Harford (MD) (53-10, 1-1 JUCO) came to their first JUCO World Series with 113 home runs, third in the nation and best at the tournament. Looking at those stats, Harford would be a logical choice for the winners bracket. But following yesterday’s lopsided loss to the No. 1-ranked Chattahoochee Valley, they were not expected to stay in the JUCO World Series very long.
Chattahoochee Valley run-ruled the Fighting Owls’ in Game 1. The Game 1 loss placed Harford in the losers bracket, needing to win to stay alive.
They met Santa Fe (FL) (42-10, 0-2 JUCO) in the first elimination game of the tournament.
Harford was paced by their starting pitcher Josh Silvestri, who went 8.0 innings with four earned runs and eight strikeouts. Silvestri also threw 122 pitches for Harford. With that kind of effort Harford should have definitely won, but Harford is better known for their bats.
Joe Burton, DH, and Ben Bomberger, RF, both had great days at the dish. Bomberger paced the offense with two hits and three RBI’s. Burton had one hit, a solo home run to deep center field off the scoreboard. Only two hitters in the Harford lineup did not record a hit in the game.
Head coach Tom Eller knows the first game vs. CVCC was not his team. “We just played much better today obviously. Obviously Silvestri dominated, timely hitting 2 out hitting. We came in the clutch, so guys did a good job,” Eller said.
The Fighting Owls’ 7-4 victory keeps their fight to win a championship alive, and their first ever appearance in the JUCO World Series alive.