Blade-contributing writer Vaquero Sports.com
2019 JUCO games are availalable by Pay-Per-View on NJCAA TV and also live streaming on Roku
Grand Junction - They had no idea what was coming next.
Dakota Donovan threw seven innings of the above statement and struck out 17 Monroe Community College batters while walking nobody in the Central Arizona College Vaqueros JUCO World Series Game 1 win late Saturday evening.
The baseball game didn't start at it's 7:30 scheduled time due to 76 runs being scored in the three previous games before the Central-Monroe game.
While Donovan was locating and mixing them up at the plate, the Vaqueros batters were blasting away, pecking away, creating havoc on the base paths and they made the four plays they hade to make in the 12-4 game 1 win at the JUCO.
In eight innings, Vaquero pitchers struck out 19 of the 24 outs in the run-rule eight inning game. The other outs were three ground balls, a gorgeous lay-out in center from Brennan Reback and a brilliant Donovan-Dudden pick-off play at second base. Lucas Knowles got a shot in the eighth after being out half the season with an injury and struck out two of the three batters he faced. Donovan located his sliders, change-ups and darting fastballs all night and seemingly all you saw on NJCAA TV was Monroe College Mustangs swinging and missing.
After Monroe put together three straight run scoring doubles in the top of the fourth to close a Vaqueros lead to 5-3, Central put together an almost thirty minute half inning scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the tension out with a 10-3 lead, and with two more in the bottom of the eighth, the final hit being a sharp Hunter Jump single, it was over at 12-4.
Central totaled 13 hits and left only five men on base all evening. Mustang pitching walked only two batters and when they had to, the Vaqueros used delayed steals and bunts and basepath chaos in general (Reback, Ian Raidy and Josh Dudden), to completely distract and disrupt.
Reback doubled and singled twice, stole a base and scored. Raidy stole two more bases, and Duddenh another. Clayton Keyes scored three times, drove in three and launched a two-run HR. Liam Spence singled twice and scored three times, just what you'd want in a leadoff, and Jump added two hits.
Central committed no errors and Brennan Reback grabbed a long ball in a lay-out and Ernny Ordonez played a solid first base with a nice late stab. Third baseman Raidy and shortstop Spence had no assists on the day. Let that be an indication of the pitching performance Saturday evening.
On a close play at first base in the bottom of the third inning with Central up 3-0, Ernny Ordonez hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Joseph Encarnacion who threw wide to first and the Mustang first baseman Daniel Alfonso made a very athletic stretch for the snare and after blue called Ordonez out, head coach Anthony Gillich asked the umpires to confer and the call was reversed.
You don't see that very often in a non-replay league.
With Ordonez on first, Zach Hogueisson hit the very next pitch literally out of sight. Over the scoreboard or the billboards....nobody really knows. You couldn't see the ball.
These JUCO games are availalable by Pay-Per-View on NJCAA TV and also live streaming on Roku.