Connors State tops Delgado in district final

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In a wild finale to the South Central District regional tournament, Connors State College of Oklahoma held on to defeat Delgado Community College 16-14 Sunday at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin, Missouri.

Connors advances to the Junior College World Series with the victory, while Delgado – which needed two wins on Sunday to advance – ended its season at 36-14.

Thanks largely to the bat of first baseman Hayden Fuentes, who went 5-for-5 with three home runs and seven RBI, Delgado rallied from 6-0 and 10-5 deficits to tie the game at 10-10 with four runs in the top of the eighth, but a grand slam by Chris Mondesi sparked a six-run bottom of the eighth to give Connors a 16-10 lead.

Delgado wasn’t done, however. Fuentes’ fifth hit of the day, a double, made it 16-11, and Beau Freeman followed with a two-run homer to cut the lead to 16-13. A pinch-hit double by Lyall Ball and three consecutive walks pulled Delgado within a pair and put the tying run in scoring position.

Ross Scelfo hit a liner that went off third baseman David Mendham’s glove and popped into the air. Mendham recovered, touched third and then fired home, where Brandon Briuglio was tagged out to end the game.

Fuentes – who had not homered all season before Sunday – hit a three-run homer in the fourth, a solo shot in the sixth and a two-run blast in the eighth. Briuglio also homered for the Dolphins.

While Delgado will not advance its team to Grand Junction, Colorado, head coach Joe Scheuermann will be in attendance as he is inducted into the Junior College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame Friday night.

Delgado 000 321 044 – 14 19 2
Connors State 123 130 06x – 16 16 2
W-Traylor. L-Dugas. Save-Acosta.
HR-Delgado: Fuentes 3, Briuglio, Freeman. Connors State: Mondesi.

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny has been involved in college athletics since the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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