JUCO Notebook: Unexpected arrival requires Polk State coach’s departure
Polk State (Fla.) College coach Al Corbeil wasn’t in the dugout for the Eagles’ Alpine Bank Junior College World Series finale Tuesday.
Corbeil’s wife, Whitney, went into labor back home in Lakeland, Fla., so Corbeil drove to Denver late Monday night, caught a flight home and made it just in time for the birth of their first child, a boy, Azarias Grand Corbeil.
“We were going to dinner last night when she called,” pitching coach Brad Cook said. “He dropped me off and headed out.”
Cook said the baby’s middle name is Grand in honor of Grand Junction, where the Corbeils fell in love, Cook said. Corbeil played in the 1999 JUCO World Series for Manatee (Fla.) Community College.
“It was the first time in four years he missed a game,” Cook said. “He and I usually call the pitches, but it was all on me today.”
Get your Hawaiian on: Wednesday is hump day for the Monday-Friday work crowd, but for the JUCO crowd, it’s Hawaiian shirt night. The JUCO Tournament Committee invites all fans to wear their best or wildest Hawaiian shirt to the game, a long-standing JUCO tradition.
Staying in state: Shelton State (Ala.) Community College outfielder and pitcher Terrance Dedrick is staying in Alabama to play both positions for Auburn University this fall. Buccaneers coach Bobby Sprowl, a former major league baseball player in his 21st year at Shelton State, expects Dedrick will do well with the Tigers in the mighty Southeastern Conference.
“He’s a better hitter than he’s showing out here,” Sprowl said. “He’s hitting third for a reason, and he’s a real good defensive player. And having been around the SEC as long as I’ve been, he’s going to help them.”
Although Dedrick’s JUCO production at the plate has been below his standards, he didn’t disappoint on the mound when he recorded the final nine outs of the Buccaneers’ victory Tuesday over Polk State (Fla.) College.
Sprowl didn’t hold back in assessing that performance.
“Terrance, he’s one of the best closers in the country,” Sprowl said. “I don’t have any doubt about it, mainly because he can throw a power curve ball, and he can throw it for called strikes. Once he gets ahead of you, he’ll throw it 90, 91, and once he gets that breaking ball going, then he’s got you right where he wants you.”
Bat check: In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game, the umpires checked Gordon (Ga.) College’s bats to see if the bats met the NJCAA Ball-Bat Coefficient Of Restitution standards established in 2011.
The umpires determined there were no illegal bats in the game.
Not all was lost: Neosho County (Kan.) Community College’s 14-1 loss Tuesday to Iowa Western Community College ended its World Series appearance in disappointing fashion, but little else was disappointing this season.
“We were fortunate enough to get here, which is more than most teams did,” Neosho County coach Steve Murry said. “We won 49 ball games, which is the school record. We got sixth in the country, which is pretty dang good.
“You’ve got to look at the positives. It’s not real positive right now, but it will be here in a week, or after the bus ride home. So, things are great. They just didn’t end well here.”
Colorado connection returning: Neosho County will lose nine players to NCAA Division I schools and five more to other schools, Murry said, but he has a decent nucleus returning.
Among the returnees is shortstop David Bote, a Colorado native who calls Thornton home. He helped Faith Christian Academy win the state Class 3A state title with his brother as the head coach and his father as an assistant coach during his senior year.
One reason Bote will remain at Neosho is the 4-2-4 rule will keep him there.
As Murry explained, “The 4-2-4 rule means when you transfer from a Division I (program to a junior college), you have to graduate from the community college that you go to. And he’s a true freshman, transferred at semester, so he’s got to graduate from our school to move on. Unless he gets drafted, which is a possibility.”
Bote went to NCAA Division I Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., last fall to play baseball, but things didn’t work out. He politely declined to discuss it, saying, “It’s too long a story.”
He ended up at Neosho County because he knew Panthers assistant coach Taylor Henry and called him to ask, “Hey, do you need a middle infielder?’ ... I got a call from Coach Murry the next morning, and he goes, ‘Yeah, I guess you can come. You better be here tomorrow.’ “
As a Division I recruit, the thought of playing in the JUCO World Series never crossed his mind until this spring.
“Five months ago I was a nobody in Lynchburg, Va., and now I’m playing in the World Series,” Bote said.
Name and number: Catcher Brad Sevenish of Shelton State hits in the ninth spot for the Buccaneers, but true to his name, wears jersey No. 7.
Attendance: The night game accounted for more than half of Tuesday’s attendance with 6,709 fans. The three-game total was 13,143, and it brought the four-day total to 66,640.