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Vaqueros fall to Iowa Western in NJCAA World Series

Liam Spence homered as first batter in Central's JUCO loss Tuesday.
Liam Spence homered as first batter in Central's JUCO loss Tuesday.

Ed Petruska-Contributing Writer Pinal Central

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Other than hitting a couple of home runs, little went right for the Central Arizona College baseball team in Tuesday night's NJCAA World Series game against Iowa Western.

The Vaqueros were limited to five hits and committed three errors in a 14-4 loss to the Reivers at Sam Suplizio Field. They will play an elimination game on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Arizona time against Chattahoochee Valley, Alabama.

Leadoff batter Liam Spence homered off Iowa Western pitcher Jordan Bonk on the game's fourth pitch to give Central (47-20) an instant 1-0 advantage. But the Reivers (50-9) answered with two runs in the bottom of the first off CAC pitcher Avery Jones.

Cooper Bowman's leadoff homer made it 1-1. Caleb Balgaard followed with a double, and he scored on a single by Ronald Sweeny III.

Iowa Western put up three runs (all unearned) in the second inning and extended its lead to 12-1 with three in the third and four in the fourth. The game ended under the mercy rule in the bottom of the sixth when the Reivers scored two runs.

Pinch hitter Luke Schwartz drilled a two-run homer in the CAC fifth following a leadoff walk to pinch hitter Matt Aribal. Schwartz also had an RBI single in the sixth.

The only other hits for the Vaqueros were singles by Hunter Jump in the second inning and Spence in the fifth.

Two of Iowa Western's second-inning runs scored on a throwing error. Sweeny's sacrifice fly made it 5-1.

The big hits in the third inning for the Reivers were Balgaard's two-run double and an RBI double by Ross Indlecoffer off reliever Tyler Woessner.
Indlecoffer, the No. 9 batter, hit a three-run homer in the fourth off Leo Palacios.

Iowa Western's final two runs scored on an error and a wild pitch with Jye Deeble pitching for CAC.

The Reivers finished with 13 hits. Indlecoffer went 4 for 4, and Iowa Western got two hits apiece from Balgaard and Colin Kasperbauer.

The Reivers had 21 hits, including four home runs and four doubles, in Sunday's 18-10 win over Connors State, Oklahoma.

Iowa Western and Walters State, Tennessee, are both 2-0 in the tournament. The three remaining one-loss teams are CAC, Chattahoochee Valley and Navarro, Texas. Five teams have been eliminated.

The Vaqueros routed Chattahoochee Valley 10-2 on Monday. If they stay alive, they will play the Iowa Western-Walters State loser on Thursday.

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