Amazing Comeback Earns Central Arizona JC A National Title

Before Central Arizona JC stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first inning of June 1’s NJCAA Division I championship game, the Vaqueros already trailed Iowa Western JC by seven runs.

Less than three hours later, Central Arizona was celebrating a national championship. The Vaqueros quickly rallied back from a massive deficit, scoring four runs of their own in the bottom of the first and then taking the lead with a five-run third inning,

Relievers Mitchell DeKovic and Lucas Knowles shut down Iowa Western the rest of the way as Central Arizona topped Iowa Western 13-8.

Liam Spence, Ernny Ordonez and Hunter Jump all homered for the Vaqueros. DeKovic allowed only two hits and one unearned run in six innings of relief. He entered the game with two outs in the first and the Reivers already leading 7-0.

The title is Central Arizona’s third. The Vaqueros had also won NJCAA championships in 1976 and 2002. For Iowa Western this is the team’s first NJCAA runners-up finish. The Reivers have won three national titles, all in this decade.

Highlights from the national title game are embeded below.


Northeast Oklahoma Enid JC won its first-ever national title thanks to a Dylan Caplinger ninth-inning home run. The Jets topped Mesa (Ariz.) JC 5-4 in the NJCAA Division II title game.

NEO Enid reliever Brandon Hudson worked 2.2 innings of relief to pick up the win. Hudson was named the player of the tournament for his work throughout NEO Enid’s run.

Division III

Cumberland (N.J.) JC topped Rowan Gloucester (N.J.) JC 11-7 for the NJCAA Division III title on May 29.

The win is Cumberland’s first baseball national title and its first title in any sport. Michael Miles picked up the complete-game win. He shouldered a massive workload on the road to the title. On May 27 he picked up the final out in relief. And on May 25, he threw a five-inning complete game for the win.

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