Bulldogs, Iowa Western clash in JUCO semifinal

Bulldogs, Iowa Western clash in JUCO semifinal

By MIKE MONTFORT¬† —

GRAND JUNCTION, Co — Navarro remains one of four teams standing Thursday as The Alpine Bank JUCO World Series reaches the semifinal stage.

Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs (40-17) plays ninth-ranked Northern District Champion Iowa Western (51-9) in Thursday’s 7:30 pm MT game at Sam Suplizio Field.

Navarro, one of three one-loss teams in the field, challenges the tournament unbeaten Reivers in the evening’s feature game for the right to advance to a 7 pm MT Friday championship game.

Thursday’s 3 pm MT semifinal pairing features once-beatens Central Arizona (48-20) and third-ranked Walters State (54-10) in an elimination-bracket battle.

Iowa Western dictated Thursday’s pairings by rallying with eight unanswered runs to defeat WSCC’s Senators, 11-8.¬† The Reivers scored four ninth-inning runs off Senators top relievers Kody Davidson and Gage Gillian, using consecutive pinch-hit singles from Jevon Smith and Jaden Rolffs to deliver the go-ahead runs.

Central Arizona secured a 14-5 win over Southeastern District Champion Chattahoochee Valley and sent the Pirates home.

The four semifinalist programs have combined for 39 JUCO World Series appearances, seven championships and 17 Top-4 finishes.