Allan Simpson is the Direct of PG Crosschecker and can be reached via email at AllanSimpson@nc.rr.com
Florida’s Santa Fe College has climbed back to the top of the latest joint National Junior College Athletic Association / Perfect Game USA junior-college bi-weekly rankings. The Saints held the No. 1 position in the country in the rankings from March 2-15, and most recently were ranked third in the April 13-26 poll.
Salt Lake (Utah) CC held the No. 1 spot in the two previous polls, but fell to No. 6 overall after dropping all four games of a Scenic West Conference series last weekend to the College of Southern Idaho.
Perfect Game compiles its own poll of the nation’s top 50 junior-college teams, and collaborates with the NJCAA on a ranking of the top 25 NJCAA Division I teams only. California, Oregon and Washington junior colleges are not members of the NJCAA, and are considered for the PG poll only. California’s Feather River is that state’s top-ranked team and moved to No. 2 in the PG poll, followed in order by Central Arizona, Howard (Texas) and Walters State (Tenn.).
Santa Fe clinched its third-consecutive Mid-Florida Conference title with a 4-3 victory over Seminole State College on April 16, and since that time wrapped up its regular season slate with a 35-9-1 record and an 18-6 conference mark. The Saints are led on the mound by sophomore Malcolm Clapsaddle, a former University of Georgia righthander who currently is tied for the national lead in wins with 11. He has tossed four complete games, including two shutouts, and has 1.31 ERA. Freshman outfielder Drew Doty powered the SFC offense with a .395 batting average, 16 doubles, six home runs and 42 RBIs.
The Saints begin post-season play in the Region 8/Gulf District Tournament May 7-11 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla. The winner of that event will represent Florida/Region 8 in the Junior College World Series. For more on this eight-team tournament, visit www.flccaa.org/fccaa-baseball-tournament.html.
Feather River has ridden a streak of 16 wins in 17 games to a 29-5 record overall (21-2 in conference) in its move from No. 4 to No. 2. Sophomore righthander Cody Anderson (6-1, 2.01), a Texas Christian recruit, and Washington-bound sophomore outfielder Dayton Alexander (.377-4-23, 16 SB) have fueled the latest surge for Feather River.
Central Arizona moves up five spots to No. 3. The Vaqueros have won 18 of their last 19 contests, and are 42-12 overall. CAC finishes up its regular-season schedule April 30, before moving on to the Region 1 playoffs, which stretch over the weekends of May 5-7 and May 12-14.
No. 4 Howard has improved to 37-11 and is currently in first place in the Region 5 (West Texas) standings. The Hawks most recently swept a four-game series against New Mexico Junior College and are in the midst of a 15-game winning streak. They close their regular-season schedule this weekend with a four-game series against Frank Phillips College (Texas) before heading to the Region 5 / Southwest District Tournament May 7-11 in Lubbock, Texas.
The 10-team Junior College World Series is slated for Grand Junction, Colo., from May 28-June 4.