GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The McLennan Highlanders fell to the Walters State Senators 10-6 Monday night in the JUCO World Series at Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Reece Calvert took the loss on the mound for McLennan.
Jarret Hood put Walters State on the board with a solo home run in the top of the second.
The Highlanders responded with back-to-back home runs by Brandon Grudzielanek and Tucker Johnson in the bottom of the second.
?The Senators took the lead with two runs in the third. Lucas Ledford doubled and scored on a single by Kyle Wilson. Wilson then advanced to second on a balk, moved to third on a Highlander error and scored on a single by Ramon Osuna.
Walters State increased its lead with four runs in the fifth. Braxton Brinkley and Colie Curie both singled. Both runners advanced on a balk. Osuna reached first safely and advanced to second on a Highlander error, bringing Brinkley and Curie in to score. Ross Grosvenor followed with a two-run homer.
McLennan added a run in the bottom of the sixth as Dimas Ojeda walked, moved to second on a single by Grudzielanek, advanced to third on the walk of James Rudkin and scored on the walk of Noah McGowan.
The Senators added a run in the seventh on Osuna’s home run.
Walters State’s final two runs came in the top of the ninth. Wilson was hit by the pitch and Curie walked. Both runners scored on a double by Osuna.
The Highlanders rounded out the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Kirby McGuire was hit by the pitch, Mason George drew a walk and Grudzielanek reached safely on an error. Johnson followed with a fielder’s choice, scoring McGuire and putting Grudzielanek out at second. James Rudkin then doubled to score George and Johnson.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” said coach Mitch Thompson. “Walters State is an outstanding ball club with a really deep hitting lineup. They have dangerous hitters up and down their lineup and they do a nice job.
“We had bases loaded three different times in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings and didn’t get it done. You aren’t going to win many games when you strikeout 14 times.
“We will come out tomorrow and try to do our best to get back after San Jacinto. You aren’t going to get any breaks in this tournament. There are no softies here so you better put this behind you quickly and get ready to face a good ball club tomorrow.”
McLennan will face San Jacinto in an elimination game at 3 p.m. (CST) on Tuesday.
Walters State 10, McLennan 6
Walters State 012 040 102 – 10 13 1
McLennan 020 001 003 – 6 8 2
Jake Usher, Andrew Towns (6), Brett Jones (9) and Bryan Bussey. Reece Calvert, Zach Kornely (5), Collin Sharp (9) and Jon Tauzin. WP: Usher: LP: Calvert. Leading hitters – Walters State: Kyle Wilson (1-4, RBI), Ramon Osuna (3-5, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBI), Ross Grosvenor (2-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Jarrett Hood (3-5, HR RBI), Weston McArthur (1-5, 2B) and Lucas Ledford (1-4, 2B); McLennan: Brandon Grudzielanek (3-5, HR, RBI), Tucker Johnson (1-4, HR, 2 RBI), James Rudkin (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Noah McGowan (0-3, RBI) and Jon Tauzin (1-4, 2B). Record: McLennan 38-19.