By Ken K. GreenThe hottest team in the JUCO World Series to date met its match Thursday night as Gordon, who had averaged 14 runs per game and had a team batting average of .352, met its match in Tanner Krietemeir and top ranked Iowa Western as the Highlanders fell to the Reivers 10-0 in six innings in Grand Junction, Colorado.Iowa Western moves on to Saturday’s national championship game while the Highlanders face a rematch with San Jacinto-North of Houston, Texas Friday night at nine o’clock local time. Gordon beat the Gators 9-7 Wednesday. San Jacinto held off and eliminated Shelton State 7-6 Thursday. Krietemeir helped his own cause Thursday hitting a grand slam home run in the first inning to give Iowa Western a 4-0 lead. All four runs were unaeaned as Highlander catcher Brian Jacobs had dropped a foul pop up off the bat of the Reiver pitcher just one pitch before that would have been the final out of the inning. The slam was all Iowa Western would need as Krietemeir, who had lost his first game of the season in the Reivers 5-2 loss to San Jacinto in their first game Saturday, held Gordon scoreless on just five base hits hits overs six innings walking two and striking out six. Christian Davila tripled for Gordon but was left stranded at third as the Highlanders left six men on base. Chance Bridges had a double and Aaron Mizell, Bobby Woodall and Grant Massey added singles, Gordon starter Kevin Burgee suffered the loss pitching 4.1 innings and allowing three earned runs on six hits while striking out five. Reliever Zach Jones pitch an inning and a third and gave up two runs on four hits and two base on balls, Jeb Dills will toe the rubber Friday for Gordon. The sophomore left hander got the win in Gordon’s first game of the tournament against Shelton State allowing three runs on six hits and while striking out three in six innings of the run-rule shortened game. He will be opposed by one of two sophomore left handers for San Jacinto. Daniel Stumpf who beat Iowa Western pitching nine innings and allowing two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out eight or A.J. Glasshof who had a no decision in a win over Neosho County working seven innings and yielding three earned runs on seven hits and two walks while fanning ten. Friday’s game can be viewed straming live on NJCAA TV through www.njcaa.com.
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