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Baseball wins Region VI Tournament

The comeback kids strike again! Tiger baseball team headed back to JUCO World Series

One day when players on this year's Cowley College baseball team look back on their playing days, no matter the level of individual or team success they achieve, they will surely look back with pride and amazement at the run they had through the Region VI Tournament held at Kansas State University's Tointon Family Stadium. For a seemingly improbable fourth straight game the top-seeded Tigers won in walk-off fashion, this time Logan Vaughan turned out to be the hero as his two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted Cowley to a 6-5 win over third-seeded Kansas City Kansas Community College.

With the win, Cowley advances to play at the JUCO World Series held May 28-June 4 in Grand Junction, CO. Kansas City finishes a strong season with a record of 50-12.

Cowley head coach Darren Burroughs, who has been a part of more than 1,300 wins as an assistant coach or head coach with the Tigers, has seen some crazy things in his time with the program but this stretch of games is right up there.

"It's hard to understand, hard to believe," Burroughs said. "I am dumbfounded how amazing this is."

The Tigers (50-9), winners of seven games in a row, reached 50 wins for the first time since the 2015 season.

In Friday's championship game, sophomore Grant Adler gave the Tigers six strong innings and left with Cowley leading 3-2. However, Kansas City would regain the lead by scoring three runs in the top of the eighth inning off Tiger reliever Miguel Fulgencio. The three runs given up by Fulgencio matched the number of runs the left-hander had given up in his previous 36 innings pitched.

Trailing 5-3, Ty Hammack doubled leading off the bottom of the eighth and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Haden O'Toole to pull the Tigers within 5-4.

Cowley reliever Tanner Vaughn (2-2) would strand a pair of runners in the top of the ninth inning and set the stage for another dramatic finish. After sophomore third baseman Trey DeGarmo walked leading off the bottom of the ninth, Janson Reeder flew out before Conner Gore smacked a ball off the left-field wall to put runners at second and third with only one out.

Everyone in attendance or watching the streaming of the game had to know what was coming next. After walks-off wins of 9-8 over Butler, 5-4 over Johnson County, and overcoming an eight-run deficit to walk-off these same Blue Devils 9-8 just a night before, Vaughan calmly stepped to the plate and smashed a line drive past the diving first baseman to score DeGarmo with the tying run and pinch-runner Cade Stephenson with the winning run.

Gore and Reeder had three hits apiece for the Tigers, while Vaughan was the fourth different Tiger to have a walk-off hit in Cowley's four-game run through the Region VI Tournament.

"A different hitter stepped up every day into the role of being a hero," Burroughs said. "I'm proud we are moving on."

Score by inning:                R H E

KCK    0 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 – 5 11 1

Cowley 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 2 – 6 10 0