10 Talented Teams Ready for NJCAA DI JUCO World Series
May 25, 2010
Watch this year's tournament online at www.njcaa.org/tv
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 53rd NJCAA Division I JUCO World Series could turn out to be one of the more memorable tournaments in history as 10 teams loaded with some of the nation's best baseball players will take the diamond at Sam Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Colo., May 29 - June 5 with the goal of winning a national title.
For the first time in the tournament's history, fans can tune in and watch all the action from Grand Junction as NJCAA TV will video stream all 19 games online at www.njcaa.org/tv thanks to the NJCAA and Panhandle Sports Broadcasting (www.psblive.com).
In addition to being video streamed on www.njcaa.org/tv, the tournament championship game on June 4 (and June 5 - if necessary) will be televised live on Altitude Sports and Entertainment, which is available on many sports tier packages on Direct TV and Dish Network. The channel is also available via cable providers in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Northern New Mexico, Northeast Nevada and Southwest South Dakota. Visit www.altitude.tv for more information on the availability of the network in your area.
Baseball fans that attend this year's tournament, or watch online via NJCAA TV, will witness the 10 best NJCAA baseball teams in the country battle for a national championship. In addition, fans could likely watch several future MLB All-Stars take the field as rosters from this year's qualifying teams feature several players that are likely to be selected in the upcoming Major League Baseball Draft June 7-9.
A total of eight players listed on the Top 20 Junior College Prospects rankings from Baseball America and 13 featured in Perfect Game USA's Top 100 JC Draft Prospect list will compete in this year's tournament. Of the 13 players ranked by Perfect Game USA, 12 come from No. 1 San Jacinto College - North (Texas) and No. 2 College of Southern Nevada, including CSN catcher Bryce Harper - the probable No. 1 selection in the upcoming MLB Draft according to many baseball analysts.
For more information on the 2010 NJCAA Division I JUCO World Series, including links to live stats, live audio, tournament history and this year's banquet (featuring former MLB pitcher Dave Draveky) visit www.jucogj.org.
Also, for in-depth coverage throughout the tournament visit the Sports section of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel website.
Below is a quick glance at this year's 10 team tournament field. Rankings for each team are from the final NJCAA / Perfect Game USA Division I Poll. A complete tournament schedule is also available below.
Download the Official Bracket
#1 San Jacinto College-North, Texas (48-10)
Region 14 Champions
Southern District Champions
If experience or history has any outcome on a team's success in Grand Junction, then the Gators have to be entering this year's World Series as perhaps the favorite to walk away with the title. This will be the 21st trip to the World Series for San Jac and if things go their way the Gators could be leaving with their sixth national title. Not to mention, the Gators finished the season ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA/Perfect Game USA Division 1 Baseball Poll. The Gators qualified for the national tournament by dominating the competition at the Region 14 Tournament, outscoring their opponents 36-11 in four games. They defeated rival Blinn College (Texas) 6-2 in the title game.
The San Jac pitching staff is very tough to beat. Lead by Miguel Pena and Sean Nolin, the Gators have a team ERA of 2.47 heading into the tournament. Pena and Nolin are a combined 24-1 and Clay Schrader has 11 saves. Pena and Schrader are ranked in the top 10 in Baseball America's Top 20 JUCO Players heading into the June MLB draft.
Offensively, the Hornback brothers (Riley and Ryan) boast batting averages above .340 and have a combined 83 RBIs on the year.
The Gators open the tournament against Gulf Champion State College of Florida in Game 2 on Saturday at 12 p.m.
Key San Jac Players
Miguel Pena (LHP) - 13-1, 1.96 ERA, 87.3 IP, 19 ER, 83 K, 22 BB
Sean Nolin (LHP) - 11-0, 2.022 ERA, 80.3 ERA, 18 ER, 85 K, 24 BB
Clay Schrader (P) - 11 saves, 26.2 IP, 8 ER, 44 K, 10 BB
Riley Hornback (OF/C) - .358 BA, 12 2B, 4 HR, 53 RBI, 22 SB
Ryan Hornback (C) - .341 BA, 13 2B, 30 RBI, 10 SB
#2 College of Southern Nevada (49-14)
Region 18 Champions
Western District Champions
No other team in the NJCAA has had the national media following their every move like the Coyotes. However, with all the hype and added pressure the entire Southern Nevada team fought through a very difficult season to win Region 18, which included national contenders Western Nevada and Salt Lake (Utah). The Coyotes, who last appeared in Grand Junction when they won the title in 2003, earned the program's second trip to the JUCO World Series by winning the Western District Championship in dramatic fashion. The Coyotes fell to Central Arizona 21-14, which forced a second championship game. CSN then took down the Vaqueros 25-12 in game two. Bryce Harper, likely to become the first NJCAA baseball player selected No. 1 in the MLB Draft this June, was unstoppable in both games. In game one, he was 2-5 with 3 RBI and in game two he went 6-for-6 with four homers, a double, triple and 10 RBIs. In CSN's semifinal win against Lamar (Colo.) he hit for the cycle and had 6 RBI. In four games he was 15-for-22 with six homers and 21 RBIs. Harper has done everything he can to live up the hype that was bestowed upon him after he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated a year ago. He heads into Grand Junction, at 17 years old, batting over .400 with 29 homeruns and 89 RBIs. Don't forget, 23 of his 29 dingers came via a wood bat as Region 18 plays with wood during league games.
