Grand Junction, CO – Chipola (FL) took home the 2018 NJCAA DI Baseball World Series championship trophy for the second consecutive year as the Indians topped Walters State (TN) 10-7 in the winner-take-all title match.
In a matchup of the number one team in the nation and the defending champions, Chipola scored eight runs in the final four innings to secure its third national championship in program history. Along with the 2017 title, the Indians also claimed the 2007 championship.
After dropping its opening game of the World Series to Walters State on May 26, the Indians avoided elimination in six consecutive games to win the title, becoming just the fourth program in tournament history to achieve the feat.
The top two scoring teams in this year's tournament, both sides traded runs in the first inning before Walters State built a 5-2 lead through four. A Max Guzman double in the sixth sparked a four-run frame for the Indians while a two-run double from Julio Carrion added to the lead in the seventh. Phillip Sanderson struck out four batters in two perfect relief innings to hold off a rally and complete the repeat championship run.
- Chipola becomes the first program to win back-to-back NJCAA DI Baseball World Series championships since Grayson (TX) in 1999-2000.
- Sophomore Morgan McCullough was awarded three separate individual awards following the tournament – the Jay Tolman Most Outstanding Defensive Player, the Most Outstanding Hitter, and the Preston Walker Most Valuable Player while also earning All-Tournament team recognition.
- Chipola head coach Jeff Johnson was awarded the Bus Bergman Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
- Sanderson earned the save in the championship game to earn the Robert Purkey Most Outstanding Pitcher award. Sanderson allowed just one earned run in 13.1 innings in the tournament.
- Walters State was led by Austin Henry's 3-5 performance in the championship game that included a home run and a double.
- Henry joined teammates Tyler Gentry, Hunter Gilliland, Dylan Harris and Hunter Wolfe on the All-Tournament team.
- Southern Idaho and head coach Boomer Walker were awarded the Homa Thomas Sportsmanship award.
Article and photo source from NJCAA Chipola v Walter State