WOSC will play the winner of LSU-Eunice - Heartland Community College for the Division II national championship on June 2 . The Pioneers received a bye as a result of playing the most games of the three remaining teams. All three clubs have one loss in the double-elimination tournament which is being held for the fourth straight year in Enid, Okla.
The Pioneers -- the defending national champions -- are 4-1 in World Series play. Western Oklahoma St. defeated Grand Rapids Community College 9-1 in 7 innings, Scottsdale Community College 8-5, Des Moines Area Community College 3-1and Madison College 17-11. The Pioneers lost to Heartland 8-4 on May 31.
WOSC (48-16) is making their fifth straight appearance in the World Series. The Pioneers finished the regular season ranked sixth in the NJCAA national poll.
May 31 games
Weather has caused WOSC some scheduling problems starting May 29. The Pioneers game -- originally scheduled for May 29 -- against Des Moines Area CC was moved to the early afternoon on May 30 which forced WOSC to play two games that day. Then during the Pioneers second game versus Heartland CC, a weather delay in the eighth inning forced WOSC to finish that game on May 31 which again caused the Pioneers to play two games in a day.
WOSC's game against Madison (Wisc.) on May 30 turned out to be a slugfest. Madison opened up the scoring in the top of the first by tallying four runs against Pioneer freshman starter Felix Frias. WOSC quickly answered back as they scored five runs in the bottom of the first as sophomore Michael Cruz and freshman Cesar Figuereo swatted homers. For the game, Cruz -- finished the game with 8 RBIs and three hits -- ripped a World Series record three homers while Figuereo -- also had three hits and four RBIs -- added another for a two-homer game.
The Pioneers and Madison combed for 28 runs, 31 hits, 21 strikeouts and 9 walks. WOSC -- recorded 16 hits -- had 10 players collect hits. WSOC also set a team record for homers in a game with six.
Frias got the victory as he went 5.1 innings and gave up eight runs.
In the game against Heartland, WOSC tallied three runs in the second inning to take a 3-2 lead but Heartland tallied two runs in the bottom of the second and two more in the fourth to secure the victory.
The Pioneers' hitters -- struck out 9 times versus Madison -- managed just six hits and didn't put the bat on the ball a total of 14 times against Heartland. Leading the way offensively for WOSC was sophomore Elvis Rodriguez -- HR, 2B and RBI --, sophomore Shawn McAndrews -- 2-for-4, 2 RBIs --, sophomore Hazael Wessin -- RBI -- and Figuereo -- double.
Sophomore Reid Barnett took the loss for the Pioneers after coming in relief in the second inning.
Other team news:
- Western Oklahoma St. is located in Altus.
- Michael Cruz also set a World Series record for most total bases with 12.
- The Pioneers reached the World Series by winning Region 2 and the Plains District.
- Andrelton Simmons will be the first Pioneer to reach the majors when he makes his debut on June 1 with the Atlanta Braves.
- Head Coach Kurt Russell is 401-148 in nine seasons at WOSC.Daniel Benjamin has followed small college baseball for 20 years.
- Sports & Recreation
- Heartland Community College