Patriots eliminated from JUCO Baseball World Series in second round


In this file photo, the Patriots baseball team celebrate after defeating defending state champion Miami-Dade College in comeback fashion 4-3 to win the Florida College System Activities Association South Atlantic District state tournament on May 15. [Supplied]

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Posted June 1, 2022 | By James Blevins
james@ocalagazette.com

The College of Central Florida (CF) Patriots’ baseball team was eliminated from the 2022 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I National Baseball World Series on Tuesday, May 31, held in Grand Junction, Colorado, losing in the second round to the Cowley County Community College Tigers (Kansas) 10-7.

CF opened the tournament on Saturday, May 28, with a win over Cowley County, 8-2, but followed that win with a loss on Monday, May 30, against Walter State Community College, 16-8 over eight innings, forcing an elimination game on Tuesday.

Through the first two innings, it appeared that the Patriots were going to run away with the game, going up 4-0 after Kevin Kilpatrick, Edrick Felix and John Marant all homered early on in the first inning. In the second inning, Victor Castillo batted in Jay Taylor, who scored on the throw to home plate.

But the Tigers would quickly draw within a run in the bottom of third, and then take the lead outright in the fourth inning, 6-4. With the score 7-4 at the top of the seventh, CF would score two more runs (David Pereira and Taylor), making it a one-run game, but at the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers would answer with two runs of their own, pulling further away, 9-6.

It would be the closest the Patriots would get in the game to another lead. Ultimately, Cowley County pulled away for the 10-7 win. Landon Ginn batted in Nicholas Calero for the Patriots’ final scoring run of the 2021-2022 season in the top of the eighth.

This was the first time that CF’s baseball team had competed in the JUCO (Junior College) World Series since 1998, according to the team’s website.

Prior to traveling to Colorado, the Patriots (47-17 overall record) defeated defending state champion Miami-Dade College in comeback fashion 4-3 to win the Florida College System Activities Association South Atlantic District state tournament on May 15.