It’s never easy to take a loss. The No. 8 McLennan Community College baseball team had the uncomfortable feeling of being on the losing end Sunday evening. No. 20 New Mexico won, 9-1, sending the Highlanders to the loser’s bracket in the double elimination Region V baseball tournament.

New Mexico scored first with one run in the bottom of the second inning, but MCC (41-16, 24-8 conference) tied it up in the top of the fourth. Highlander Cole Moore walked, followed by a Garrett Martin single. Brett Squires then singled in Moore.

That was all the scoring the Highlanders would do for the day, but the Thunderbirds still had some runs to score. They exploded for eight runs in the fifth, highlighted by a three-run home run and two doubles.

The Highlanders were held to two hits for the game while giving up 10 runs to the Thunderbirds.

MCC will play Odessa or Midland in the loser’s bracket at a 1 p.m. game Monday. The winner of that game will then face New Mexico in the championship games. New Mexico is one win away from advancing to the JUCO World Series, while the Highlanders will have to win three straight games to reach the World Series.

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