Baseball team wins South Zone championship
05.12.2016 | By Rob Vanya
Team enters Region XIV Tournament as No. 1 seed
The San Jacinto College baseball team finished the regular season as the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIV South Zone champions and will face Bossier Parish Community College in the first round of the Region XIV Tournament on Friday, May 13 at 8 p.m. The regional tournament will be played at Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters, located at 1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land TX 77498.
San Jac (44-10 overall, 31-9 conference) enters the regional tournament as the South Zone No. 1 seed. San Jac is the nation’s top-ranked team by Perfect Game and No. 10 in the nation by the NJCAA. Bossier Parish (25-27 overall, 14-16 conference) enters the tournament as the East Zone No. 4 seed.
On offense, San Jac is led by sophomore outfielder Max Wood (Vancouver, British Columbia / West Vancouver Secondary High School), who owns a .394 batting average and .553 slugging percentage behind 7 home runs, and 46 RBIs. Sophomore infielder Brandon Montgomery (Collierville, Tennessee / Collierville High School) is hitting .388 with a .594 slugging percentage. He has 5 home runs and 32 RBIs so far this season. Sophomore catcher/outfielder Ryan January (Swampscott, Massachusetts / Swampscott High School) has a .351 batting average and .662 slugging percentage, with 8 home runs and 39 RBIs.
The starting pitching rotation, which has been dominant all season, features sophomores Devin Smeltzer (Voorhees, New Jersey / Bishop Eustace Preparatory School), Montana Parsons (Conroe / College Park High School), and Colten Schmidt (La Porte / La Porte High School). The starters have a combined record of 22-8. Their ERAs (in order) are 1.49, 1.38, and 1.46. The team’s primary relief pitcher, sophomore Cody Nesbit (La Porte / La Porte High School), is 3-1 with a microscopic ERA of 0.60. The team’s overall pitching ERA of 1.73 is the lowest in the nation.
“I am very proud of our players and coaches for winning the South Zone title, and for being ranked nationally by Perfect Game and the NJCAA,” commented Head Coach Tom Arrington, now in his 15th year at the helm of the program. Arrington pointed out that Region XIV is perhaps the most competitive conference in the nation, with three teams (San Jac, Navarro College, and Panola College) being nationally ranked most of the season. “There are quality players throughout the conference who regularly transfer to Division 1 colleges or who are drafted by MLB teams,” he commented. “So, we cannot take Bossier Parish lightly, or any team in the conference. That’s why the players and coaches have been working hard to be well prepared for the tournament.”
The Region XIV Tournament runs from May 13 through May 17. Admission cost is $10 per person to each game. The winner of the tournament advances to the NJCAA World Series, to be played May 28 through June 4 in Grand Junction, Colorado. San Jac has won five national titles, has appeared in 13 national championship games, and has qualified for the JUCO World Series 24 times, all of which are national records.
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, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.