In what became a record-breaking year for the Highlanders, MCC fell to Chipola 19-11 in the JUCO World Series, ending the season for the Highlanders.
It was a back-and-forth nine innings, but the Indians scored five in the fourth and four in the eighth to seal the deal. The loss stings at the moment, but MCC head coach Mitch Thompson knows his team accomplished something special.
“I’ve been doing this for 27 years in college coaching and I’ve never been a part of a team that’s won 52 games," he said. "That’s the best it has been for me and any team I’ve been associated with. I’m going to remember 52 and I’m going to remember how the leaders of this team. That’s how I’m going to remember these guys.”
The Highlanders jumped out to an early lead with a three-run first, highlighted by three run-scoring singles. But Chipola jumped back in fron in their half of the inning with five runs. The Indians would never trail the rest of the way.
Jason Blanchard was hit with the loss for the Highlanders.
“I give Chipola a whole lot of credit," Thompson said. "They are an incredibly physical, incredibly talented team; probably as talented if not more talented than any other team in the country. They came to play.
"We finished fifth in the country and they made a 3.40 team GPA, that doesn’t happen at very many places and these guys are going to be winners," he continued. "I think everybody that had a chance to see them play will enjoy watching the rest of their careers wherever they go to play college and professional baseball and will be able to say ‘I remember when he was here at McLennan playing at JUCO.’ ”