Obviously Harper has received much of the attention this year, but CSN's roster is loaded with many more talented players. In fact nearly the entire Coyote pitching staff is likely to be drafted in June. Tyler Hanks, Donn Roach, Bryan Harper (Bryce's brother) and Aaron Kurcz were all ranked in Baseball America's Top 20 JUCO Players heading into the draft.
The Coyotes open play against Eastern District Champion Pitt (N.C.) in the 7:30 p.m. game on Saturday.
Key Southern Nevada Players
Tyler Hanks (RHP) - 3-2, 1.61 ERA, 44.2 IP, 8 ER, 46 K, 13 BB
Donn Roach (RHP) - 11-3, 2.70 ERA, 103.1 IP, 31 ER, 131 K, 24 BB
Bryan Harper (LHP) - 10-1, 2.18 ERA, 57.2 IP, 14 ER, 88 K, 25 BB
Joe Robinson (RHP) - 9-1, 2.62 ERA, 86 IP, 25 ER, 80 K, 18 BB
Aaron Kurcz (RHP) 10 saves, 4.11 ERA, 35 IP, 16 ER, 52 K, 17 BB
Bryce Harper (C/3B/OF) - .442 BA, 22 2B, 29 HR, 89 RBI, 18 SB
Trent Cook (1B) - .375 BA, 13 2B, 7 3B, 8 HR, 60 RBI
#3 State College of Florida-Manatee (37-13)
Region 8 Champions
Gulf District Champions
The Manatee's are making their first appearance in the DI JUCO World Series under the name of State College of Florida. However, as Manatee Community College they advanced to Grand Junction 10 times with their last coming in 2002. Sophomore Alex Burgos has been their ace all season with a record of 13-1 and an ERA of just 1.42. At the plate, the Manatee's are hitting .307 with the most production coming from sophomore Austin Chubb who is hitting .347 with 36 RBI's and 33 Runs. The Manatees qualified by winning the Region 8/Gulf District Tournament with an 8-1 win over then-No. 25 Miami Dade in the title game.
SCF-Manatee faces San Jacinto on Saturday at 12 p.m. on the opening day of the tournament.
Key SCF-Manatee Players
Alex Burgos (LHP) - 13-1, 1.41 ERA, 95.1 IP, 15 ER, 109 K, 29 BB
Bobby Dixon (RHP) - 9 saves, 3-0, 30 IP, 0.60 ERA, 2 ER, 28 K, 14 BB
Tyler Rocklein (OF) - .335 BA, 16 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 48 RBI
Austin Smith (OF) - .305 BA, 11 2B, 29 RBI, 36 SB
BJ Zimmerman (INF) - .311 BA, 14 2B, 4 HR, 34 RBI
#4 Pitt Community College, N.C. (41-11)
Region 10 Champions
Eastern District Champions
Of the four teams making their first trip to the World Series, Pitt is the highest ranked (#4) and has the fewest number of losses (11). The Bulldogs were the champions of Region 10 and then defeated Region 20 champion Potomac State (W.V.) in the Eastern District final. Pitt enters the tournament having won 12 out of their last 13 games. They have a very consistent offensive line up. Six players that have over 100 at-bats this season have a batting average above .330. Those six players (Taylor Buran, Matt Cambell, Tanner Novick, James Holmes, George Williams and Tyler Molinaro) also have combined for 250 RBIs.
Pitt opens play against Western District Champion Southern Nevada in the 7:30 p.m. game on Saturday.
