Eagles couldn't stop offense
By by Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
May 31, 2004
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Meridian Community College couldn't stop Grayson County (Texas) College from scoring when it needed to most in the Eagles' elimination loss at the Junior College World Series.
After the Eagles were shut out in the top of the third, the Vikings scored five runs to take a 12-8 lead. MCC climbed back into the game in the top of the sixth to cut a 13-8 Grayson lead to 13-12, but the Vikings responded with four runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 17-12 advantage.
The Eagles scratched out one run in the top eight, but the Vikings scored again to negate any momentum MCC picked up from scoring.
Grayson kept MCC from scoring runs in four innings, while the Eagles only shut out the Vikings in two innings in an 18-13 loss.
In the stands
MCC head coach Mike Federico had to watch the final four innings of his team's loss to Grayson from the stands. The third-year Eagles skipper was thrown out of Sunday's game for arguing a call at third base.
MCC third baseman Van Pope appeared to catch a relay throw from shortstop Michael Murray before a Grayson runner arrived at the bag. The third base umpire called the runner safe, sending Federico sprinting out onto the field from the first-base dugout.
Federico was quickly signaled to leave the playing field and watched the rest of the game from the left-field bleachers.
Federico had argued a call right before the play at third base when a Grayson runner was called safe at first base. MCC second baseman Kyle Ginn picked up a grounder just past the infield dirt and appeared to get the ball to an outstretched Joey Lieberman at first in time for an out.
The first base umpire, who Federico argued about a balk call with earlier in the game, ruled the runner safe.
Grayson sent its seventh, eighth and ninth batters to lead off four of the eight innings it batted in during the win over MCC.
Vikings seventh hitter Rob Mann led off the second, third, fourth and sixth innings, and he was followed by Joseph Hunter and Jorge Lopez.
Mann went 4-for-5 and scored three times. Hunter went 1-for-1 scoring three runs and drawing two walks. Lopez went 0-for-3, but he scored once and drew two walks.
Fans still come
Rain didn't seem to dampen the community of Grand Junction's spirits for the World Series.
Despite rain throughout the first game of opening day and intermittent showers throughout the rest of the day, the four games on Saturday drew a total of 23,100 fans.
The night game drew a high attendance of 9,361.
Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College fields a melting pot of players on its Falcons' baseball team.
Indian Hills has 10 international players on its 26-man roster. The Falcons have five players from Puerto Rico, two players from Japan, and one player each from Canada, the Dominican Republic and Aruba.
The Falcons coach, Cam Walker, is also from Canada.
Middle Georgia is second on the list of international players on a squad, with two. The Warriors have one player from Venezuela and one form Puerto Rico.
Grayson and Seminole State (Okla.) College each have one player from Canada to round out the international players in the 2004 World Series.
MCC assistant coach L.C. Smith and pitcher Chad Catalano will not return to Mississippi with the team following the World Series.
Smith, who was a member the Eagles 1998 World Series team, and Catalano will leave for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
Catalano will pitch on the summer league team, and Smith will be a coach for the team, which plays in the Northwood League.