GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Essex Community College used a five-run fifth inning to break open a close game and added a six-run ninth to capture the National Junior College World Series title with a 14-1 victory over Pima Community College of Tucson, Ariz., last night.
It was the first national baseball title for the Baltimore County school.
Essex took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Danny Gonzales, who had reached on a fielder's choice, scored on a single to right field by Mike Peters, who was later named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
Pima tied the score in the score in the fourth inning. Essex pitcher Rob Webster, who replaced starter Jason Shaffer, walked Arturo Hoyos and Scott Aguilar to lead off the inning. Hoyos was caught stealing, and two batters later Brian Imblum doubled to right to drive in Aguilar.
In the fifth inning, Ken Batten led off with a walk and Jason Benyo followed with a bunt single. Gonzales then hit a slow grounder back to pitcher Eric Vindola, but Pima third baseman George Arias misplayed the throw, and the ball went into foul territory behind third base.
Batten scored on the error, and Benyo went to third and Gonzales to second. Greg Boyd followed with an intentional walk. With the bases loaded, Vindola walked Fry to score Benyo and make it 3-1.
After Peters popped up, Robert Elmore grounded into a fielder's choice to the shortstop. Fry was thrown out at second, but Gonzales scored on the play.
Johnson followed with a single to center that scored Boyd and Elmer and gave Essex a 6-1 lead.
After Johnson's RBI single in the seventh made it 7-1, Benyo homered over the left-field fence to make it 8-1.