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Maryland JUCO Team Preview: CCBC Essex Knights


Kyle Campbell
Maryland Scouting Director

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JUCO programs across the state of Maryland are eager to get back on the field after their season's were cut short by Covid-19 in 2020. As the calendar quickly turns and teams begin to ramp up for their season's to begin in early March, we begin our coverage of the Maryland JUCO Conference with a preseason preview of all fourteen schools. In each preview, we will take a look back at the shortened 2020 season, examine key players that return and those that have moved on or left the program, look at new faces, and finally take a sneak peak at whats ahead for the 2021 season. Today we continue our preseason previews with a look at the CCBC Essex Knights.

 

CCBC Essex 2021 SEASON PREVIEW

Head Coach: Sean O'Connor (2nd Season)  k
Mascot: Knights
2020 Record: 3-3
2020 MD JUCO Finish: N/A
2020 DII Region XX Finish: N/A
Twitter Handle: @Essex_Baseball_
CLICK HERE to view the CCBC Essex Baseball Website
CLICK HERE to view the CCBC Essex 2021 Baseball Schedule
CLICK HERE to view the CCBC Essex 2021 Baseball Roster

 

Returning Starters: 7

PLAYER POS GP AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Alvin Carela MIF .000 .250  .000 
JJ Erazo SS .250  .316  .250 
Luis Gonzalez INF 6 .267  .389  .467 
Mitchell Haywood  C .455  .571  .636 
Max Jinjika 2B .286  .524  .500 
Devin Johnson 1B .294  .429  .412 
Cam Powers 3B .222  .300  .222 

 

Returning Pitchers: 1

PLAYER POS APP W L S IP H R ER BB K ERA
Jeffrey Young  LHP 2 7.0  12  5.14 

 

Key Losses

PLAYER POS GP AVG OBP SLG R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Lucas Carr C/1B .500  .500  .857 
William Cheatham  1B .000  .083  .000 
Andrew Pulcini C/3B .000  .000  .000  0
PLAYER POS APP W L S IP H R ER BB K ERA
Rocco Márquez  RHP 7.0  9.00 

 

2020 Knights Moving On

*List of players from last year's team that are playing a 4-year schools this season.

Lucas Carr (Elizabethtown College)
William Cheatham (University of Akron)
Andrew Pulcini (University of New Haven)

 

Top Newcomers

Damon Ayarzagoitia LHP St. Pius (TX)
Sammy Canela OF Transfer from Kingsborough CC
Ryan Conroy RHP/3B Dulaney (MD)
Jordan Daddio C James River (VA)
Nick Hemstreet C Heritage (VA)
Rolando Heredia-Bustos RHP Transfer from Gordon State College
Jeff Jones RHP Transfer from Frederick CC
Luis Marrero MIF Boone (FL)
Austin Mumaw RHP/OF Transfer from PSU-Harrisburg
Todd Murphy LHP/OF Roosevelt (MD)
Alexander Rivera RHP/OF San Juan (PR)

 

Committed Players on Current Roster

None at this time. 

 

2021 Season Snapshot

It figures to be an interesting year for head coach Sean O'Connor and the CCBC Essex Knights. Covid-19 ended their 2020 campaign after just six games leaving first year head coach O'Connor and his staff with many unanswered questions. However, combine several core players returning and a solid group of new faces; O'Connor believes that this year's team has the capability of contending for a NJCAA Region XX title by season's end. 

Starting on the mound, the Knights will miss the services of righty Rocco Márquez but do return lefty Jeffrey Young, both of whom logged over 40 innings in 2019. With Young set as a starter in the rotation again this season, O'Connor will lean on a plethora of transfers and freshman to round out the staff and provide depth. Look for transfers Rolando Heredia-Bustos, Austin Mumaw, and Jeff Jones to make immediate impacts on the bump alongside freshmen Damon Ayarzagoitia, Ryan Conroy, Toddy Murphy, and Alexander Rivera

Defensively the Knights look to be strong up the middle returning shortstop JJ Erazo, second basemen Max Jinjika, and middle infielder Alvin Carela. All three will also look to provide a spark in the lineup in front of a strong middle of the order headlined by returners Devin Johnson, Mitchell Haywood, and Cam Powers. Fellow returner Luis Gonzalez, transfer Sammy Canela, and freshman Luis Marrero, Jordan Daddio, and Nick Hemstreet also figure to get plenty of opportunities to crack the starting lineup throughout the season and play key roles for second year manager O'Connor. 

This year's Knights squad has big shoes to fill after pretty much a whole season off following a NJCAA DII World Series berth in 2018 and runner-up finish in the NJCAA DII Region XX Tournament in 2019. It will be important for O'Connor and the Knights to hit the ground running this year without a trip south to open the campaign due to travel restrictions stemming from the pandemic. Instead, CCBC Essex will open with two mid-week games against cross campus rival CCBC Catonsville before playing host to Maryland JUCO powerhouse Harford CC in a double header on March 7th and finishing out the opening month with a total of ten NJCAA Region XX DII games. 

 

More Maryland JUCO Preseason Previews