was doubt whether the State College of Florida was a deserving No. 1
team in Perfect Game’s pre-season overview of the nation’s top 50 junior college teams, especially when Florida’s initial
in-state ranking of the 2014 season had unbeaten Tallahassee
Community College at No. 1 and the Manatees at No. 3.
burst out of the gate by winning its first 11 games of the season to
surge past the State College of Florida in the highly-competitive
state JC rankings. But the Manatees left little doubt that they were
the top team in the state—if not in the nation—when they trekked
to Tallahassee this weekend and swept the Eagles in a three-game set.
Manatees moved to 12-3 on the season and retained their ranking as
the nation’s top team in PG’s first in-season ranking of the Top
25 junior-college teams.
expected, the Manatees have gotten key contributions from their ace
pitcher, Missouri-bound righthander Reggie McClain (4-0, 0.64), and
versatile Ryan Valdes, a Florida State transfer who has played a key
role in center field (.471-0-10, 7 SB) and as a closer (1-0, 0.00, 2
SV, 8 IP/14 SO). Additionally, freshman righthander Dustin Hagy, the
team’s top prospect, has gotten off to a solid start (1-0, 2.35, 15
teams that are 13-1 in the early going and had posted better records
than the State College of Florida, No. 2 Howard (Texas) and No. 3
Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.), made the most significant advances in
the Top 25. Those teams were ranked Nos. 11 and 12, respectively,
prior to the season.
the Manatees, Chattahoochee Valley has made significant strides
behind the inspired play of another former Florida State player,
red-shirt sophomore shortstop John Holland, who is hitting .426 and
leads the Pirates in homers (3), RBI (17) and stolen bases (8).
Holland transferred to Chattahoochee Valley after seeing extensive
time as a freshman for the Seminoles before missing the 2013 season
with a back injury.
is the best position player I believe I have ever seen,” said
Chattahoochee Valley coach Adam Thomas. “His abilities are
game-changing, and his intangibles are out of this world. He is the
best player in our league, hands down.”
Perfect Game Top 25 Junior College Teams - Feb. 24