the top teams in power states like Arizona, California, Florida and
Texas continue to knock each other off on a regular basis this
spring, Connors State (Okla.) has quietly ascended to the top of
Perfect Game’s ranking of the nation’s Top 25 junior colleges.
Cowboys, who opened the season at No. 22 after going 53-11 in 2013
and finishing fifth in last year’s Junior College World Series,
have gone 25-3 through games of Sunday and are riding a 13-game
surprisingly, the Cowboys are getting strong performances from two
players who were instrumental in the team’s success a year
ago—shortstop Yariel Gonzalez and lefthander Josh Hammill.
a Puerto Rican product, hit .420-12-75 as a freshman and led the lead
the team in homers and RBIs, and is on a similar pace this season as
he leads the team in average (.490), homers (4) and RBIs (38).
Hammill went 8-1, 4.23 a year ago, losing his only game in the World
Series, and has outdone himself this season by going 4-0, 0.78 with
35 strikeouts in 3-0 innings. In consecutive outings in February, he
spun no-hitters, beating Jefferson (Mo.) 12-0 and Ellsworth (Iowa)
throws only 80-84 mph, but he really knows how to pitch,” said
Connors State coach Perry Keith, who won his 1,400th game
Monday in a 4-3 win over Carl Albert State (Okla.) in his 29th year with the Cowboys.
State, hitting .357 as a team, has also gotten significant mileage
out of sophomore catcher Jarrard Poteete (.357-1-28), a transfer from
Texas Tech, and freshman righthander Landon Bradley (5-0, 1.78). As a
staff, the Cowboys have spun 10 shutouts while posting a 2.50 team
State College of Florida-Manatee had held down the No. 1 spot in PG’s
Top 25 since the outset of the season, but the Manatees (19-11, 6-6
in conference) have struggled to keep pace in the highly-competitive
Florida junior-college ranks and fell all the way to No. 23 in the
(Fla.) continues to hold steady at No. 2 with a 25-7 record overall,
but could have its hands full the rest of the way as it is one of
four teams in Florida’s five-team Panhandle Conference to crack the
Top 25. In addition to the Indians, Tallahassee (31-8) sits at No.
12, Northwest Florida State (21-7) is at No. 16 and Gulf Coast State
(24-8) at No. 25.
Perfect Game Top 25 Junior College Teams - March 25