Connors State has moved up two spots in the NJCAA Baseball National Rankings, advancing from No. 5 to No. 3 in the latest poll out of Colorado Springs, Colo., office released Wednesday, May 22.
The Cowboys (52-9) was awarded 3 first place votes and received 174 votes, trailing No. 1 Spartanburg Methodist College (45-13) which received 4 first place votes and 188 votes. Navarro College (43-15), which received 3 first place votes, garnered 181 total votes is ranked No. 2.
Connors will play No. 2 Navarro Saturday night in the NJCAA College World Series Saturday night at Grand Junction, Colo. at 7:30 p.m. CDT.
NJCAA NATIONAL RANKINGS
1, Spartanburg Methodist (45-13). 2, Navarro College (43-15. 3, Connors State (52-9). 4, Cochise College (49-17. 5, Midland College (47-13). 6, Palm Beach State College (38-19). 7, Walters State College (37-16). 8, Central Alabama Community College (38-13). 9, Kaskaskia College (39-10). 10, Iowa Western Community College (45-14).
11, Cowley County Community College (45-11). 12, Delgado Community College (47-11). 13, Crowder College (47-13). 14, Neosho County Community College (35-25). 15, State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota (44-14). 16, Western Nevada College (43-20). 17, Tallahassee Community College (46-10). 18, Grayson College (40-18). 19, Potomac State College of WVU (39-16). 20, Northeastern Junior College (40-21).
Connors State Cowboys are returning to the NJCAA College World Series.
The No. 5 ranked Cowboys for the second day in a row defeated the top-ranked Delgado Dolphins in the South Central District Baseball Tournament 3-1 Saturday afternoon at Biff Thompson Field and earned its first trip since 2008 to the CWS.
The Cowboys (52-9) will open CWS play on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. CDT in Grand Junction, Colo. against the Southern District Champion, Navarro College (43-15), who defeated Alvin Community College 4-2 in the championship game Saturday.
“This has been us all year, we just compete every time at the bat and find ways to win,” said Cowboys head coach Perry Keith, who will be taking his fifth team to the CWS.
“This is just great. We are proud to go back to Grand Junction. This team is just even keel enough that we could really do something special.
“I think people will know we are there. We are going to get after people. We are just going to keep grinding like we have all year.”
The Cowboys behind the suburb pitching of right-hander Daniel Concepcion and some timely base hitting was in complete control of the Dolphins.
It was Connors second consecutive win over Delgado, which faced a must win situation on Saturday, Delgado fell to Connors in 10 innings, 11-10 on Friday night.
Cowboys right hander Daniel Concepcion (8-1) went 8 innings, scattered seven hits, while striking out 6, and walking two. Concepcion threw 117 pitches during his stint, 72 were for strikes.
“Daniel did a great job,” said Keith. “He was able to get his changeup against their left handers (batters). He’s been that way the whole year. That’s our ball club.”
Concepcion attributed his success on Saturday by “keeping ahead on the count.”
“My teammates got me a lead and I just tried to put the pitches on the corner. “
The sophomore from Dorado, Puerto Rico, told Keith after the seventh inning that he could go one more inning before being relieved by closer Justin Ferrell in the ninth.
“I was tired, it was my game, but I wasn’t going to let down that easy,” said Concepcion. “I worked for it (win) and I just wanted one more inning. I told coach I had it. This was my biggest win in my career so far,” said Concepcion.
Ferrell, freshman from Wagoner, closed out the game for his eighth save of the season, faced just four Delgado batters, walking one, said “this is means everything.
“I got to seal the deal for us,” said Ferrell.
The Dolphins used two pitchers against the Cowboys, who pounded out nine base hits, with Chase Hymel (7-2) taking the loss. Hymel went six innings, allowing 6 base hits, striking out one and walking six. Hymel was relieved by Brandt Bourgeois, who worked the final three innings.
Connors jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a base hit and two sacrifice bunts against Hymel.
Victor Claudio walked to open the frame, followed by another walk to Eli Roundtree. Jiro Morales then moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Eric Kirkpatrick then singled home Claudio with a ground ball to center field for a 1-0 lead. Dalton Daniels then brought home Roundtree on a squeeze play, giving Connors a 2-0 advantage.
The Cowboys took a 3-0 lead in the fourth when Morales scored on an error by Delgado first baseman Cameron Hoffman. Dolphins’ third baseman Jordan Caillouet made a diving stop of a Christian Perez ground ball and on the throw to first, Hoffman in stretching for the low throw dropped it, allowing Morales to score.
