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MCC logs early practice time

By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
May 29, 2004
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Meridian Community College did more than just practice on the field Friday, the Eagles also practiced playing in the early morning hours.
The Eagles (46-12) loaded the bus at 7:15 a.m. to practice at Mesa State College's field at 8.
The early time on the practice field mirrored the start time for MCC's game at 10 a.m. today against Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College (34-19) in the first game of the Junior College World Series. The game will be broadcast locally on WZKR 103.3 FM.
While the early time may have been rough for the team, the Eagles' batters did get an encouraging sign from playing at that time in the day. Creighton said the ball seemed to travel farther in the morning.
Of course, that just gives the pitchers one more thing to worry about on the mound.
Pirates' rewarding challenge
Pensacola, which is making it's first appearance in the World Series, had a different experience on the field Thursday night in Grand Junction.
The Pirates participated in the Challenge program of the Grand Mesa Little League. The program pairs challenged youths with able-bodied players in a softball program.
Title blessed Texas
In the history of the Junior College World Series, schools from Texas have won more national titles than from any other state.
Texas has captured 16 national crowns since the national tournament began in 1958. San Jacinto College, which is in the field of 10 teams this year, has won a record five.
Texas will also be represented in this year's tournament by Grayson County College, which won the World Series in 1999 and 2000.
Slowed slugger
MCC designated hitter Aaron George hasn't produced the same eye-popping offensive numbers that he did last season.
The sophomore slugger hit 12 home runs, 14 doubles and 44 RBIs in 2003, but he has produced six homers, 10 doubles and 36 RBIs this year.
George was slowed during the season by a nagging back pain, which may have contributed to his diminished power numbers. He had a .584 slugging percentage in 2003, but has a .524 slugging percentage this year.
George's power numbers may have dipped, but he raised his batting average 34 points this season. He hit .355 this year, up from .321 in 2003.
Selig in town
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig spoke at the World Series banquet on Friday night.
The former owner of the Milwaukee Brewers employed Sam Suplizio, the man who the stadium the World Series is played in is named after, as coach.
Suplizio is the tournament chairman of the National Junior College Athletic Association's championship event, and he invited Selig to speak at the banquet at Two Rivers Convention Center.