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Highlanders defeat Northwest Florida State

 In a game that saw an overnight rain delay, the McLennan Highlanders defeated the Northwest Florida State Raiders 5-1 to stay alive in the JUCO World Series at Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Jack Finnegan picked up the win for the Highlanders and Dustin Jourdan got the save.

McLennan began the scoring with one run in the top of the first as Will Fox doubled, moved to third on a Raiders error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tucker Johnson.

The Highlanders added a run in the top of the third as Mason George singled, advanced around to third on a single by Fox and scored on a throwing error by Northwest Florida State.

The Raiders only run came in the bottom of the third. Tanner Halstead drew a walk and Shawn Feltner singled. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Jarren Pinkney then grounded out, bringing Halstead in to score.

McLennan scored one run in the top of the fifth. McGuire led off with a double and advanced to third on a throwing error. James Rudkin then singled to score McGuire. 

The Highlanders final two runs came in the top of the sixth. Noah McGowan and Braxton Wilks both singled. Both runners advanced on another Raiders error. McGowan scored on a sacrifice fly by George. Fox followed with a bunt single. McGuire then hit a fielder's choice to score Wilks.

McLennan will face Walters State at 8 p.m. tonight (CST) with the winner advancing to the championship game tomorrow against Northwest Florida State.

"This was like two games in one. We started off last night and were clicking pretty much on all cylinders," coach Mitch Thompson said. "I felt like we were playing pretty well, swinging the bats and Finnegan was outstanding. The rain came in and kinda put an end to that.

"I needed one guy out of my bullpen to come out and do the job. I needed somebody to step up and DJ did that.

"I was proud of our offense for coming out and immediately adding to the score. We missed some opportunities to expand the game but DJ was really good and we played good defense so we are real happy with where we are at."


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