Baseball to honor Legends
02.01.2018 | By Amanda Fenwick
HOUSTON – The San Jacinto College baseball team will honor former student-athletes at the 2018 Legends game on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.
This year’s Legends include Greg Runser (1999), Donnie Elliott (1988), Randy Brown (1988-89), DJ Wilson (1995-97, player; 1997-2014, coach), David Evans (1989) and Anthony Banda (2012).
Runser played one season at San Jac, helping the team finish as the national runner-up in 1999. Following his playing time at San Jac, he played one season at University of Houston. Runser was drafted by the Rangers and played five seasons in the minor leagues for the Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres. A graduate of the last class of The Woodlands High School, Runser went 3-3 with six saves and a 1.12 ERA in 21 relief appearances in 2000 – his first in the minor leagues – for the Pulaski Rangers.
“I am really appreciative of the experience I had at San Jacinto College,” said Runser, who for the last nine years has been a scout with the Minnesota Twins. “Being a Gator let me know that everyone’s journey is a little different, and it got me back on track. I had a blast playing for a national title and experiencing Grand Junction (Colorado, home of the Junior College World Series).”
Elliott played for San Jac in 1988 under legendary Head Coach Wayne Graham, now skipper of the Rice Owls. Elliott helped that team win a national title before beginning his professional career. He played 10 years in the minors and spent two seasons in the major leagues with San Diego. In 31 games with the Padres, Elliot was 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA.
Brown spent two seasons at San Jac, also under Graham, during the 1988 and 1989 seasons – both national championship seasons. He chose San Jac because of its reputation, the reputation of Graham, and to help with his draft status. Brown was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. He played 10 seasons in the minor leagues for Pittsburgh and Seattle. Brown is currently a coach with Twelve Baseball and is working with former San Jac teammate Dan Robinson (1987-89) on an online sports training program called Year Round Athlete. He and his wife Kimberly have two daughters.
“This is truly an honor to be a San Jac Legend,” said Brown. “So many great legends come out of San Jac. It’s a program that is rich in tradition.”
Wilson has spent most of his baseball career at San Jac. He played two seasons at San Jac before spending 18 seasons as a Gator coach. Wilson was a part of 12 national tournament teams, including six that played for a national title, as well as 11 conference championships as a coach. Following his San Jacinto College playing career, Wilson transferred to the University of Houston, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts. He also holds a Master of Education from University of Texas at Tyler. He and his wife, Alisha, have three daughters.
David Evans was the 1989 Junior College Player of the Year as a pitcher for Coach Graham’s national championship team. He holds the school record for wins in a season (18 in 1989) and strikeouts (145 in 1989). He ranks among the top five in winning percentage and innings pitched. He was a third round pick of the Seattle Mariners and spent 14 years in professional baseball with the Mariners, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles organizations. He is currently a coach with Premiere Baseball of Texas Sports Complex.
Banda was a third-team all-American during his one year at San Jacinto College in 2012, when he helped San Jac finish as the national runner-up. He was drafted in the 10th round by the Milwaukee Brewers and made his major league debut on July 22, 2017 for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2016 Banda was named the organizational pitcher of the year after combining to go 10-6 with a 2.88 ERA with 152 strikeouts in 26 starts between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. He was also selected that year to play with Team USA in the MLB All-Star Futures Game at Petco Park.
“We are excited to have these former players come back to be honored and celebrated as Legends,” said San Jacinto College Head Coach Tom Arrington. “This event is held in conjunction with the Tournament of Champions, so we invite everyone to come out and enjoy some great baseball as we recognize our Legends.”
The Legends will be honored prior to the start of the San Jac baseball game versus Northwest Florida State on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2:30 p.m. All baseball home games are played at John Ray Harrison Field at Andy Pettitte Park on the San Jacinto College North Campus. All home games are free and open to the public.
For more information about San Jacinto College baseball visit sanjacsports.com.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students each year benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers eight areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to four-year colleges or universities or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.