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.


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