Delgado got on the scoreboard in the last of the sixth when Voiron’s sacrifice fly to right field plated Brady Williamson, who doubled to open the inning. Williamson advanced to third on Patrick Riley’s infield out.
Connors last appearance in the College World Series was 2008. “This team has stuck it all year, they have never had any ups or downs,” said Keith. “This has been an easy bunch to coach. They are good to go every day, no matter what’s going on.
“What’s so special about this team is that they stick it every day. They don’t panic, the Region II Tournament was a good example, we were behind every game and came back to win it.
“This is such a good feeling,” said Keith.
CONNORS STATE 3, DELGADO 1
Connors State 020 100 000—3 9 1
Delgado 000 001 000—1 7-1
Concepcion, Ferrell (9) and Morales; Hymel, Bourgeois (7) and Voiron. W-Concepcion (8-1). L-Hymel (7-2).
WARNER – Connors State is just one victory away from advancing to the NJCAA College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. next week.
The Cowboys overpowered Maple Woods 9-5 in their opening game of the NJCAA South Central District and followed with a stunning 11-10 victory in 10 innings over No. 1-ranked Delgado Community College Friday night at Biff Thompson Field.
The fifth-ranked Cowboys (51-9) will meet Delgado at 1 p.m. Saturday in the championship game. A Delgado win would force a third game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Deadlocked at 10-10, Cowboys’ Tyler Fourkiller, the second Cowboy to be hit by a pitch in the inning, forced home Tyson Tackett, who was running for Phil Diedrick with the winning run.
Diedrick, who singled to right field to open the 10th, moved to second base on Victor Claudio’s sacrifice bunt. Eli Roundtree then walked, and Jiro Morales was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That set the stage for the winning run.
Once again the “cardiac kids” find ways to win as they set their sights on a South Central District Title and a return trip to the CWS, their first since 2008.
Justin Ferrell (4-1), who took over for Andrew Simonetti in the seventh was the winning pitcher. Simonetti relieved starter Kelvin Rivas in the sixth.
“Man, this was ugly,” said Connors head coach Perry Keith, adding “But I’ll take it. This has been the way we’ve played all year.
Connors took advantage of two Delgado errors and a pair of base hits to grab 3-0 lead after two innings. Eli Roundtree’s base hit plated a run and Dalton Daniels was hit by a pitch to force in another run with the bases loaded. The third run came by way of a Dolphin error.
Yariel Gonzalez blasted his 11th home run of the year over the left field wall to open the third frame and five Connors a 3-2 lead. Cowboys then added two more runs for a 5-2 lead on RBI single by Erik Kirkpatrick and another Delgado throwing error.
Phil Diedrick, who was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game, scored on a single by Eli Roundtree that bounced over the second baseman’s head, giving Connors a 6-2 lead.
Delgado came back with three runs in the fifth, but the Cowboys answered with three of their own, taking advantage of two Dolphin errors and two base hits. Korey Keith connected on an RBI base hit and Diedrick sent two more across the plate with a single to right center field, giving Connors a 9-5 lead.
Connors continued to add to its total with a run in the sixth for a 10-5 advantage. A sacrifice fly by Perez scored Chance Sugg, who was running for Eric Kirkpatrick, who had doubled to open the inning.
Delgado added a run in the sixth and then scored four more in the seventh to tie the game at 10-all.
Cowboys jumped on Maple Woods starter Grant Woods for five runs in the second inning of their first game, sending nine batters to the plate en route to the 9-5 victory.
The Connors’ win eliminated Maple Woods for the South Central District as the Monarchs completed the season 25-27.
Josh Hammill (7-0) went eight innings, for the Cowboys before being lifted after two back to back walks. He was relieved by Simmonetti. Hammill scattered eight hits and walked eight in posting the win.
“I really wanted to go the distance, but I started feel it (tired) in the seventh when I sat down,” said Hammill. “I lost a little off my fast ball, got behind on the hitters and just couldn’t throw strikes. I just got tired and told coach (Keith) to take me out.”
Hammill credited his teammates for giving him an early lead. “They really hit the ball and gave me a lot of support. It’s a great feeling to get this win.”
Connors collected 11 base hits in the game with Victor Claudio leading the hitting assault with three base hits in five trips. Jiro Morales had two base hits.
The Monarchs scored two runs in the third, connecting on two hits against Hammill. The big blow was a 2-run RBI double by Nick Elmore to make it a 5-2 game.
Cowboys upped its lead to 7-2 in the fourth on RBI base hit by Claudio and sacrifice fly by Yariel Gonzalez that scored Dalton Daniels, who walked to begin the inning.
