GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Essex Community College suffered its first loss in four games in the National Junior College Baseball World Series, falling to Pima Community College of Tucson, Ariz., 6-3, last night.
Pima's Marc Barcelo held Essex to three hits over seven innings, and relief pitcher Tony Elmer struck out five batters in two innings to preserve the victory.
Despite the loss, Essex still has a shot at winning the double-elimination tournament. The Knights will play Blinn College of Brenham, Texas, today at 3:30 p.m.
"We had won 21 straight games," said Essex coach George Henderson. "It was just a matter of our luck running out."
Essex scored two runs in the top of the second inning to take a 3-2 lead. Danny Gonzales scored the tying run after reaching first on a fielder's choice and advancing to second when Greg Boyd drew a walk. Jeff Fry singled home Danny Gonzales, then Greg Boyd scored from third on a double steal.
The Aztecs tied the score at 3 in the bottom of the third and added three runs in the fourth.
The key blow for Pima was a two-run double by Carlos Mada off relief pitcher Jerry Fischer.
Fischer entered the game in the second after Essex starter Jeff Fry struggled, walking three batters and giving up two runs.