Mother Nature forced the NJCAA Division II World Series to adjust its schedule for the second straight year after rain and lightning made an appearance during the final inning of Game 2 Saturday evening at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
The No. 13 Northern Oklahoma College Enid Jets and the No. 11 Kellogg Bruins were in the midst of a close game before play was suspended in the top of the ninth inning. NOC Enid designated hitter Garrett Misenheimer hit an RBI single to centerfield to give the Jets a two-run lead and make it a 9-7 game and helped extend their third lead of the game.
That’s when the umpires saw lightning and forced all the players off the field around 7:45 p.m. The game was officially postponed less than an hour later.
NOC Enid and Kellogg will resume their game at 11 a.m. Sunday.
This is the second consecutive year that an NOC Enid World Series game was postponed due to weather. Last year, a thunderstorm postponed a game between the Jets and Sinclair Community College.
“This is part of tournament baseball,” NOC Enid head baseball coach Raydon Leaton said. “It happens. In three of the four World Series we’ve been in, this has happened. I don’t know if it’s us or what.”
Kellogg head baseball coach Eric Laskovy said “it’s been several years” since the Bruins experienced a postponement that deep into a game.
“But that’s part of it,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere. We’ll be ready to go when they tell us it’s time to get this thing going on again.”
NOC Enid initially led by one run in the top of the first inning. Sophomore outfielder Tanner Neely hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to give the Jets a one-run advantage. Kellogg answered in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI single from AJ Mitchell.
The Jets broke the tie in the top of the third, thanks to an RBI triple from sophomore shortstop DJ Calvert. Two batters later, freshman third baseman Alec Buonasera hit a sacrifice fly to the corner of left field to make it a 3-1 game.
Calvert ended his night going 2-for-4 from the plate with two RBI triples. His second run-scoring triple came during NOC Enid’s five-run effort in the top of the sixth inning.
With two men on base, Misenheimer hit his first RBI single of the game to right field. Sophomore outfielder Brandon Woelfle followed with another RBI single and freshman second baseman Clay Lockett recorded an RBI on a sac fly to tie the game, 6-6.
Kellogg committed a throwing error to first base on an infield grounder from sophomore Seth Graves which broke the tie and gave NOC enid the lead before Calvert’s second RBI triple.
Before the sixth inning, however, Kellogg seemed to be in full control of the ballgame. After NOC Enid took a 3-1 lead, the Bruins answered in the bottom of the third inning with a three-run rally. With runners on the corners, Alex Crump hit an RBI single past third base to cut the lead to one run.
Then, Connor Brawley popped a ball up to left-centerfield. Woelfle tried to run it down with a diving catch, but the ball dropped, allowing two runs to score to give Kellogg the lead. Brawley attempted to run to second, but was tagged out to end the inning.
The Bruins scored a run in the following two innings. One run was scored in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to an error by NOC Enid. Sophomore catcher Dylan Caplinger threw to third base when Connor Hnilo attempted to steal. But when he slid into Buonasera, the ball sailed into the outfield and Hnilo ran home.
Gerrett Keletaar hit a two-out, RBI double to left field to extend Kellogg’s lead by three runs.
Sophomore Kaleb McCullough made his second start of the postseason for the Jets. He allowed five runs off three hits through four innings. He struck out two Bruins. Freshman Stevie Owings allowed two runs through three innings and sophomore Lawson Isaacs pitched a scoreless inning.
Kellogg’s Mark Scannell allowed three runs off four hits through 51/3 innings. He struck out five Jets.
PHSC holds off Lackawanna
Nick Alessi went 2-for-4 from the plate and drove in three runs for Pasco-Hernando State College in the Bobcats’ 11-10 win over Lackawanna College Saturday afternoon in Game 1 of the national tournament.
Alessi drove in two runs on a ground ball to right field in the bottom of the first inning. His two-run single gave the Bobcats an early 3-0 lead.
Alessi drove in his third run of the game in the bottom of the third inning, which helped cut into a Lackawanna lead. After falling behind 3-0, the Falcons scored seven runs over the second and third innings.
After a one-run second inning, Lackawanna had back-to-back RBI singles from Zac Granger and Ryan Cole. David Williams and Ian Diaz also recorded RBI before the Bobcats could end the inning.
Pasco-Hernando cut the lead to one run in the bottom of the third, thanks to Alessi’s RBI and RBI singles from Anthony Cassos and Ryan Glass.
Michael Haydak then hit his first home run of the year in the bottom of the fourth inning. His two-run shot to left field gave the Bobcats the 8-7 lead.
Pasco-Hernando scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to an error by Lackawanna.
After a scoreless eighth inning, the Falcons found themselves still down three runs in the top of the ninth inning. But Colin Weinert started a late-game rally with an RBI double to left field, which cut the lead to three runs.
Diaz and Owen Kiess each drove in runs to make it a one-run game but closer Cameron Seiwert shut the door for the final out.
After the conclusion of NOC Enid and Kellogg’s 11 a.m. game, No, 7 Northeast Nebraska and No. 10 Monroe will play at noon. Then, No. 3 Mesa and No. 6 Lincoln Land will play at 3 p.m., followed by top-seeded Pearl River and No. 8 Pasco-Hernando at 6 p.m.
The winner between NOC Enid and Kellogg will face the winner of Pearl River and Pasco-Hernando. The loser between NOC Enid and Kellogg will face Lackawanna at 9 p.m. Sunday night in an elimination game.