Prep Baseball Report

NJCAA Top-25: End-of-Season Update

By: Josh Fields & JUCO Wire Staff

As the regular ended late last week, and playoffs have started in a few places around the country, we updated our NJCAA DI top-25 heading into the postseason.

Despite being just a couple days into postseason action, there's already been two teams on this list with their seasons ended: Gaston (NC) and Walters State (TN). Gaston faced its rivals Flo-Dar Tech (SC) on Monday, featuring the two heavyweights of Region X, which were both playing like two of the top programs in the country. Flo-Dar raced to an early lead, 4-0, after an inning and upped to to 7-1 after two. Gaston did not mount a comeback, which meant it needed to defeat USC Sumter to earn a chance at revenge, but the No. 5 seed upset the Rhinos instead, ending their season. The Stingers went on to defeat Sumter, 18-7, earlier today, which crowned them Region X champs in the process.

Meanwhile, in Columbia, Tenn., Walters State (TN) entered the Region VII tourney as the No. 1 seed, but the Senators dropped their opener against Motlow State (TN), 9-8, instead on Sunday. On Monday, the were tasked with a matchup against Cleveland State (TN) with both teams' seasons on the line. The Cougars took two of three from Walters State three weeks back, and they won this critical elimination game too, 10-4, halting the Senators' season for good. They'll take on Columbia State (TN) tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The records and the rankings below reflect the results from above.

+ No. 1 Iowa Western (48-7)

The Reivers maintain their number one spot in our final update. Currently on a 10-game win streak heading into the postseason the Reivers will look to put together a deep postseason run.

+ No. 2 Johnson County (46-10)

Maintaining a spot in the top-10 throughout the season, Johnson County moves up to No. 2 in this update. After a competitive April that saw them face off against other top-25 teams in Cowley and Kansas City Kansas, the Cavaliers went 6-2 against them.

+ No. 3 Georgia Highlands (47-8)

The Chargers ended their season on a 10-game winning streak after debuting in the top-25 back in March. The Chargers have one of the more tantalizing offenses in the country, as a team they have hit .377/.477/.631 with 89 home runs on the year.

+ No. 4 Weatherford (43-13)

The Coyotes have seem themselves bounce around the top-5 all season, ultimately finishing strong on the year taking 3-of-4 from a tough McLennan squad and earning the No. 1 seed in their conference/region playoffs.

+ No. 5 Northwest Florida State (33-13)

The top Florida school in our final update, Northwest Florida State is a battle tested squad that faced off against some of the top schools in the area multiple times.

+ No. 6 Crowder (44-13)

The Roughriders went 44-13 on the year and are set to host the Region 16 regional. Crowder has been one of the top teams in the midwest since the start of the season with a stout offense and a deep pitching staff.

+ No. 7 Central Arizona (45-14)

Central Arizona is one of the best teams on the west coast, playing in a tough region that is competitive throughout. With a steady lineup 1-through-9 and a stout pitching staff that pitched to a sub-3 ERA on the year the Vaqueros look ahead to a postseason run.

+ No. 8 College of Southern Nevada (44-9)

Southern Nevada finds themselves back on the top-25 after a strong end of March and a standout February where they took control of their region. Southern Nevada has one of the stronger pitching staffs in the country, striking out over 11 batters per nine innings and pitching to a 3.61 ERA on the year.

+ No. 9 Blinn (37-14)

Our preseason No. 2 finds themselves back inside the top-10 sitting at No. 9. After a challenging early season schedule that saw them lose eight of their 14 games before March Blinn would go on to lose only six more games across the final two months of the season.

+ No. 10 Florence-Darlington Tech (47-9)

A perennial contender for the Region 10 crown, the Stingers took home the championship earlier today against USC Sumter after knocking off Gaston yesterday. The Stingers are equally impressive on both sides of the baseball hitting over .300 as a team and having a staff ERA below 4.

+ No. 11 McLennan (39-17)

The Highlanders climb a couple spots since our last update, now sitting at No. 11. McLennan had an impressive month of April before having to face off and losing 3-of-4 against Weatherford in early may for a four game series with a lot on the line.

