ENID – A dream of winning a national championship evaporated for the Western Oklahoma State College Pioneers on Tuesday afternoon at David Allen Memorial Baseball Park.
Second ranked Lurleen B. Wallace, Ala. defeated Western 8-5 eliminating the Pioneers from the NJCAA Division II World Series.
The Pioneers, the top hitting team in the country, collected nine hits in the game which is a low total for them. Left handed pitcher Aaron Elmore gave the Pioneeers with some problems with an assortment of off speed stuff.
“He did a good job changing speeds,” Western coach Kurt Russell said.
One of the big moments of the game came in the fourth inning, when the Saints committed three errors but the Pioneer could come up with only one run.
Wallace took the lead for good when Taylor Culbreth hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Western scored runs on a Danny Almonte home run, a run-scoring double and a run-scoring single by Jose Ramos, a single by Newt Compton and a ground ball by Osvaldo Santanna.
“We didn’t bounce back like I thought we would, (from Monday’s loss to LSU-Eunce),” Russell said.
Pioneer notes: It was a tough draw for Western, who played the top three ranked teams in the country.
The Pioneers defeated third ranked Des Moines Area Community College in the first round before losing to top ranked LSU-Eunice and the Saints and the second ranked Saints.
It was a disappointing end to an otherwise outstanding season for the Pioneers. It was Western’s second straight trip to the World Series. The Pioneers finished 53-12 on the season. The 53 wins broke a school record which was set last year.
Randolph Oduber will finish as the nation’s leading home run hitter with 32.
Wallace 8, Western 5
Western 011 100 020 – 5 9 1
Wallace 200 202 20x – 8 9 3
Camareno, Sadler (7) and Ramos; Elmore, Hansen (8) and Waltman. WP–Waltman (9-0). LP-Camareno (11-4). HR – Western, Almonte; Wallace, Culbreth.