JUCO: 2009 series briefs May 30, 2009
Mavericks get a home-field welcome
• The Mesa State College baseball team was introduced to the fans at the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series prior to Friday night’s game.
The Mavericks returned from the NCAA Division II World Series on Thursday. They finished in the top six in the nation in their first Division II World Series in school history.
“It’s nice people are starting to recognize Mesa State baseball,” senior Blake Carlquist said. “Obviously, the competition level and all that. They could come out Feb. 2 and see ball just as good as this.”
“It’s good everyone came out to recognize us,” senior Justin Little said.
“Especially hearing about the ovations when we were playing,” senior Mike Provencher added.
BATTLE FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
• Friday night’s championship game between Howard (Texas) College and Santa Fe (Fla.) College marked the fifth time a team from Texas and a team from Florida have played for the JUCO title.
It’s the first time since Howard won its championship in 1991 when the Hawks defeated Manatee Community College of Bradenton, Florida.
Other Texas and Florida championship matchups include 1988 when Hillsborough Community College of Tampa defeated San Jacinto, 1986 as San Jacinto took down Brevard Community College and in 1973 when Ranger Junior College defeated Gulf Coast of Panama City.
BERGMAN THROWS OUT FIRST PITCH
• Longtime Mesa College baseball coach Bus Bergman threw out the first pitch of the Howard and Santa Fe championship game. The field the 10 teams have been practicing on the whole week is Mesa State College’s Bergman Field named after Bus. Bergman was accompanied during the first pitch by his son, Walt and grandsons, Brett and Eric.
Catching the first pitch was youth delegate Kadan Cummings.
BLOOD BANK SUCCESS
• During the tournament the St. Mary’s Hospital blood bank was taking donations for free tickets to each JUCO World Series game. This was the first year that the blood drive has taken place. According to Tracy Marrow, a blood tech worker has seen about 30 people a day to give blood. She went on to say if they had 30 a day around town where the truck usually goes, that would be a very successful day. There are talks to do the blood drive again next year, but it is still being determined.
• As if being the tournament chairman wasn’t enough to handle, Jamie Hamilton served as the color commentator on Altitude’s broadcast of the championship game.
ANOTHER WORLD SERIES
• Two players who participated in the JUCO World Series are playing for a NCAA Division II national title today at the USA Baseball Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
Emporia State (Kan.) University outfielder Jeremy Francis played for Johnson County (Kan.) Community College and Lynn (Fla.) University third baseman Einar Atencio played for Chipola (Fla.) College in the JUCO World Series last year. Atencio played for Chipola in 2006 and helped the Indians win the national title.
• Friday night’s starting pitchers were easily confused. Both pitchers had the initials D.C. as Howard’s Dylan Cacciola faced off against Santa Fe’s Daley Cox. Both pitchers are sophomore left-handed pitchers originally from a city beginning with W. Cacciola is from Washington Township, NJ., and Cox is from Winter Garden, Fla.
12 EYES TO MAKE THE CALL
• Friday’s championship game feature all six officials. Phil Schlosser manned home plate with Pancho Flores at first, Cedric Coleman at second and Don Neal at third. Added were Sheldon Wheeler on the right field line and Paul Misleh on the left field line.
• The attendance of Friday’s championship game 10,912. The 18-game tournament drew 110,438 fans.