Connors hitting assault continued in the fifth with three more hits, which resulted in two runs, RBI single by Dalton Daniels and a sacrifice fly to center field by Christian Perez that plated Jiro Morales for a 9-2 Cowboys lead.
Monarchs’ Will Carter made it a 9-4 game with a 2-run blast over the right field wall in the seventh inning.
Connors State 11, Delgado 10 (10)
Delgado 002 031 400 0—10 11 5
Connors 032 131 000 1--11 9 6
Liberta, Shearman (3), Deckwa (8) and Eades; Rivas, Simonetti (6), Ferell (7) and Morales
Connors State 9, Maple Woods 5
Connors 050 220 000-9 11 0
Maple Woods 002 000 201--5 6 2
Hammill, Simmonetti (9) and Morales; Woods , Deckard (2), Riley (4) and Rodriquez. W-Hammill (7-0). L-Woods.
Connors State has moved six spots from No. 11 to No. 5 in the latest NJCAA Baseball poll it was announced Wednesday.
The Cowboys (49-9) will host the NJCAA South Central District Tournament beginning Friday with Maple Woods of Missouri (25-25) and Delgado (46-9) of New Orleans.
Delgado is ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA poll, receiving 78 of 10 first place votes for 196 total points. Connors State received 145 points. Iowa Western(43-12) is ranked No. 2 and received 2 first place votes, while No.9 ranked Cowley County (45-11) received 1 first place vote. Maple Woods is unranked.
Maple Woods and Delgado will open tournament play at noon, Friday followed by Connors and Maple Woods at 3:30 and Connors –Delgado at 7 p.m. All games are played at Biff Thompson Field.
1, Delgado (46-9). 2, Iowa Western (43-12). 3, Spartanburg Methodist (42-13). 4, Navarro (41-15). 5, Connors State (49-9). 6, Cochise College (46-16). 7, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (44-12). 8, Midland College (45-13). 9, Cowley County (45-11). 10, Tallahassee Community College (46-10). 11, Western Nevada (41-18). 12, Crowder (47-13). 13, Walters State (35-16). 14, Middle Georgia State (39-13). 15, Potomac State (38-14). 16, Northeastern JC (40-19). 17, College of Southern Nevada (40-17). 18, Grayson College (38-17). 19, Kaskaskia College (36-10). ASA College (34-8).
The opening round of the NJCAA South Central District Baseball Tournament at Biff Thompson Field on the campus of Connors State College will begin at noon Friday, May 17.
The double elimination tournament will open with Maple Woods Community College of Missouri (25-25) playing Delgado Community College of New Orleans (46-9) at noon.
Connors State (49-9) will then play Maple Woods at 3:30 p.m., followed by Connors playing Delgado at 7 p.m.
Elimination game will be played at 1 p.m. Saturday and an if necessary game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.
The winner of the South Central District advances to the NJCAA College World Series in Grand Junction beginning May 25th.
WARNER ---Connors State College will host the NJCAA South Central Regional as champions of the Region II beginning Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19 at Biff Thompson.
Also advancing to the double elimination tournament is Region 16 champion Maple Woods Community College of Missouri and Delgado Community College of New Orleans, La.
Maple Woods upset No. 6 Crowder, Mo. In the Region 6 title game 9-6. The Monarchs enter the tournament with a 25-25 record.
Delgado defeated Baton Rouge Community College 5-2 and enters South Central play with a 46-9 record and No. 3 national ranking.
The Cowboys are No. 11 in the NJCAA poll and enter tournament play with a 49-9 record. It will be Connors first appearance in the South Central since 2008 when they took the title and advanced to the College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.
The winner advances to the NJCAA College World Series in Grand Junction, which begins May 25th.
Regional brackets and times will be announced later in the week.
Just like they have all season, the Connors State Cowboys have grind out victories. Sunday afternoon at Hinch Field inJenks was no different.
The Cowboys rallied from a 2-0 deficit with six runs in the seventh inning to win the NJCAA Region II Baseball Tournament 6-2 over Seminole State College.
“I can’t be more proud of these guys,” said Cowboys head coach Perry Keith. “We’ve done this all year, just a grind it out ball club. We got behind 2-0, and I knew we would come back.
“Our guys just don’t panic. This has been an outstanding group to coach. Just a bunch of grinders, nothing fancy.”
The victory sends the No. 11-ranked Cowboys into the NJCAA South Central District beginning Friday at Connors State’s Biff Thompson Field. The double elimination tournament runs through Sunday and will involve the Cowboys and the champions from Regions 16, 23 whose’s finals were late Sunday night.
