Potomac State outlasts Jefferson in opening game of JUCO World Series

Andy Smithmyer_juco

Andy Smithmyer was the first link in a strong pitching chain for Potomac State (W.Va)
College in Saturday’s 8-5 victory over Jefferson (Mo.) College.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Zach Markel belted a two-run double in the eighth inning and finished 3 for 4 with three runs batted in as Potomac State downed Jefferson (Mo.) College 8-5 in the opening game of the Division I Junior College World Series Saturday at Sam Suplizio Field.


It was the sixth postseason win in seven games for Coach Doug Little’s Catamounts, now 36-10 overall. Jefferson, ranked No. 9 in the nation, is now 43-21.


Andy Smithmyer got the win, improving to 12-2 on the year by pitching five innings and allowing three earned runs. He walked six and struck out six. Nate Antone, who came on in the ninth with two on and one out, recorded the final two outs on a double play to earn a save.


Tied 2-2 after three innings, Potomac State took the lead for good, at 5-2, and led 5-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. Jefferson loaded the bases with none out in the sixth, but Potomac State reliever Cody Ellsworth got out of the jam by getting the two, three and four hitters on infield pop-ups to retire the side.


The Catamounts, clinging to a 6-5 lead after seven innings, got a little breathing room in the eighth inning on Markel’s two-run double. Alan Filauro led off the inning by drawing a walk, and after a sacrifice bunt and a fly out, Antone walked to bring up the left-handed hitting Markel, who drove a pitch into the right-center field gap to score Filauro and Antone and make it 8-5. Ellsworth retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth inning with a fly out, ground out and strikeout.


In the ninth, center fielder Jake Ringold made the defensive play of the game with a leaping catch at the wall for the first out. Consecutive walks put runners on first and second and Antone relieved Ellsworth.


Antone, the winning pitcher in the deciding game of the Eastern District Tournament, faced only one batter. A fly out to right fielder Ben Miller turned into a game-ending double play when Miller fired to Markel at first base to catch the Jefferson runner too far off the bag.


Ryan Bennett added a run scoring double. Ringold had two hits and an RBI, Antone had a single, two walks and three runs scored, and Filauro had two hits and drew three bases on balls. Jefferson’s Drew Stanton had two hits and two RBIs. Tyler Thompson, who allowed seven hits and five runs in 4 1-3 innings, was the loser.


Potomac State will play Central Arizona (53-13), the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, on Monday, at 7:30 p.m. MDT. Central Arizona whipped South Georgia 13-3, smacking 16 hits in the five-inning game.


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