The Central Arizona College (CAC) Vaqueros baseball team faced Iowa Western Community College in the 2019 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) JUCO World Series, winning the game with a 13-8 score.
It was a wild and crazy way to win a championship. The Iowa Western Reivers seized a 7-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
But, that didn’t deter the Vaqueros as they methodically chipped away at their opponents’ lead, scoring 4 runs in the first inning, one run in the second inning and five more in the third inning. They added two more runs in the fifth inning and one more in the sixth inning, winning the Championship.
Coach Anthony Gilich stated afterwards, “Winning a National Championship at the JUCO World Series was a great experience. I am so happy for the school, the program and for the players. We had an unbelievable ride and I couldn’t be more proud to be the head coach at Central Arizona.”
“Couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to play at Central and perform at the World Series,” said pitcher Lucas Knowles, who entered the game in the seventh inning. “The relationships I built with my teammates and coaches throughout the year will last forever, what a great time! I had the opportunity to play at the NCAA College World Series last year, but to win the whole thing with this group of guys was something special.”
This is the third time that CAC has won the World Series in six appearances. They took their first title 43 years ago in the 1976 World Series, defeating St. Clair County Community College from Michigan. In 2002, CAC defeated Manatee Community College from Florida.
Seven CAC Baseball Players Chosen during 2019 MLB Draft
Lucas Knowles, (LHP), taken in the 14th round by the Washington Nationals.
Dakota Donovan, (RHP), taken in the 16th round by the Los Angeles Angels.
Jonathan Stroman, (RHP), selected in the 22 round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Jason Nelson, (RHP), chosen by the San Diego Padres in the 31st round.
Emmy Ordonez, (INF), chosen by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 33rd Round.
Former Vaqueros Edgar Barclay (LHP), drafted in the 15th round by the New York Yankees and Andrew Edwards (LHP) selected in the 31st round by the New York Mets.