Prep Baseball Report

JUCO Wire: NJCAA DI Top-25 Update

By: Andy Sroka and Josh Fields
JUCO Wire Staff

The 2024 NJCAA Division I season has been underway for over a month now, and despite the varying opening days across the nation's JUCO programs, enough time has passed for the first update to the official Prep Baseball JUCO Wire Division I Top-25 Rankings. We presented our preseason top 25 rankings on Jan. 23, and we're ready to place a new No. 1 team at the top.

+ No. 1 Weatherford (12-4)

Weatherford takes over the No. 1 spot after one month into the season. The Coyotes have gotten off to a hot start offensively and on the mound and are currently on a five-game win streak. The Coyotes are back in action this weekend with a four-game series against New Mexico Military.

+ No. 2 Iowa Western (8-4)

Moving up to our No. 2 spot, the Reivers have started their 2024 campaign against some of the toughest competition in the country, earning wins against Weatherford and McLennan while splitting their series against Crowder and Cowley.

+ No. 3 Gulf Coast State (18-1)

The highest debuting team in our Top 25, the Commodores have gotten off to a notable start while playing quality competition throughout their first 19 games. Their only loss on the season came from a quality Walters State team, and they have gotten wins against State College of Florida, Miami Dade, Pearl River, and St. Johns River State.

+ No. 4 Johnson County (12-5-1)

The Cavaliers head into March with a 12-5-1 record, with several standouts offensively and on the mound to start the season. They picked up a pair of quality wins early in February when they split against Crowder.

+ No. 5 Salt Lake (12-2)

The Bruins are riding a nine-game win streak going into the back half of a four-game series against Colorado Northwestern. The Bruins have had standout performances from several arms on their pitching staff and should be a formidable opponent.

+ No. 6 Central Arizona (15-5)

The Vaqueros are winners of eight of their last ten games and are currently on a five-game win streak. Pitching has been driving the team's success early this season, as the staff has an ERA of 1.58 and over a 10 K/9.

+ No. 7 Gaston (16-2)

The Rhinos are winners of their last seven games and are 15-1 when they play at home, highlighted by three recent wins over Walters State. The Rhinos are back in action with a three-game series against Frontier this weekend.

+ No. 8 Northwest Florida State (15-5)

The Raiders are 15-5 overall, with a pair of wins against a quality San Jacinto team, and 8-0 at home. The Raiders have gotten strong starts on offense and the mound thus far.

+ No. 9 Georgia Highlands (18-2)

The Chargers are another team debuting in the Top 10 after going 18-2 and are winners of their last six games. The Chargers have gotten quality wins against Wabash Valley and split a four-game series against Walters State.

+ No. 10 Walters State (13-6)

The Senators have played some tough competition to start the 2024 campaign and are currently on a six-game win streak. Early in February, the Senators picked up a pair of wins against Chipola and a win against No. 3 Gulf Coast State, and more recently split a four-game series against Georgia Highlands.

+ No. 11 Crowder (11-6)

The Roughriders started their season with a pair of tough series against Johnson County and Iowa Western, splitting with Johnson County and losing three of four against Iowa Western. Since then, they have won six in a row and look to continue their streak this weekend against Southeast.

+ No. 12 Tyler (15-4)

Our third team debuting in the Top 25, the Apaches earned quality wins against Blinn and Iowa Western earlier in the month. Sophomore Ryan Brown has led the way on offense, swatting five home runs with 19 RBIs. On the mound, Sophomore Grayson Murry has emerged as a key piece of the staff, picking up three wins and a save.

+ No. 13 Chipola (15-7)

After a tough schedule to start the year, they picked up a win against the then No. 1 team Central Florida. The Indians' offense has come alive recently on their five-game winning streak, scoring 73 runs in that stretch.

+ No. 14 State College of Florida (13-7)

The Manatees have picked up some quality wins over the past month with wins over Northwest Florida State, McLennan, Florence Darlington, and St. Johns River State. They will be back in action today when they take on Daytona State for two games.

+ No. 15 John A. Logan (11-2)

The Volunteers are on a six-game win streak and will look to extend that going into March. The offense has been key early on, as the team is hitting .343/.443/.585 through 13 games. Jake Munroe, Trey Swiderski, and Cam Hill have been early season standouts for them so far at the plate.

+ No. 16 Central Florida (13-7)

Our No.1 team this preseason has had an up-and-down season to start the year. Now sitting at 13-7 they find themselves at No. 16 in our latest update and will be back in action today against St. Petersburg for a double header.

+ No. 17 McLennan (8-6)

The Highlanders started the season up and down, but have rallied towards the end of February and are now on a four-game win streak. They are back in action this weekend with a three-game series against Navarro.

+ No. 18 Pensacola State (18-1)

Winners of 13 straight, the Pirates are one of the hotter teams on the JUCO Wire. At the plate, the Pirates are hitting .367/.446/.636. As a staff, they have pitched to a 2.77 ERA.

+ No. 19 Arizona Western (16-5)

Arizona Western is another team debuting in our latest Top-25 update. Earning quality wins over San Jacinto, Southern Nevada, and splitting with Central Arizona over this past month. Sophomores Robert Miranda, Eli Watson, and Sergio DeCello have led the way on offense.

+ No. 20 Florence-Darlington Tech (14-5)

The Stingers are moving up two spots in this update after starting 14-5. Over the last month, the Stingers won against Wabash Valley, St. Johns River State, and two against Miami Dade.

+ No. 21 Temple (12-4)

Temple is yet another hot team to start their 2024 season, picking up early season wins against Blinn and two against San Jacinto in the first week. Freshman Wilson Woodcox and Mason Ashlock have been notable run producers to start the season, while sophomore Trent Rucker has been a steady presence in the lineup.

+ No. 22 Florida SouthWestern (15-6)

Florida SouthWestern sits at No. 22 in our latest update after a 15-6 start. The Buccaneers got hot during the middle of February when they put together a nine-game win streak before dropping one to Indian River State.

+ No. 23 Kansas City Kansas (8-2)

The Blue Devils are winners of their last five games, bringing them to 8-2 on the year and up one spot in our latest rankings. They will be back in action Friday when they play Heartland and Northwest Mississippi.

+ No. 24 Chattanooga State (17-3)

The Tigers are riding a six-game win streak into March and find themselves our final newcomer in our latest update. Freshman Brody Ballou, Bryson Jenkins, and Braden Graves are all hitting over .400 on the year. Meanwhile, sophomore Conner Bryson has a sub-1.00 ERA across 19 innings pitched.

+ No. 25 Blinn (7-8)

Blinn has struggled in the early going this season but has won their last two games. Tanner Reaves and Connor McGinnis have been the notable performers at the plate, and Blinn has had several notable performances on the mound.

Receiving Votes (Alphabetical Order): Cloud County (KS), Cochise (AZ), Connors State (OK), Delgado (LA), Hillsborough (FL), Indian Hills (IA), Indian River State (FL), Jefferson (MO), Navarro (TX), New Mexico, Midland (TX), Pima (AZ), Ranger (TX), Santa Fe (FL), Southern Idaho, Southern Nevada, Southern Union State (AL), and Wharton County (TX).