GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The 2014 Junior College World Series came to an end Friday night with the 3rd-ranked Iowa Western Reivers proving they had what it takes from the get-go to dominate and win the entire tournament.
Columbia State was the only team that gave them a good run. The Chargers only fell to the Reivers 6-5 in the opening round, but from that point on, the midwest team took off and played on a whole different level.
Their next two games were shutout, mercy-rule victories - 9-0 over Midland in seven innings, 10-0 over Miami Dade in five innings - then they put in another short game Thursday, 13-2, to advance to the JUCO World Series title game.
They met up with 10th-ranked Miami Dade, a team that had ridden the winner's bracket until meeting Iowa Western in the third round. They fought back with a win over Spartanburg Methodist to advance to the championship game, but it was then that Iowa Western once again proved too much to handle.
The Reivers came out firing on all cylinders, leading 6-0 after the top of the fourth. Then the Sharks woke up, scoring five runs in the bottom half, three of a three-run home run from Deivy Palmerio to trail 6-5. That got the crowd awake, as suddenly it looked as though a blowout would not be the end result.
Miami Dade pitcher Marcos Barrios would come in to relive, keeping Iowa Western silent through the seventh, but then their offense came alive once again.
Ryan Merrill came through with a two-run single for the Reivers, and from then on, they took off. They scored 11 in the final three innings while keeping Miami Dade to 5, taking the championship game 17-5.
This marked Iowa Western's third championship in just five years. They won in 2010, 2012, and now, 2014.