(Cowley College Sports Information) WICHITA, Kan. -- In a battle between the top-two seeds at the NJCAA Division I Region VI Baseball Tournament, the second-seeded Cowley College Tigers defeated top-seeded Hutchinson Community College 14-1 Friday at Wichita State University's Eck Stadium to capture the region title for the third time in the past four seasons and advance to the NJCAA JUCO World Series May 25-June 1 in Grand Junction, CO.
Cowley (45-12) went undefeated in Wichita and was stellar in all phases of the game as they out-scored its four opponents 42-4.
"All the credit goes to our guys," Cowley head coach Dave Burroughs said. "They set the tone the first day of the tournament and just got better and better from there."
Hutchinson finishes its season with a record of 44-21. Hutchinson advanced to face the Tigers by rattling off three straight wins out of the losers bracket. The Blue Dragons came back from an 8-0 deficit against Cloud County to win and then scored four runs in its final at bat to defeat Barton before eliminating Colby from the tournament in Saturday's first game.
The Blue Dragons' magic would come to an end against Cowley.
Sophomore Kaid Karnes started on the mound for Cowley and went the first three innings before giving way to freshman Miguel Obeso (5-0), who struck out 10 batters in 4 2/3 dominant innings.
Freshman Dawson Linder (2-0) started on the mound for Hutchinson and walked three batters in the first inning which led to a pair of runs for the Tigers.
Cowley freshman shortstop Logan Steenstra led off the second inning with a single, advanced to second on a ground out, moved to third on a wild pitch, and came around to score on a ground out to second by Cody Milligan.
Cowley would chase Linder from the game after a leadoff single by Daniel DeSimone to start the top of the third inning. Matt Delcambre relieved Linder and stranded DeSimone at third.
Hutchinson's Logan Sartori then tripled off Karnes leading off the bottom of the third and scored on a RBI groundout by Dylan Nedved to cut the Tigers' lead to 3-1.
A double by the Blue Dragons' Ryan Morris leading off the bottom of the fourth chased Karnes from the game. Obeso came on in relief of Karnes, who allowed four hits and only one run in three innings. Obeso struck out the first two batters he faced before getting Brian Skillman to ground out to shortstop to strand Morris at second.
Cowley increased its lead to 4-1 in the top of the fifth inning when Parker Dunn singled, advanced to second on wild pitch, moved to third on a balk by Delcambre and scored on a RBI groundout by George Specht.
With Obeso mowing down hitters and putting zeroes on the board, the Tigers pulled away thanks to a two-run single by first baseman Daniel DeSimone in a five-run sixth inning to make the score 9-1. Cowley would tack on another run in the seventh and got a two-run homer from Cade Stephens in the eighth to lead 12-1.
The Tigers plated two more runs in the ninth and sophomores Jared Wilson, Ethan Swanson, and Ryan Westerhoff came on in relief of Obeso to close the door with two scoreless innings.
Catcher Cody Milligan went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament. Milligan was joined on the All-Tournament team by left fielder Grady Davenport, and pitchers Brannon Jordan and Andrew Roach.
"We are swinging it really well and our pitchers are making pitches," Milligan said. "It was a team effort. We just need to keep playing our game and see what happens."
The Tigers will take a five-game winning streak to the JUCO World Series.
"I look forward to our guys getting to experience Grand Junction," Burroughs said.