“The hardest thing to do in baseball is to hit a round baseball with a round bat squarely,” Ted Williams, legendary baseball player, said.

That is exactly what #2 San Jacinto-North (TX) Gators (49-10, 1-0 JUCO) did, but not until being down by seven in the first inning.

San Jacinto in their opening game of the JUCO World Series matched up with the Cowley College (KS) Tigers (44-17, 0-1 JUCO). As the game started San Jacinto struggled to get the sticks going in the first half-inning. The bottom of the first, however, proved to be a completely different story for Cowley.

Cowley went on to score seven total runs, all unearned, in the first. San Jacinto had their work cut out for them coming back up too bat. The Gators’ would get blanked in the second, then came the third when the Gators’ spark plug turned the game around.

With Cowley in control, up stepped Ryan January who would send a towering three-run home run to right field, his first of two on the night. January’s home run sparked the Gators, who took control at that moment in the fourth. Devin Smeltzer, on the mound for San Jacinto, settled in after the first, throwing six innings with seven strikeouts. Cody Nesbit’s then took over blanking Cowley for the rest of the game.

The shutdown pitching allowed San Jacinto to get back in the game on offense. In the top of the ninth inning, down 7-6, San Jacinto hit back-to-back solo home runs to give the Gators the 8-7 lead. The home runs came off the bats of Baine Schoenvogel and Liam Scafariello.

January would pace the team with two home runs and five RBIs. The San Jacinto offense did this off of an effort by Cowley College pitcher Carson LaRue, who went 8.1 innings on 116 pitches throwing 10 strike outs. San Jacinto stays in the winners bracket with the unbelievable comeback victory.