Dolphins defeat last year’s champs in second round of JUCO World Series
The Alvin Community College Dolphins won the second round of the Alpine Bank JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. by defeating the defending 2007 champions Chipola College 11-8 on May 26.
Although the Indians, of Marianna, Fla., had the lead only once in the game at the top of the first inning with one run, ACC Baseball Head Coach Bryan Alexander called the game a “heavy weight fight.” Solid pitching by starter Guillermo Cienfuegos, of Hidalgo, and strategic offense gave the Dolphins a 4-run lead (5-1) going into the fourth inning, but a three-run homer by the Indians’ Adam Duvall made Chipola a serious threat. ACC quickly earned three runs of their own, however, before ending the inning.
Chipola earned another run in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth to tie the game briefly.
ACC relief pitcher Brett Kinsel, of Baytown, took the mound to close the door on Chipola in the sixth and seventh innings. An RBI by Mark Hudson, of Victoria, at the bottom of the seventh inning put the Dolphins back in the lead 9-8 with a run by Clay Puckett, of Texas City.
The Indians threatened ACC’s lead, again, when the first two batters reached the bags with a walk and single at the top of the eighth. With players on first and third, the Dolphins put Michael Martin, of Texas City, on the mound. An out and a double play, led by Pablo Salinas, of League City, soon followed.
ACC’s Chris Herrmann, of Tomball, used the bottom of the eighth to hit a homer and bring in two additional runs for a more comfortable 11-8 lead.
The Indians were still a potential problem in the top of the ninth with players on first and third, again, and two outs. Dolphins’ outfielder Blake Lynd ended the game, however, when he made a diving catch of a hard hit ball by Chipola’s Marc Bourgeois.
“It was back and forth, back and forth,” Alexander said.
Martin’s performance in the eighth and ninth innings to help stop the Indians earned him the Big O Big Player of the Game honor.
“You just have to stay calm and trust in your defense,” Martin told reporters after the game. “I trust my defense 110 percent.”
Numerous challenges plagued both teams throughout the game. High winds for a majority of the game were both a help and hindrance by preventing homeruns, curving fly balls and swirling up dust.
A major blow came to Chipola when they lost their starting pitcher, Ryan Chaffee, who led the team to the championship last year, in the first inning due to an ankle injury. By the third inning, their third pitcher was on the mound to help stop ACC’s offense. Chipola’s pitching walked three starting batters in the third, fourth and sixth innings.
ACC reached the second round against Chipola by sending the Walters State Community College Senators, of Morristown, Tenn., who were the 2006 World Series champs, to the losers’ bracket with a score of 13-7 in the first game of the series on May 24. The Senators eventually succumbed to Central Arizona College and were eliminated two days later.
With wins over the champions from 2007 and 2006 in the first two games of the double-elimination World Series, the Dolphins were labeled “the giant killers” by sportscasters covering the game.
The Dolphins earned a trip to the JUCO World Series after making a clean sweep in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIV Baseball Tournament and clenching the championship for the first time in the college’s history.
ACC will go on to play the Grayson County College Vikings, of Denison, Texas, on Tuesday, May 27 at 8:30 p.m.
The game will be broadcast live on KACC 89.7 FM. For team and game details, visit