PSC Baseball Earns Trip to JUCO World Series
(Reprinted with permission from Cumberland Times-News)
|Potomac State claimed the NJCAA Division I Eastern District Championship and is headed
to JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, CO. Photo courtesy of www.raymondburner.com
(For JUCO Preview, visit http://www.potomacstatecollege.edu/athletics/mbaseball/baseball_2011/5.24_juco_preview.html )
Colorado, here they come!
Alan Filauro’s two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning on Saturday lifted Potomac State to a 6-4 win over Pitt (N.C.) for the Eastern District Championship and a berth in the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.
Coach Doug Little’s Catamounts will be making their fourth trip to the World Series in eight years, the others having come in 2004, 2005 and 2006. It will be the seventh World Series trip in school history.
“Words can’t describe it,” Little said after beating Pitt in the third game of a three-game district championship series. “I am extremely proud of our players and coaches and thrilled to be going back to Grand Junction.”
Potomac State won the three-game series 2-1. The Catamounts won Friday’s opening game, 2-1. Pitt won game two, on Saturday, 4-1 to force a third game later Saturday afternoon.
Pitt’s Christian Pfaff silenced Potomac State’s bats in the Bulldogs’ win early Saturday. The hard-throwing freshman did not allow a hit until the ninth inning. Tyler Molinaro hit a two-run homerrun and Mike Wetherington an RBI double.
In the deciding game, Potomac State grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, getting singles from Ryan Bennett and Jake Ringold, an RBI double from Nate Antone, an RBI groundout by Zach Markel and a sacrifice fly by Dave McNeill. Alan Filauro’s sacrifice fly in the fourth plated his brother, J.K. Filauro, to make it 4-0.
Starting pitcher Cody Ellsworth held Pitt in check through the first four innings and was aided by diving catches by shortstop Jason Driver on consecutive batters to end the fourth.
But the Bulldogs chipped away, getting to within 4-3 after a homer by Brad Hunter in the seventh and tied it in the seventh. With the bases loaded, Little called on Brendan Miller out of the bullpen and Miller, who hadn’t worked in two weeks, struck out the first hitter he faced and got the next on a grounder to Driver to get out of the inning.
Antone, the Potomac State third baseman, went to the mound and worked out of jams in the eighth and ninth innings. Pitt had the potential winning run at third base in both innings, and both times Antone got the third outs on pop ups to set the stage for the winning 10th.
“I can’t say enough about the job our guys did out of the bullpen,” said Little. “Cody gave us a great start, Austin was very solid, Benny was a bit tired, but gave us a great effort, and Brendan and Nate were outstanding.”
In the Potomac State 10th, T.J. Weisenburg led off with a single but was thrown out at second after a bunt attempt by Driver, who promptly stole second. J.K. Filauro was hit by a pitch to put runner at first and second, and both advanced on Ben Miller’s grounder to first. Alan Filauro then blooped a ball down the right field line that just stayed fair to score Driver and J.K. Filauro and give Potomac State a 6-4 lead and three outs from a return trip to Grand Junction.
In the bottom of the inning, Antone got a pop up and a strikeout before Micah Jarrett singled. Another pop up, this one to Weisenburg, ended the game and punched the Catamounts’ ticket to Colorado.
“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about Grand Junction, Colorado,” said Little. “We were fortunate to go three straight years in 2004, 2005 and 2006, we made some good friends out there and the entire city goes all out for the JUCO World Series. Our guys are going to have the time of their lives.”