GRAND JUNCTION, CO— The Chipola College baseball team won a second straight National Championship with a 10-7 win over top-ranked Walters State (TN) in the title game of the NJCAA National Tournament on June 2.
Chipola Head Coach Jeff Johnson, said, “What a run! This crew showed great resiliency and fortitude! I'm proud for the Chipola Nation!”
Chipola scored eight in the final four innings to secure its third national championship in program history. Along with the 2017 title, the Indians also claimed the 2007 championship.
After dropping its opening game of the World Series to Walters on May 26, the Indians avoided elimination in six consecutive games to win the title, becoming just the fourth program in tournament history to achieve the feat.
Both sides traded runs in the first inning before Walters built a 5-2 lead through four. A Max Guzman double in the sixth sparked a four-run frame for the Indians while a two-run double from Julio Carrion added to the lead in the seventh. Phillip Sanderson struck out four batters in two perfect relief innings to hold off a rally and complete the repeat championship run.
Chipola becomes the first program to win back-to-back NJCAA DI Baseball World Series championships since Grayson (TX) in 1999-2000.
Chipola Sophomore Morgan McCullough won three individual awards at the tournament – the Jay Tolman Most Outstanding Defensive Player, the Most Outstanding Hitter, and the Preston Walker Most Valuable Player while also earning All-Tournament team recognition. Chipola head coach Jeff Johnson was awarded the Bus Bergman Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Philip Sanderson earned the save in the championship game to earn the Robert Purkey Most Outstanding Pitcher award. Sanderson allowed only one earned run in 13.1 innings in the tournament.