It will be the Cowboys first appearance in the South Central District since 2008 when they took the championship and advanced to the NJCAA College World Series.
CSC’s starter Colton Strother (5-2), sophomore from Broken Arrows threw seven innings gave up a home run in the fifth and another run in the top of the seventh when his teammates’ bats came alive in their half of the inning.
Strother scattered five hits, struck out four and walked three in getting the win. Keith then called on closer Justin Ferrell to work the final two innings facing seven Seminole batters striking out two and giving up two hits.
“This is so exciting, I’ve been dreaming about this championship game all year,” said Strother. “We’ve worked hard for this. I just wanted to come in and throw strikes and no walks.
“I knew I had a good defense behind me and a good offense ahead. The seventh inning was huge for us. It took the pressure off,” said Strother.
The Cowboys sent 11 batters to the plate in the seventh and pounded out six base hits. The big blow of the inning was Phil Diedrick’s two-run RBI single down the right field line. Diedrick’s single gave the Cowboys a 6-2 lead.
Diedrick, who went 3-for-4 at the plate said he got his pitch and just “drove it where it was thrown.”
“This is a good year to continue my sophomore year,” said Diedrick. “I got the pitch I was looking for. I knew left on left he (Jordan Watson) would throw a breaking ball. I was trying to get something up so I could elevate it for a fly ball to get a run in.”
Diedrick opened the seventh inning with a single to right field followed by Victor Claudio’s base hit to center field. After Eli Roundtree flew out to the shortstop, Jiro Morales drove home Diedrick with Connors first run, to make it a 2-1 game.
Erick Kirkpatrick then got a base hit to keep the bases loaded. Dalton Daniels ground ball to Seminole’s second baseman Melvin Gray was mishandled, allowing Claudio to score tying the game at 2-2.
Christian Perez then laced a shot to centerfield that brought home Dalton with the go ahead run. Keith then hit an opposite field single to left field. On the play Chance Sugg, running for Kirkpatrick was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning.
Yariel Gonzalez walked, setting the stage for Diedrick’s second hit of the game, which plated two more runs.
“I knew we were going to break through,” said Diedrick. “We are that kind of team, a grind it out team. It was only a matter of time.”
The victory was Perry’s first win over Seminole head Coach Lloyd (Zero) Simmons in Region II Tournament action.
“We’ve had a lot of battles,” said Perry. “Lloyd and I are just country boys at work. Just baseball guys.”
Concerning the pitching performance of Strother, Perry said, “What we got out of Colton was just great. If you would have told me he would held them with zeroes for five innings, then do what he did.
“We were hoping to get 5 or 6 innings from him and then give it to Ferrell. Colton just kept going and then we popped that lead.
“We got our bats going, That’s what this club has done all year,” said Keith.
Looking ahead at the South Central, Keith said “We’ll enjoy this till midnight then just be who we are…grinders.”
Named to the Region II All-Tournament team from Connors was Phil Diedrick, Yariel Gonzalez, Christian Perez, Kelvin Rivas and Colton Strother.
Cowboys’ head coach Perry Keith was named the Region II Coach of the Year.
JENKS – Connors State pounded out 18 base hits en route to a 14-10 victory over Northeastern A&M Saturday at Hinch Field and a return to the NJCAA Region II Baseball championship game Sunday afternoon.
The Cowboys (48-9) will play for the title at 1 p.m. at Hinch Field against an opponent yet to be determined.
Eastern State and Seminole State met in an elimination game and the winner then played Northeastern A&M late Saturday, with the winner advancing to play the Cowboys. Whoever reaches the title game against the Cowboys they must win twice for the crown. An if necessary game would be played at 4 p.m.
It will be the Cowboys second consecutive year to reach the championship round, having lost to Eastern State, who is the defending champion.
“This team just grinds,” said Connors head coach Perry Keith, adding, “That’s what we’ve done all year. “It’s never one guy; we have all nine guys contributing. We are who we are in the tournament. They don’t panic. We make people throw strikes and we put it in play.
“I happy to be in the championship round,” said Keith. When asked if he had a preference to play for the title he said, “No not really. The enemy is in the mirror and it will take care of itself.”
The winner of the Region II Championship will host the South Central District beginning Friday and runs through Sunday. It will be a double elimination tournament.
Christian Perez led the Connors hitting assault with a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, which included a 3-run homer in the second inning, which game the Cowboys a 3-2 advantage, a lead they never relinquished. Perez finished with four RBIs on the day.
