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JUCO Top 50 Teams: April 29

Juco : : Rankings
Allan Simpson        
Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2014





Chipola College was installed as the No. 1 team in Perfect Game’s ranking of the nation’s Top 50 junior colleges a week ago, and promptly took care of business by moving from second to first and clinching top spot in Florida’s rugged Panhandle Conference.

The Indians (36-10 overall, 15-5) overtook No. 11 Gulf Coast State (37-12, 14-6) in the final week to justify their No. 1 national ranking. Next up for Chipola is the Florida state junior-college tournament, May 9-14 in Lakeland, Fla., with the winner advancing to the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., beginning May 24.

The field for the Florida JC tournament has been expanded from eight to 10 teams, with third-place teams from Florida’s four conferences squaring off Monday to determine two at-large entries.

Chipola, the 2007 national champion, will have its work cut out for it in Lakeland as the field also includes hard-charging and No. 5-ranked St. Johns River (37-12), winners of 13 in a row, and No. 10 Polk State (36-12). Those three teams join No. 24 Miami-Dade as the four conference champions in the tournament.

Like Florida, California has three teams in PG’s latest Top 50 rankings with Orange Coast (27-9) at No. 4, Chabot (27-7) at No. 7 and Oxnard at No. 9. The 36-team California state tournament begins today with four play-in games, and resumes in earnest on Friday. Orange Coast is the top seed in the Southern California section of the bracket and Chabot No. 1 in the North.

California teams are not members of the National Junior College Athletic Association, nor are teams in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges and thus do not participate in the Junior College World Series. Nine California teams are represented in PG’s Top 50, while red-hot Tacoma (30-1), at No. 18, is the lone NWAACC member.

In addition, four NJCAA Division II members are ranked in PG’s all-inclusive Top 50, led by No. 21 Mesa (Ariz.) CC, co-champions of the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference, along with perennial D-I power Central Arizona, ranked 15th. Both teams finished conference play at 27-11 and are scheduled to begin NJCAA regional play in their respective divisions on Thursday.

Befitting its No. 1 national ranking, Chipola has the most prospect-rich team in the junior-college ranks with the potential for as many as four players projected to go in the top 10-12 rounds of this year’s draft. Florida-bound righthander Taylor Lewis (6-3, 2.84, 73 IP/90 SO) and Florida State-bound lefthander Michael Mader (7-3, 3.22, 73 IP/72 SO) have been the team’s two most-established talents, but catcher Ian Rice (.338-10-51), who leads the team in homers and RBIs, and outfielder Danny Mars (.392-4-35, 25 SB), who leads the team in batting and stolen bases (25), have been climbing draft boards all spring with their inspired play.

Almost every team ranked in the Top 10 has a legitimate candidate to crack the first 10 rounds in June, but no junior-college player may have raised his stock this spring more than St. Johns River third baseman Tyler Humphries, who leads the nation with 18 home runs and has propelled his team’s recent surge.


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

DROPPED OUT: No. 28 Neosho County, Kan. (39-16, 23-13); No. 39 Howard, Texas (35-16, 18-14); No. 40 Edmonds, Wash. (28-6, 16-4); No. 41 Lamar, Colo. (37-16, 28-10); No. 48 Cypress, Calif. (21-15, 11-10).

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