Weatherford hits 2 homers in 9th for walkoff win over Delgado at JUCO World Series

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The roles were reversed for the Delgado Dolphins in first-round of the 2023 NJCAA World Series.

After posting four walk-off wins in six post season games, the Dolphins fell in walk-off fashion 10-9 to Weatherford College at Suplizio Field.

Weatherford (51-9) got back-to-back home runs from Jack Arthur and Robin Villeneuve to stun the Dolphins in the bottom of the ninth inning. Arthur blasted a game-tying, two-run home run to center field and Villeneuve followed with a walk-off home run to left field to give the Coyotes the win in their first-ever trip to Grand Junction.

The two home runs came off Delgado closer Kaile Levatino (6-2), who suffered his second loss of the season.

“That’s who we are,” Weatherford head coach Jeff Lightfoot said. “We have had a lot big moments in the post-season. I wasn’t worried in the bottom of the bottom of the ninth. We’ve come back before.”

The Coyotes posted their 19th straight win on Saturday, the longest winning streak in the nation. The win over Delgado was their third comeback win in five post-season games.

Delgado (45-12) trailed 7-2 after five innings but battled back to take an 8-7 lead in the eighth inning.

Tyler Cook had an RBI single in the sixth, and Brock Slaton smashed a two-run home run in the seventh to make it 7-5. It was his 11th home run of the year.

Delgado took its first lead with three runs in the eighth inning off four different pitchers. The three runs crossed the plate on a walk, a balk and wild pitch to give the Dolphins an 8-7 lead. In all, Weatherford threw 52 pitches in the nearly 30-minute half inning.

Delgado stretched the lead to 9-7 in the ninth inning when pinch-hitter Cole Stromboe delivered a two-out base hit.

The Dolphins out-hit the Coyotes 13-10 in the game, but stranded 12 base runners.

“We left a lot of runners on base,” Delgado head coach Joe Scheuermann said. “They had a lot of big two-out hits, we did not.”

Weatherford second baseman Jack Clark homered on the first pitch of the game and added a sac fly in the second to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead.

Alexander drilled a solo home run in the third to cut the lead to 2-1. It was his 11th homer of the year. The Coyotes answered back with two runs in the bottom of the third to push the lead to 4-1.

Logan O’Neill stroked an RBI double in the fourth to cut the lead to 4-2. The Coyotes answered again when Clark drilled his second home run of the game, a two-run shot to center to push the lead to 7-2.

“The first half of the game belonged to Weatherford and the second half of the game belonged to us,” Scheuermann said. “We let it get away from us. I can’t say enough about the kids, they were phenomenal. We battled the whole game.

Delgado, who is now 0-6 all-time in first round games as the NJCAA World Series, will play Andrew College on Sunday at 3 p.m. (CT) in an elimination game. Central Florida run-ruled Andrew 12-0. The Patriots belted three home runs in the blowout win. Brian Holiday (10-0) recorded 14 strikeouts in five innings.

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