GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)-- The No. 1 Iowa Western Reivers won their second national championship in the school's history in a bizarre ending on Saturday night.
The Reivers entered the top of the ninth inning trailing 5-4 to the No. 8 San Jacinto Gators.
Keaton Steele started the inning off with a walk and then advanced to third base after a bunt for a hit by Grant Kay, and a sacrifice bunt by Steven Leonard.
Steele scored from third on single through the left side by Brett Bass. That tied the game at 5-5 with 1 out.
Skylar Janisse came in to relieve AJ Glasshof on the mound for the Gators. Janisse struck out his first batter, Sam Bumpers, on a 2-2 pitch. He then walked his next batter, Damek Tomscha, on four straight pitches.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Levi Meyer was up to bat for the Reivers. Between the time that Janisse stepped onto the rubber and addressed the plate, the home plate umpire called him for a balk, scoring Grant Kay from third as the go-ahead run for Iowa Western.
Meyer popped up to end the top half of the frame. After consecutive strikeouts by the Gators, Justin Byrd tripled down the right field line to keep the San Jac hopes alive.
The next batter for San Jacinto was Kirby Taylor. On an 0-2 count, Taylor grounded out to Brandon Tierney to end the game.
Keaton Steele of Iowa Western was awarded the Tournament MVP after the 6-5 victory.
This is the 8th time that San Jac has finished national runner-up in their 22 JUCO World Series appearance.
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