Highlanders are NJCAA Division I Baseball Runners Up - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

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Highlanders are NJCAA Division I Baseball Runners Up

 The McLennan Highlanders run through the JUCO World Series came to an end with a 15-1 loss to the Northwest Florida State Raiders in the championship game tonight at Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Florida.

Sophomore Nathan Bertness took the loss on the mound for the Highlanders.

Northwest Florida began the scoring with one run in the top  of the first as Mack Hathcock led off with a single, advanced to second on a Highlander error, moved to third on a single by Dakota Dean and scored on a wild pitch.

McLennan tied the game with one run in the bottom of the first. Kirby McGuire was safe at first on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Will Fox. James Rudkin followed with a single to score McGuire.

The Raiders broke the game open with six runs in the fourth. Hunter Bening drew a walk, Danny Blanco singled and Tre'Mayne Holmes drew a walk to load the bases. Hathcock walked, bringing Bening in to score. Aaron Palmer followed with a single, scoring Blanco and Holmes. Dean followed with the three-run homer. 

Northwest Florida added another run in the fifth as Jarren Pinkney tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Holmes.

The Raiders scored two runs in the sixth as Palmer singled and scored on Dean's home run.

Northwest Florida's five runs in the seventh rounded out the scoring. Holmes was safe at first on a McLennan error, Hathcock singled and Palmer bunted to load the bases. Holmes came in to score on a throwing error. Dean singled to score Hathcock. Tanner Halstead followed with a double, scoring Palmer and Dean. Feltner then singled to score Halstead.

The Highlanders end the season with an overall record of 41-20. First baseman James Rudkin, shortstop Will Fox, pitcher Jack Finnegan and catcher Mason George were named to the All-Tournament Team. George also earned the Murucci Elite Hitter Award for the highest batting average in the tournament.


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