squad.

Waubonsee ends 2013 third in runs scored (416) and total bases (724), and fourth in runs batted in (340). The Chiefs also turned the most double plays (116), had the most fielding assists (548) and the pitching staff finished eighth in strikeouts (318). Unranked prior to the season, Coach Dave Randall’s crew was ranked sixth in the final regular season NJCAA Division III poll, the highest ever for the Chiefs’ program.