BARTLESVILLE ó Three home runs ignited an eight-run eighth inning to lift the Seminole State College Trojans to a come-from-behind 11-8 victory over Northeastern A&M College Sunday night for the Division I Region II championship at Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium.
With the victory, coach Jeff Shaferís Trojans advance to the South Central District super regional May 15-17 against the Missouri regional winner at a site and time to be determined. The 13th-ranked Trojans are 34-17 on the season.
The super regional winner will play in the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series May 23-31 in Grand Junction, Colo.
Coach Roger Wardís Golden Norsemen entered the tournament as the fifth seed and finished as runners-up with a 29-23 overall mark.
Both losses suffered by the Norse in the tournament came at the hands of Seminole. The Trojans used big innings to overcome Golden Norse leads each time.
NEO grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning of the championship game.
Sean Mattson singled to start the rally. Rickey Brown reached on a three-base throwing error by third baseman James Lavinskas as Mattson scored. Brown scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Andrew Long.
†A lead off double by Josh Botts and a RBI single by Luis Argumedes increased NEOís lead to 3-0 in the top of the third inning.
With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Terrance Jackson singled to start a two-run rally by the Trojans. After Ky Burgess popped out, Seminole first baseman David Chester drilled a 2-1 pitch over the left-center field fence to create a 3-2 deficit.
Sending nine batters to the plate in the top of the sixth inning, the Golden Norsemen built a 7-2 cushion. Wesley Starkes started the outburst by reaching on a fielderís choice with Brown being forced at second. Starkes stole second and scored on a RBI single by Long.
After Argenis Paz singled to left, both Long and Paz came around to score on a double to right-center by Botts. Argumedes followed with a RBI single scoring Botts for a 7-2 Norse lead.
Seminole reached NEO starter Trevor Bowden for a run in the bottom of the seven inning after two outs. Terrance Jackson singled to center. Burgess reached on a fielding error by Argumedes at second base. Chester collected the RBI with a sharp single to left scoring Jackson for a 7-3 deficit.
The Trojans sent 12 players to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning and scored eight runs against four NEO pitchers.
Consecutive singles by Jerod Peper and pinch hitter Austin Rycroft ignited the rally. After pinch hitter Reggie York struck out, Cale Ellis walked to load the bases off Bowden.
A wild pitch allowed Peper to score before Terrance Jackson launched a three-run home run to send Bowden to the dugout.
With the score tied at 7-7, Sean Mattson relieved Bowden and surrendered a two-out solo home run to Chester who has already signed to play at the University of Pittsburg.
The marathon inning continued as Lavinskas reached on another error by Argumedes at second and David Jackson walked. Taylor Ferguson replaced Mattson and gave up a three-run homer to Peper that propelled Seminole to an 11-7 lead.
Cameron Mann hit a solo home run to start NEOís ninth inning to close out the scoring.
Mattson collected three of the 13 Golden Norse hits along with two doubles by Botts and two singles each by Paz and Argumedes.
NEO advanced to the championship game with a 10-7 victory in 10 innings over Eastern State College Sunday afternoon in the loserís bracket finals.
After the Mountaineers (32-26) scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning off NEO starter Dan Reid, the Norsemen responded with four runs in the top of the second inning.
A two-run double by Argumedes along with RBI singles by Mattson and Paz fueled the Norse rally.
Eastern tied the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the second on a walk by Jeff Scardino and a RBI sacrifice fly to left by Stephen Hagen.
NEO grabbed a brief 5-4 lead in the top of the fourth after Paz reached on an error and scored on a single by Argumedes.
A double by Bruce Killingsworth and a walk by Jesse Santo along with a two-run single by Justin Klusak gave Eastern a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Botts doubled and Argumedes reached on an error to start a two-run seventh for NEO. Botts scored on a single by Ryan Bonner and Argumedes scored on a fielderís choice by Cameron Mann to grab a 7-6 lead.
Singles by Killingsworth and Casey McCollum tied the score in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Consecutive singles by Trevor Bowden and Starkes and a two-run double by Mattson gave NEO three runs in the top of the 10th inning.
Facing Seminole in the winnerís bracket finals Saturday, the Norsemen saw a 5-1 lead evaporate as the Trojans struck for seven runs in the sixth inning during an 11-5 victory.†
Monty Franks, 542-5533, ext. 3054