Local pair helps Cowley to NJCAA World Series

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
J'Briell Easley
David Herring

SALINA, Kan. - The Cowley College Tigers are headed to the NJCAA World Series and two area baseball players – J'Briell Easley and David Herring – were instrumental in the team earning a Plains District championship over the weekend.

Easley, a freshman right-handed hurler from Shawnee, earned the victory Friday in Cowley's 11-3 come-from-behind decision over Butler Community College. Easley pitched the first five innings and allowed three runs off three hits with four strikeouts and five walks.

The Tigers trailed 3-1 after the top of the fifth inning, but rallied with nine runs in the bottom half of that frame as they added one more score in the seventh for the run-rule win.

With the victory, Easley raised his record to 9-0 on the season. In addition, he owns a 3.81 earned run average and has struck out 67 batters and walked only 24 this season, heading into the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.

Herring, a freshman who played at Dale High School, had a 1-for-2 effort from the plate, scored once and drew a walk in Friday's triumph.

Then on Saturday, Herring blasted a solo-homer in the bottom of the eighth to put the finishing touches on Cowley College's 14-4 victory over Butler Community College. Herring's homer was one of five in the game for the Tigers.

In Thursday's 10-3 Cowley win over Kansas City Kansas Community College, Herring picked up a hit, scored once and had a walk.

For the season, Herring has a .351 batting average with 10 home runs, four triples, 12 doubles and 66 runs batted in. He also has a .440 on-base percentage and a .634 slugging percentage heading into the JUCO World Series.

Shawnee High School alum Dax Leone is part of the Tigers' coaching staff.

Cowley College, of Arkansas City, Kan., recently earned a Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Championship and will take an impressive 46-8 record into the NJCAA World Series.

The pairings for the World Series were to be announced on Monday.

In continuing the pipeline to Arkansas City, three more local standouts – Shawnee's Krew Taylor and Brylen Janda, along with Dale's Carson Hunt – will be playing at Cowley College next season.