San Jac baseball ranked best in the nation
04.21.2016 | By Rob Vanya
With the regular season in full swing, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) weekly poll ranks San Jacinto College (34-8, 21-7 conference) as the top baseball team in the nation.
San Jac started the season ranked number 10 by the NJCAA (#3 in Perfect Game USA), climbed up to number 2 on April 13th by the NJCAA (#3 in Perfect Game USA), and since climbed to number 1 on April 20 in both the NJCAA as well as Perfect Game USA polls.
The NJCAA rankings are based on overall team performance, and San Jac features a balanced, well-coached team that excels on offense and defense.
The team batting average is .325, and the team slugging percentage average is .495. Solid performers among regular players on offense are sophomore outfielder Max Wood (Vancouver, British Columbia / West Vancouver Secondary High School, .410 batting average, .525 slugging percentage, 4 home runs, and 32 RBIs); sophomore infielder Brandon Montgomery (Collierville, Tennessee / Collierville High School, .362 batting average, .546 slugging percentage, 4 home runs, and 25 RBIs); and sophomore catcher/outfielder Ryan January (Swampscott, Massachusetts / Swampscott High School, .350 batting average, .658 slugging percentage, 6 home runs, and 32 RBIs).
The San Jac pitching corps generally shuts down opponents, holding opposing teams to an overall team batting average of .219, and a slugging percentage of .295 for the season. The starting rotation of sophomores Devin Smeltzer (Voorhees, New Jersey / Bishop Eustace Preparatory School), Montana Parsons (Conroe / College Park High School), Colten Schmidt (La Porte / La Porte High School), and freshman Zachary Kapihe (Ewa Beach, Hawaii / Campbell High School) have a combined record of 20-5. Their ERAs (in order) are 1.45, 1.51, 1.70, and 2.48. The team’s primary relief pitcher, sophomore Cody Nesbit (La Porte / La Porte High School), is 3-1 with a microscopic ERA of 0.36. The ERA for the entire pitching staff for the season is an extremely low 1.72.
Head Coach Tom Arrington, now in his 15th season at the helm, is pleased with the progress the team has made during the season. “Our young men are competitors, play with grit and are determined to play for the ultimate prize, a national championship,” he commented. “We’ve had great teams in my time here at San Jac, and this club is comparable to any of them. There is a team-first vibe that has been awesome to manage. We have a long way to go yet, but I can envision great things for my players, my coaches and this program over the next month and a half.”
The Region XIV Tournament will be played May 13 through May 17 at the Constellation Field in Sugar Land, home of the Atlantic League Sugar Land Skeeters. The winner of the regional tournament advances to the JUCO World Series, which starts May 28 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 23 times, all of which are national records.
Admission to San Jacinto College baseball games is free. All San Jacinto College baseball home games are played at the North Campus at 5800 Uvalde Road in Houston. For information about the San Jacinto College baseball team, please 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.