MCC faces experienced field
By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
May 28, 2004
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Meridian Community College enters the 47th playing of the Junior College World Series as one of three ranked teams in the field of 10.
The double-elimination national championship baseball tournament begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Suplizio Field, with a mix of heralded teams, old and new tourney participants and plenty of history.
The Eagles (46-12) were ranked 13th in the final NJCAA poll of the season. No. 6-ranked Dixie State (Utah) College and No. 12 Seward County (Kan.) Community College are the only other ranked teams in the World Series.
The teams have combined for 63 previous trips to the World Series, and the field has a collective 11 national titles.
Seminole State (Okla.) College is making its 15th appearance in Grand Junction to lead the field, and San Jacinto (Texas) College North is making its 14th appearance. San Jacinto has a record five championships.
Middle Georgia College, which has won four national crowns, is making its 12th appearance in the tourney, and MCC is entering its seventh World Series.
Dixie State which eliminated last year's champion, Southern Nevada, in its regional tournament is making its sixth appearance in the World Series.
Grayson County (Texas) is making its fifth appearance in the tournament, and Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College is making a second straight appearance. Grayson County has collected two national titles in its previous four trips.
Potomac State (W.V.) College, Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College and Seward are making a first appearance in the tournament this year.
Pensacola head baseball coach Bill Hamilton said it could be tough to keep the players on first-year teams from getting overwhelmed by the environment at Suplizio Field.
Pensacola (34-19) will ease into crowds, which can get up to over 9,000, in the opening game of the tournament against MCC. The Pirates and Eagles will clash in Saturday's 10 a.m. contest. The game can be heard locally on WZKR 103.3 FM.
The players on MCC, which played its first game on the second day of the tournament last year, said they liked drawing the opening game.
Indian Hills, which went 1-2 in last year's World Series, will meet Grayson County at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the opening day's second game, and Potomac will clash with Middle Georgia at 4 p.m.
San Jacinto will wrap up the first-day action against Seminole at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, with a combined 29 appearances the two programs have the most showings at the World Series.
On Sunday, Seward and Dixie State will meet in the final game of the day at 8:30 p.m. Two teams will already be eliminated from the field of 10 before these two teams meet.
The loser of the game between MCC and Pensacola will meet the loser of the contest between Indian Hills and Grayson County at 11 a.m., and the loser of the game between Potomac and Middle Georgia will take on the loser of San Jacinto's and Seminole's game at 3 p.m. on Sunday.