Santa Fe (Fla.) College vaults to top in first JUCO poll
Santa Fe (Fla.) College is off to a great start this baseball season and it’s caught the attention of the nation.
The Saints (17-3), who won eight consecutive games at one point, are the top-ranked team in the first National Junior College Athletic Association Division I regular-season rankings, released Wednesday.
Several newcomers have led to Santa Fe’s good start. Transfers Ben O’Shea and Malcolm Clapsaddle are both 4-0 with ERAs of 2.21 and 1.90, respectively. Florida Gulf Coast University transfer Jay Laurienzo leads the team with five home runs to go with 20 RBI and a .369 batting average.
Santa Fe has qualified for the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series twice in the program’s history (1985, 2009). The 2011 World Series is May 28-June 4 at Suplizio Field.
Navarro (Texas) College (12-3) is ranked second, Grayson County (Texas) College (11-3) is third, Miami-Dade (Fla.) College (14-5) is fourth and Chattanooga State (Tenn.) Community College (14-1) is fifth.
State College of Florida (15-5), a 2010 World Series qualifier, is ranked sixth. The 2009 national champion, Howard (Texas) College (8-6) dropped from No. 1 in the preseason poll to seventh.
Northeast Texas Community College (10-6), Pitt (N.C.) Community College (11-1) and San Jacinto (Texas) College (11-6) round out the top 10.
The Gators reached the national championship game the past spring, but lost to Iowa Western Community College. The Reivers (8-8) are not ranked.
The next poll will be released March 16.