The Chipola Indians baseball team is the 2017 Florida State Champions and they will head to Grand Junction, Colorado May 27-June 2 for the NJCAA National Championship Tournament. The Indians 2017 state championship makes it five under the leadership of Coach Jeff Johnson who is in his 20th year at the helm of Chipola baseball. They have one national championship, five Region VIII Championships, and 11 Panhandle Conference Championships. Chipola baseball claimed their first National Championship 10 years ago this year.
The Indians swept through the State Tournament with five straight wins. After winning the first game 5-2 over St. Johns River, the Indians were lights out for the next four games, outscoring their opponents 51-7.
Chipola hands St. Johns River 5-2 loss
The Chipola Indians opened play with the opening game of the state tournament. They had no problem handing St. Johns River a 5-2 loss. Bowden Francis got the starting nod on the mound, went three innings, gave up two runs on five hits, one walk, while fanning six batters. Riley Cabral closed out the final six innings and picked up the win, gave up no runs on four hits, no walks, and struck out nine batters.
Leading the Indians at the plate was Andrew Bechtold who had a three-run homerun in the seventh inning to give Chipola their first lead of the game. Trey Dawson, Jose Caballero, Edmond Americaan, and Te’Kwaan Whyte all had hits in the game with Chris Clayton adding an RBI.
Indians run-rule Miami Dade 10-0
The Chipola Indians took advantage of their day off Saturday and came to play Sunday evening when they took on Miami Dade and dealt them a 10-0 loss behind the pitching of Evan Steele and Robbie Knox. Steele got the starting nod on the mound, went six innings, gave up no runs on one hit, two walks, while fanning 11 batters. Robbie Knox closed out the seventh inning, giving up one, no walks, and striking out two batters.
Offensively, the Indians were solid with Reynaldo Rivera bringing the Indian fans to their feet in the seventh inning with a dead center grand slam. Jose Caballero had a hot bat against Miami-Dade going two-for-two, two runs scored, and two RBIs while being issued three walks. On board with one hit and two RBIs, with one run scored was Andrew Bechtold, while Jacob Silverstein, Max Guzman, Te’Kwaan Whyte, and Edmond Americaan all had one hit each. Whyte walked three times, with Bechtold drawing two walks. Silverstein, Guzman, and Americaan all had one walk each with Silverstein adding an RBI.
Indians crush Palm Beach State
The Indians offense came alive in their game Monday evening with an 18-6 win over Palm Beach State College. Chipola starter Bowden Francis picked up the win, going four and two-thirds innings, giving up six runs on six hits, two walks, with two strikeouts before giving way to Ryan Shauger who went one and a third innings. Shauger allowed no hits, walks, and struck out three batters. Junior Harding closed out the game striking out three batters and issuing only one walk.
Indians hammer Santa Fe 11-1
In Tuesday’s matchup, coach Jeff Johnson sent Parker Warren to the mound who went two and two-thirds innings, giving up one run on three hits, one walk, and struck out one batter. Robbie Knox went the final six and one-third inning, gave up no runs on two hits, one walk, and struck out five batters.
Offensively, Reynaldo Rivera and Max Guzman had back-to-back long balls, both sailing over the left centerfield fence. Rivera added two more hits two runs scored, and an RBI with Guzman picking up an additional hit, two runs scored and an RBI. Brody Wofford, Jose Caballero, and Jacob Silverstein all had two hits each, while Andrew Bechtold, Te’Kwaan Whyte, and Chris Clayton had one hit each on the afternoon. Whyte drew two walks, while Silverstein, Guzman, and Wofford were all issued one walk each.
Championship game = a cake walk for the Indians
The Chipola Indians entered the championship game Wednesday morning undefeated and needing only one game to bring home the hardware. They faced off against Palm Beach State for the second time in the tournament and wasted little time handing them a 12-0 shutout. The Indians collected 16 hits, 12 runs, and took advantage of four walks in garnishing the win and another state championship. Coach Jeff Johnson sent Riley Cabral to the mound who went six innings, gave up three hits, one walk, no runs, and struck out seven batters. Andrew Grogran came in for two innings, gave up one hit, no walks, and struck out three batters, while Junior Harding closed out the final inning, giving up no hits, walks, and fanned one batter.
Offensively, the Indians Reynaldo Rivera collected another homerun, added another hit on the day, one run scored and three RBIs. Jose Caballero had three hits, two runs scored, and two RBIs, followed closely by Max Guzman with three hits and two runs scored. Te’Kwaan Whyte had two hits, two RBIs, one run scored, followed by Brody Wofford with two hits, two runs scored, and one RBI. On board with one hit and three RBIs was Jacob Silverstein, followed by Francisco Urbaez, Andrew Bechtold, and Edward Americaan with one hit each. Americaan had two runs scored and one RBI added to his stats.
The Chipola Indians returned home Wednesday evening escorted through town by a most deserving police escort. The team will leave the 23rd and depart from Atlanta on the 24th. Their first game will be on Saturday the 27th and they’ll face the Texas state winner that is not yet determined.