Korey Keith was 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and Yariel Gonzalez with two hits and 2 RBIs along with Eli Roundtree and Erik Kirkpatrick with two hits each.
Connors starting pitcher Josh Hammill remains unbeaten at 7-0 as he went five innings. He left the game with the Cowboys holding a 7-3 lead. Cowboys then called to the bullpen four other times to preserve the win.
Daniel Concepcion threw four innings, Sawyer Bernard 1/3 of an inning and Andrew Simonetti 2/3 of an inning.
Cowboys broke the game open in the sixth inning when they sent 12 batters to the plate, pounding out four base hits, which resulted in seven runs crossing the plate for a 13-3 Connors advantage.
The Cowboys hoped to run-rule the Norsemen in the seventh, however, NEO scored three in the top of the seventh to make it a 13-6 game. Connors added another run in the eighth and NEO added to their total with one the eighth and three more in the ninth.
The Norsemen had 10 base hits against Connors’ four pitchers, who only issued four walks and struck out six.
JENKS –Kelvin Rivas struck out 12 batters and worked out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth inning in pitching the No. 11-ranked Connors Cowboys to a 5-3 victory over Rose State in the NJCAA Region II Baseball Tournament Friday night at Hinch Field.
Rivas scattered six hits in posting his eighth win of the season against two losses. He walked four in his eight innings on the mound. Justin Ferrell pitched the ninth inning to preserve the victory.
Cowboys pounded out nine base hits with Yariel Gonzalez, Victor Claudio leading the offensive attack with two hits each. Rose State closes the year at 28-25.
The Cowboys (47-9) will meet Northeastern A&M at noon today in a winner’s bracket game. The Norsemen (32-15) advanced by defeating Eastern Oklahoma State 11-0. The Cowboys and NEO split the four-game series during the regular season.
Seminole State (37-17) ousted Arkansas Baptist (27-31) earlier in the day 15-4 and will play Eastern State at 3:30 p.m. in an elimination game.
Rivas got off to a shaky start in the first inning as the Raiders struck for two base hits and a 2-0 lead. Derek Jones and Joe Black reached on back-to-back base hits and scored on a double by Garrett Crain.
Claudio connected on his first home run of the season with a blast over the left center field fence in the second inning to make it a 2-1 game.
Connors used one base hit in the third inning to take a 3-2 lead. Korey Keith’s single into right center field plated Dalton Daniels, who had reached first when he was hit on pitch by Dillon Endecott. Christian Perez reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Yariel Gonzalez’ fielder’s choice.
Cowboys increased its lead to 5-2 in the fifth inning when Gonzalez’ base hit to center field was misplayed by the center fielder that allowed Dalton Daniels and Keith to score. Daniels had reached on a fielder’s choice and Keith walked.
Rose State’s Ryan Bottger connected for a home run against Rivas in the top of the sixth to make it a 5-3 game.
JENKS –Christian Perez drove a line shot down the left field line to score Jiro Morales from second base in the last of the ninth to lift the 11-ranked Connors Cowboys to a come from behind 11-10 victory over Arkansas Baptist in a first round game of the NJCAA Region II Baseball Tournament at Hinch Field Friday.
The game, which started at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, and was postponed due to rain, lightning at 12:15 Friday morning, was resumed in the sixth inning at noon Friday, in which the Cowboys trailed 8-5.
The win sends Cowboys (46-9) into the winner’s bracket against Rose State Friday night. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.; however, the tournament was approximately one hour behind in play.
Arkansas Baptist (27-30) next met Seminole State (36-17) in an elimination game. Eastern State (25-28) and Northeastern A&M (31-15) were also playing ahead of the Connors Rose State game.
Cowboys cut the Arkansas Baptist lead to 8-7 in the seventh on an RBI single by Phil Diedrick that scored Kory Keith, and Diedrick scored on an infield out by Eli Roundtree.
Connors took the lead in the eighth when Yariel Gonzalez’ unloaded his 11th home run of the year, a 3-run shot over the left center field wall for a 10-8 Cowboys’ lead.
Gonzalez’ blast scored Dalton Daniels, who singled, Keith, who had reached on a walk.
However, the Buffaloes tied the game 10-10 in the top of the ninth on a two-run homer by Turner Rockwell.
That set the stage for Christian’s heroics. Following an infield ground out by Roundtree, Jiro Morales walked, followed by a single to center field by Erik Kirkpatrick. Daniels then struck out and Pérez followed with his base hit to left field, scoring Morales.
Daniel Concepcion started on the mound for the Cowboys in the seventh, but was relieved by Justin Ferrell (4-1) in the ninth, who got the win.