Iowa Western headlines juco All-Americans
It hasn’t been a whirlwind, but the past few days haven’t been R&R for Marc Rardin.
“It’s junior college and you get back to the real world and just go about your business,” the Iowa Western Community College baseball coach said Tuesday. “My president, the board of trustees, my athletic director, they’ve appreciated what I’ve done, and they’ve stepped up for me and my family.
“I don’t know nowadays if I can leave here. This is where Tyler and Griffin (his sons) have grown up. It’s all they know, and when you have backing from your bosses and they take care of your family as well ... One of my sayings is, ‘What’s happier than happy?’ “
After winning three NJCAA Division I baseball national championships in five years, things in Council Bluffs are pretty happy.
“I’m proud about how we do it. I’m proud that we’ve had 96 guys go Division I in 12 years. I’m proud of the understanding of the history of junior college baseball, that we were the first Northern (District) team to win it, and then we did it three out of five years.”
From the time the Reivers returned home from the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series on Saturday, Rardin has been putting a wrap on the 2014 season and working toward 2015.
“There’s D-1 transfers out there, we had one on campus this morning,” he said. “We’re working on what we’re going to have come in for this fall and help you again and still trying to put to bed this year, the business part of it, the paperwork.
“I haven’t had a day off. I worked all day Sunday and (Monday). Hopefully, I’m looking forward to having a day this weekend.”
One of the first orders of business was to order a slew of national championship T-shirts, one of which coins the phrase “Three-vers,” honoring the Reivers’ three national titles.
He laughed at the notion that sure, he can win national titles in even-numbered years, but can he do it in an odd year?
“It doesn’t get old. I like it because we have over a 3.3 GPA, we win, our kids act the right way,” Rardin said. “I just like the whole package. I love winning a national championship, but it’s how we do everything that I really enjoy.”
He still can’t answer the question of why the Reivers were so dominant in Grand Junction, winning three straight run-rule games after a 6-5 opening victory over Columbia State Community College (Tennessee).
Had the run-rule been effect for the championship game, Iowa Western would have ended that game early, too, with a 17-5 victory over Miami Dade College (Florida).
“I still can’t believe the 54-11 run difference,” he said. “I’ve been there before, and I’ve seen how things can blow up in your face, but to go 54-11 on runs was unreal. I don’t know why, but I’ll take it.”
Tuesday, Iowa Western had two of the 11 players who made appearances in the JUCO World Series make the NJCAA Division I All-America team: catcher David Parrett and pitcher Quinn Carpenter.
Carpenter, the starting pitcher in the championship game, made the honorable mention team. He made two appearances at JUCO without a decision and hit .313 with two RBI as the Reviers’ designated hitter.
Parrett, a sophomore, hit .471 with two doubles and two RBI in Grand Junction. One other player from the title game, Miami Dade designated hitter Darren Seferina, made the third team.
Seferina, only a freshman, hit .600, with two doubles and four RBI during the JUCO World Series. Seferina and Iowa Western’s Alex Krupa tied for the highest batting average in the tournament.
Chattahoochee Valley Community College (Alabama) shortstop John Holland made the second team. The sophomore hit .333 in the Pirates’ three games.
Johnson County Community College (Kansas) pitcher Aaron Schnurbusch, who went 0-1 at JUCO, pitching only two innings for the Cavaliers, made the third team.
Delgado Community College (Louisiana) outfielder Josh Watkins, who hit .250 for the Dolphins during the tournament, also made the third team, as did Blinn Community College (Texas) outfielder Nolan Brown. The sophomore hit .438 for the Buccaneers, with one home run, one double, one triple and three RBI.
Also on the honorable mention team were Delgado pitcher Chase Hymel, Chattahoochee Valley pitcher Dalton Rentz, Columbia State infielder Tyler Fullerton and Spartanburg Methodist College (South Carolina) infielder Matt White.
To be eligible for All-America honors, players must first be selected to their respective all-district team.