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JUCO Top 50 Teams: April 22

Juco : : Rankings
Allan Simpson        
Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014


With post-season play coming into focus, Perfect Game has expanded its ranking of the nation’s top junior-college teams from 25 to 50 this week, and will begin running its rankings on a weekly basis through the balance of the 2014 season.

The timing for expanded coverage appears to play right into the hands of Florida’s talented Chipola Junior College, a traditional national power and the only school to consistently rank among the top five juco teams since the outset of the 2014 season. The Indians (34-9) opened play at No. 5, have been ranked No. 2 every time since and finally ascended this week to the No. 1 ranking.

While Chipola has a prospect-rich team and enjoyed a steady, consistent season, the Indians still have had difficulty shaking their competition in Florida’s rugged, five-team Panhandle Conference.

Surprising Gulf Coast State (36-9) continues to hold a slim lead over the Indians in conference play, at 13-3 compared to Chipola’s 13-4 mark (through games of Sunday), while Northwest Florida State (26-15, 8-8) and Tallahassee (34-16, 6-11) have pretty much fallen by the wayside in the wake of the inspired play of both Gulf Coast State and Chipola, which have already been assured places in the highly-competitive Florida junior-college tournament. That hotly-contested event, which has been expanded this year to 10 teams, is scheduled for May 9-14 in Lakeland, with the winner advancing to the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., from May 24-31.

Curiously, Chipola has trouble getting respect in its own state as it is ranked only No. 4 in the most-recent Florida JC baseball rankings, but had a golden chance to leapfrog No. 1-ranked Gulf Coast State in the Panhandle Conference standings on Monday and take over sole possession of first place. But the Indians lost to last-place Pensacola State while Gulf Coast State was in the process of losing to Northwest Florida State.

Chipola has continued to get inspired pitching from the duo of Florida-bound righthander Taylor Lewis (4-2, 2.43 with a team-high 80 strikeouts in 67 innings) and Florida State-bound lefthander Michael Mader (7-2, 3.48, 65 IP/61 SO), while outfielder Danny Mars (.397-4-31), who leads the team in batting and stolen bases (25), and catcher Ian Rice (.363-10-50), who is tops in homers and RBIs, have been difference-makers for the Indians at the plate.

Lewis and Mader, who have both been clocked in the low- to mid-90s, established themselves as potential picks in the top 10 rounds of this year’s draft entering the 2014 season, while the inspired play of both Mars and Rice have elevated their draft stock, as well, and both those players are also now candidates to crack the top 10-12 rounds.


Perfect Game Top 50 Junior College Teams - April 22

RK Prev. Team ST Overall Conference
1 2 Chipola FL 34-9 13-4
2 4 Grayson TX 33-11 19-5
3 6 Chattahoochee Valley AL 34-8 14-3
4 7 Gulf Coast State FL 36-9 13-3
5 9 Georgia Perimeter GA 37-8 26-1
6 12 Spartanburg Methodist SC 35-9 19-5
7 17 Orange Coast CA 25-9 12-7
8 1 Connors State OK 36-8 8-3
9 19 Chabot CA 26-6 20-1
10 3 Alvin TX 33-11 23-8
11 5 Oxnard CA 26-8 13-5
12   Polk State FL 34-11 20-5
13 16 Salt Lake UT 31-13 21-7
14 21 St. Johns River State FL 33-12 16-4
15 24 Columbia State TN 34-11 22-5
16 13 Crowder MO 35-13 17-7
17 14 Central Arizona AZ 39-13 24-10
18 8 Walters State TN 37-13 20-7
19 10 San Joaquin Delta CA 25-8 12-6
20 22 Middle Georgia GA 32-9 21-6
21 NR Tacoma WA 26-1 11-0
22 NR  Mesa AZ 40-11 24-10
23 NR  Palomar CA 24-9 19-2
24 NR  Miami-Dade FL 28-14 16-6
25 NR  Iowa Western IA 37-8 13-3
26 NR  Wabash Valley IL 35-11 16-5
27 NR  Delgado LA 33-9 5-3
28 20 Neosho County KS 38-13 22-10
29 NR  Jones County MS 36-6 16-4
30 NR  Hutchinson KS 36-14 20-8
31 NR  Indian Hills IA 31-12 13-3
32 NR  Darton State GA 34-13 24-4
33 NR  Johnson County KS 37-11 25-7
34 NR  Galveston TX 30-16 23-9
35 23 Feather River CA 26-8 18-5
36 11 LSU-Eunice LA 31-10 0-0
37 NR  Western Nevada NV 31-13 16-8
38 NR  Mercer County NJ 29-4 0-0
39 15 Howard TX 32-14 16-12
40 NR  Edmonds WA 26-4 14-2
41 NR  Lamar CO 34-11 25-5
42 NR  Central Florida FL 29-16 14-7
43 NR  Florence-Darlington SC 33-16 18-7
44 NR  Jackson State TN 33-16 19-8
45 NR  Pitt NC 28-11 13-9
46 NR  Northeastern Oklahoma A&M OK 29-12 7-4
47 NR  Santa Ana CA 23-11 12-7
48 NR  Cypress CA 21-13 11-8
49 NR  Shelton State AL 26-18 19-5
50 NR  New Mexico NM 28-19 22-6

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