Key Pitt Players
Justin Nygard (RHP) - 7-1, 3.81 ERA, 56.2 IP, 24 ER, 61 K, 10 BB
Robert Penny (RHP) - 8-1, 3.68 ERA, 51.1 IP, 21 ER, 59 K, 15 BB
Taylor Buran (OF) - .426 BA, 18 2B, 7 HR, 59 RBI
Matthew Campbell (INF) - .336 BA, 14 2B, 44 RBI, 11 HR
George "Brett" Williams (OF) - .349 BA, 11 2B, 11 HR, 38 RBI
#5 Iowa Western Community College (45-11)
Region 11 Champions
Northern District Champions
Many coaches around the country dream of advancing to a national tournament at least once in their careers, but for IWCC's Marc Rardin a late May trip to the JUCO World Series is becoming routine. His Reivers are heading back to Grand Junction for the fourth straight year and 12th time overall after they dominated the three-team Northern District playoffs. The Region 11 champs scored 41 runs in three victories, including a 9-4 win over No. 6 Wabash Valley (Ill.) in the title game. IWCC is the best offensive team in the nation, leading all teams with a .398 team batting average. Slugger Brent Seifert is batting .497, which ranks third among all NJCAA DI hitters with more than 100 at-bats.
Iowa Western faces South Central District winner Crowder (Mo.) in the 7:30 p.m. game in their first game of the tournament on Sunday.
Key Iowa Western Players
Nick Hogue (RHP) - 8-1, 4.03 ERA, 51.1 IP, 23 ER, 41 K, 14 BB
Jordan Kistler (RHP) - 8-0, 3.75 ERA, 48 IP, 20 ER, 32 K, 9 BB
Brent Seifert (INF) - .497 BA, 19 2B, 17 HR, 88 RBI
Ryan Hutchinson (OF) - .452 BA, 18 2B, 13 HR, 62 RBI
Anthony Bemboom (C) - .410 BA, 17 2B, 5 HR, 50 RBI
#8 Chattanooga State Community College, Tenn. (37-14)
Region 7 Champions
East Central District Champions
Mmaking their first appearance in Grand Junction this year are the Tigers of Chattanooga State. They won their first ever district title by defeating Region 17 champ Gordon College (Ga.) in a best of three series, taking games two and three - both by scores of 10-8. Chattanooga State finished its regular season in second place in the Region 7 standings behind Walters State (Tenn.) a team that was a staple in this year's poll. The Tigers got past the Senators, ranked third at the time, 12-10 in the Region 7 Championship Game to qualify for district play.
Heading into Grand Junction, Chattanooga State holds the second-highest team batting average behind Iowa Western at .388.
The Tigers will play in Game 1 of the tournament Saturday at 9 a.m. against Central District Champion Hutchinson (Kan.)
Key Chattanooga State Players
Will Phillips (RHP) - 6-1, 3.95 ERA, 52.1 IP, 23 ER, 44 K, 18 BB
Tyler Burstram (RHP) - 5-0, 32.2 IP, 2.47 ERA, 9 ER, 26 K, 6 BB
Michael Maxwell (2B) - .441 BA, 9 2B, 35 RBI, 20 SB
Gabe Herman (OF) - .443 BA, 8 2B, 30 RBI, 20 SB
Dylan Coleman (SS) - .378 BA, 17 2B, 4 HR, 40 RBI, 11 SB
#9 Faulkner State Community College, Ala. (37-19)
Region 22 Champions
Southeastern District Champions
The Sun Chiefs are making their first trip to the Division I JUCO World Series this season after defeating Region 22 power, Shelton State Community College by a score of 7-6 in the Region title game. During the season, Faulkner State was able to put up 6.47 runs per game and had a record of 2-3 against NJCAA Division 1 Top 25 teams. The Sun Chiefs longest win streak of the season was six games from April 17-30.
Faulkner State plays Southwestern District champ Temple (Texas) in Game 3 Saturday at 3 p.m.
Key Faulkner State Players
Joe Hernandez (RHP) - 12 saves, 7-1, 2.72 ERA, 39.2 IP
Patrick Shreve (LHP) - 8-1, 4.49 ERA, 92.1 IP, 61 K, 20 BB
Josh Huggins (INF) - .341 BA, 10 2B, 6 HR, 45 RBI
Daniel Wass (INF) - .365 BA, 41 RBI
#10 Crowder College, Mo. (42-22)
Region 16 Champions
South Central District Champions
Also heading to their first JUCO World Series is Crowder College. The Roughriders were the champions of Region 16 and won the South Central District to qualify for their first appearance in Grand Junction. After falling to Delgado (La.) 24-6 in the first district title game, the Roughriders bounced back in the deciding game with an 11-7 win. Crowder has an experienced pitching staff that features five hurlers, including two southpaws that have worked over 50 innings this season. The staff ace is 10-game winner Scott Elitzky.
Crowder faces Northern District winner Iowa Western in the 7:30 p.m. game in their first game of the tournament on Sunday.
