When No. 4 Iowa Western (52-14, 2-1 JUCO) and No. 2 San Jacinto-North (TX) (51-10, 3-0 JUCO) matched up, both were undefeated in the JUCO World Series. After surviving one-run games in their openers, both teams came into Wednesday’s matchup on the heels of sizable wins.
The momentum just kept rolling for the Gators. San Jacinto wound up winning 14-4 in five innings over Iowa Western. San Jacinto scored seven runs in the third and five runs in the fourth anchoring their big win and keeping the Gators’ above water as the last remaining unbeaten in the JUCO World Series.
San Jacinto saw eight of nine in the lineup get at least one hit, and two with multiple. Pacing the Gators from the plate was Donivan Lopez, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs. Three Gators ended with two RBIs apiece, Caden Williams, Baine Schoenvogel and Tanner Schuetz.
“The guys on the team, a bunch of us have experience from last year… all the freshman and sophomores transferring in that haven’t been here before maybe have jitters like y’all saw in the first game. That doesn’t matter like non of us worry about that because if you punch us in the mouth were just going to come punch you harder… when you get here it doesn’t matter because its the playoffs,” Williams said.
On the mound for the Gators, Garrett Hutson silenced the potent bats for Iowa Western with three innings pitched, giving up four hits with four runs and three strikeouts on 75 pitches. In relief, Cody Nesbit, who picked up where Hutson left off, went two innings of work giving up only one hit with two strikeouts on 38 pitches.
With the big win San Jacinto is in the driver’s seat as they face No. 1 Chattahoochee Valley (AL), who is 1-1 so far in the JUCO World Series. The loss drops Iowa Western into the losers bracket playing Yavapai (AZ) CC in an elimination game.