LUBBOCK – The McLennan Highlanders punched their ticket to the JUCO World Series with a 10-2 win over the Odessa Wranglers in the Region V Baseball Tournament at Dan Law Field in Lubbock.
The Highlanders jumped out early, scoring two runs in the top of the first. Will Fox drew a lead-off walk and Kirby McGuire was hit by the pitch. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Dimas Ojeda and scored on a double by Brandon Grudzielanek.
McLennan extended the lead with three runs in the third. With two outs on the board, Ojeda drew a walk. Grudzielanek followed with a single. Tucker Johnson then doubled to score Ojeda and Grudzielanek.
The Highlanders added another run in the fourth as Braxton Wilks walked, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by McGuire.
Odessa’s two runs came in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jaime Bustamante walked and Wesley Jordan was safe at first on a Highlander error. Both runners came in to score on a misplayed ball to left field.
McLennan added three runs in the eighth. Mason George singled and Fox was hit by the pitch. McGuire followed with a single to score George. Braxton Hollenshead drew a walk to load the bases. Grudzielanek then singled to score Fox and McGuire.
The Highlanders rounded out the scoring with one run in the top of the ninth as Noah McGowan walked, moved to second on a bunt single by Wilks, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by George and scored on a sacrifice fly by McGuire.
McLennan will compete in the NJCAA Baseball World Series on May 23-30 in Grand Junction, Colorado.
McLennan 10, Odessa 2
McLennan 203 100 031 – 10 11 4
Odessa 000 002 000 – 2 7 1
Jack Finnegan, Corey Watkins (8) and Mason George. Logan Owens, Scott Richards (4), Ramon Arguelles (9) and Owen Spiwak. WP: Finnegan; LP: Owens. Leading hitters – McLennan: Kirby McGuire (2-4, 3 RBI), Brandon Grudzielanek (3-5, 2B, 4 RBI), Tucker Johnson (1-5, 2B, 2 RBI), James Rudkin (1-4, RBI) and Mason George (2-4); Odessa: Jorin Van Amstel (3-5) and Reid Battles (1-4, 2B). Record: McLennan 37-18 (19-13).