SAN ANGELO – A season that started with a lot of promise, that included a 21-game win streak, came down to a win or go home game Monday evening at Angelo State University. Unfortunately for the McLennan Community College Highlanders, the New Mexico Thunderbirds brought the season to an end with a 14-11 defeat in the Region V baseball tournament.
To get to the evening game, the Highlanders had to get past Odessa College in a 10 a.m. game. MCC (42-17, 24-8 conference) managed to eke out a 5-4 win and advance to the championship game against New Mexico (42-15, 27-9 conference). With one loss in the tournament, MCC had to win their next two games while New Mexico only had to win one.
New Mexico had swept into Waco on March 1 for a Friday doubleheader at the Bosque River Ballpark. At the time, the Highlanders had an eight-game winning streak. When the Thunderbirds left for home, they took two wins with them, beating MCC, 4-3 and 3-0.
MCC came into the New Mexico game with wins over Howard and North Central Texas in the tournament. Sunday’s loss to New Mexico sent the Highlanders to the loser’s bracket, and Monday’s win over Odessa College set up the rematch.
New Mexico had wins over Hill College and Grayson prior to their win over MCC.
With the loss, MCC’s season comes to a close, while New Mexico advances to the NJCAA World Series to be held at Grand Junction, Colorado, May 25-June 1.