+ No. 12 Cowley (39-16)

The Tigers move back up to No.12 after making their way back onto the top-25 last month. Playing in a tough region and having played other top-25 opponents this past month in Kansas City Kansas and Johnson County, Cowley is another battle tested team heading into the postseason.

+ No. 13 Gaston (51-6)

The team with the most wins on the season inside the top-25, Gaston’s postseason run was cut short following back-to-back losses yesterday to Florence-Darlington and USC Sumter. Gaston finished their year hitting .351/.505/.572 on the year as an offense and pitching to a 3.50 ERA as a staff.

+ No. 14 Pima (44-10)

Jumping up nine spots in this update, with back-to-back strong months Pima has proven to be one of the better teams in Region 1. As a team Pima is hitting over .300 with a staff ERA of 3.05 heading into the tournament.

+ No. 15 Kansas City Kansas (44-10)

A consistent presence in the top-25 Kansas City Kansas has steadily risen across each update. The Blue Devils offense as well as the steady and deep pitching staff has led them to their third straight 40+ win season.

+ No. 16 San Jacinto (35-18)

Rising three spots in this update, San Jacinto finished strong in the final two months of the season by going 26-9 in that span. One of the hotter teams heading into the Region 14 tournament the Ravens will look to put together a postseason run.

+ No. 17 John A. Logan (42-10)

A steady presence in the top-25 and GRAC conference champions after winning the series against Wabash Valley in their final regular season series. The Volunteers offense has been led by Louisville commit Jake Munroe who has slugged 22 home runs while maintaining a .422 batting average on the season.

+ No. 18 Chipola (34-17)

The Indians sit at No. 18 after competing in a tough Region 8 throughout the regular season where they played some of the best the region has to offer. A talented team with some of the best prospects on the JUCO Wire the Indians have a shot to make some noise this postseason.

+ No. 19 Salt Lake (38-12)

After spending most of the season in the top-10 a rough April that included getting swept by Southern Nevada finds Salt Lake falling down to No. 19. Known for their pitching talent Salt Lake has pitched to a 3.29 ERA on the year.

+ No. 20 Indian River State (39-12)

Debuting in this update, Indian River State is set to face off against Chipola in the opening round of the playoffs. Both offensively and on the mound the Pioneers have enjoyed a successful season hitting .320 as an offense and holding the staff ERA under 4.

+ No. 21 Walters State (44-15)

Walters State drops down to No. 21 after their season was cut short losing the first two games of their playoff. One of the more feared offenses on the JUCO Wire, Walters State slugged 108 home runs as a team with four players hitting over 10. Deniel Ortiz and Karson Bonaparte also received Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year respectively.

+ No. 22 Hutchinson (44-11)

Another top-25 debut, Hutchinson earned the two seed in the Region 6 playoffs. As an offense they have hit .356/.469/.545 on the year while the pitching staff has held an ERA just over four on the year at 4.05.

+ No. 23 Florida SouthWestern (37-19)

Florida SouthWestern earned the two seed in the Region 8 playoffs after going 37-19 on the season. Led by Citrus Conference Player of the Year Victor Figueroa on offense the Buccaneers are going to look to make noise in the postseason.

+ No. 24 Gulf Coast State (32-14)

Another Florida team that is postseason bound, after spending most of the year inside the top-3 Gulf Coast State finds themselves down to No. 24. A talented team up and down the roster, they will look to get back on track as they head into the postseason.

+ No. 25 Midland (40-14)

Winners of their final six games Midland got hot at just the right time as the postseason lies ahead. On offense Midland holds the second highest batting average among Dl teams at .378 with three players hitting over .400 on the season.

Receiving Votes (Alphabetical Order): Arizona Western, Chattanooga State (TN), Connors State (OK), Delgado (LA), Navarro (TX), New Mexico, Pensacola State (FL), Shelton State (AL), Snead State (AL), Tyler (TX), & Wabash Valley (IL).