Key Crowder Players
Scott Elitzky (LHP) - 10-2, 4.98 ERA, 68.2 IP, 38 ER, 76 K, 34 BB
Tim Bado (LHP) - 9-2, 3.23 ERA, 69.2 IP, 25 ER, 67 K, 16 BB
Sam Bates (OF) - .432 BA, 20 2B, 4 3B, 11 HR, 60 RBI
Adam Davey (OF) - .340 BA, 13 2B, 5 3B, 16 HR, 65 RBI
Kyle Hardy (IF) - .398 BA, 15 2B, 49 RBI, 8 HR
#19 Hutchinson Community College, Kan. (37-22)
Region 6 Champions
Central District Champions
The Blue Dragons finished the year ranked 19th in the NJCAA/Perfect Game USA Division 1 Baseball Poll. They enter the JUCO World Series after defeating Seward County Community College (Kan.) 8-6 in thrilling Region 6 Championship game that had to go 12 innings to decide the champion. This will be Hutchinson's second appearance at Grand Junction (2005). Throughout the season, the Blue Dragons scored an average of 8.97 runs per victory and held a team batting average of .322.
Hutchinson plays East Central District winner Chattanooga State (Tenn.) in Game 1 of the tournament Saturday at 9 a.m.
Key Hutchinson Players
Shawn Lewick (LHP) - 7-1, 1.71 ERA, 73.2 IP, 14 ER, 82 K, 25 BB
Matt Williams (RHP) - 8-1, 4,86 ERA, 57.1 IP, 31 ER, 41 K, 29 BB
Luke Acosta (INF) - .351 BA, 17 2B, 5 HR, 52 RBI, 33 SB
Andrew Dixon (OF) - .370, 32 RBI, 41 SB
Shaun Hoover (1B) - .301, 11 HR, 39 RBI
#20 Temple College, Texas (37-23)
Region 5 Champions
Southwest District Champions
The Leopards of Temple College are heading back to the Grand Junction for the second time in program history (2006). Temple arguably fought the hardest to get to Grand Junction. They battled through the Region 5 tournament and reached the championship round where they had to defeat McLennan twice. They came through with a 10-9 win in game one on May 19 and then defeated McLennan 6-5 in 13 innings in game two on May 20 to win the Region 5/Southwest District Championship. They Leopards won the game via catcher Collin Janssen's solo walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 13th inning.
The Leopards take on Southeast District Champion Faulkner State (Ala.) in Game 3 of the tournament Saturday at 3 p.m.
Key Temple Players
Brannon Easterling (RHP) - 8-3, 3.59 ERA, 82.2 IP, 33 ER, 49 K, 21 BB
Brandon Parrent (LHP) - 9-6, 4.46 ERA, 74.2 IP, 37 ER, 77 K, 54 BB
Jon Gonzales (1B) - .361 BA, 6 HR, 44 RBI
Zach Cohen (2B) - .357 BA, 10 2B, 5 HR, 35 RBI
Stafford Brantley (OF) - .379 BA, 8 HR, 32 RBI
Complete Tournament Schedule
(First Round Pairings based on 9-year rotation plan)
Saturday, May 29
Game 1 (9 am): Chattanooga State Community College, Tenn. (37-14) vs. Hutchinson Community College, Kan. (37-22)
Game 2 (12 pm): San Jacinto College - North, Texas (48-10) vs. State College of Florida (37-13)
Game 3 (3 pm): Faulkner State CC, Ala. (37-19) vs. Temple College, Texas (37-23)
Game 4 (7:30 pm): College of Southern Nevada (49-14) vs. Pitt Community College, NC (41-11)
Sunday, May 30
Game 5 (10 am): Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 6 (2 pm): Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 7 (7:30 pm): Iowa Western Community College (45-11) vs. Crowder College, Mo. (42-22)
Monday, May 31
Game 8 (10 am): Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 9 (2 pm): Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
Game 10 (7:30 pm): Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Tuesday, June 1
Game 11 (11 am): Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 9
Game 12 (3 pm): Wnner Game 8 vs. Loser Game 10
Game 13 (7:30 pm): Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 7
Wednesday, June 2
Game 14 (3 pm): Winner Game 11 vs. Loser Game 13
Game 15 (7:30 pm): Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 13
Thursday, June 3
Game 16 (3 pm): Winner Game 14 vs. Loser Game 15
Game 17 (7:30 pm): Winner game 15 vs. Winner Game 12
Friday, June 4
Game 18 (7:30 pm): see note below
Saturday, June 5
Game 19 (7:30 pm): see note below
NOTE: 1. If there are three teams remaining at Game 18, the team with the most games played shall receive a bye to Game 19. If there is a tie for most games played, a coin toss will be used to determine the bye.; 2. All games except Championship Games (possibly Game 18 if only two teams remain and Game 19) will have the run rule - 10 runs after five complete innings...8 runs after 7 complete innings. All games are scheduled for 9 innings.