Six Rangers Earn All-Conference Baseball Honors
May 23, 2013
JACKSON – Six Northwest Mississippi Community College players have been named to the 2013 MACJC All-State baseball team, including three first-team and three second-team selections, after a vote by the league's head coaches that was announced on Tuesday.
Pitcher Cody Reed and outfielders Dylan Castoria and Jordan Barnes are first-team honorees while second team members include pitcher Matt Ferguson, shortstop Jay King and designated hitter Kramer Hollenbach.
Reed, who's expected to be drafted in the first two rounds of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft on June 6, went 8-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 73.1 innings and a single-season record of 96 strikeouts this season – also tops in the MACJC.
A product of Horn Lake, Reed ends his Northwest baseball career as the school's all-time leader in strikeouts (161), wins (16), innings pitched (137.2), batters faced (601), starts (23) and shutouts (five). He's second in career complete games (10) and third in opponent batting average (.219) and strikeouts/7 inn. game (8.19).
Castoria played in all 49 games on the year and led the team in average (.358) for nearly the entire season. His 59 hits, 41 runs scored, 12 doubles, five home runs, .533 slugging percentage and 17 multi-hit games also led all Rangers. He was 20-for-24 in stolen bases, tied for second on the team.
Barnes hit .324 with 10 doubles, three triples, a home run, 24 RBIs and 31 runs scored and made his biggest impact on the bases. He led the team with a .475 on-base percentage and ended the year a perfect 22-for-22 in stolen base tries which tied him for ninth in a single season. He is expected to be drafted somewhere after the 10th round of the MLB draft.
Ferguson, a year removed from Tommy John surgery, had a solid debut season on the mound. The right-handed freshman went 7-2 with a 3.65 ERA and two complete games. He struck out 36 against 25 walks and allowed just 10 extra-base hits in 55.2 innings of work.
King hit .296 with two doubles, four home runs and 20 RBIs, and flashed leather all year from his shortstop position. He had 108 assists and just 11 errors in 172 chances.
Hollenbach got better and better as the season progressed and ended the year second on the team with a .333 batting average. He had a team-best 11-game hitting streak during the year and provided multiple clutch hits, including a walk-off double to beat EMCC. He led the team in RBIs with 29 and also added nine doubles, a triple, two home runs and 18 stolen bases in 20 tries.
Northwest ended the year 31-18 overall and 17-7 in the north, finishing as division and state runners-up.
Northwest Ends Season in Region 23 Tournament Quarterfinals
May 17, 2013
POPLARVILLE – In a back-and-forth game that saw a combined 16 runs off 29 hits, it was 16th-ranked East Central who scored seven unanswered runs over the final two innings to take a 10-6 victory and end Northwest's season in the Region 23 Tournament.
East Central improved to 32-20 and will move on to face Pearl River in an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Northwest closed the season 31-18 overall.
Northwest took an early 2-0 lead in the third, using RBI-singles from Chase Clark and Jordan Barnes. Dylan Castoria led off the inning with a walk, was sacrificed to second and scored off Barnes' single. Clark then singled home Barnes.
ECCC cut the deficit in half in the fourth, as Chase Domino singled home Tim Anderson after a single and error moved him into scoring position.
The Warriors pushed back in front an inning later, putting the first five batters on base. Ryan Shotts' infield single tied the game at two apiece before Kalik May singled deep in the hole at short for the 3-2 lead.
Cody Waddell entered in relief of Matt Ferguson with one down and the bases loaded and was able to get back-to-back flyouts to escape further damage.
Northwest threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth, putting runners at first and second with no outs, but three consecutive fly balls got Mitchell Wooten and ECCC out of the jam.
The Rangers would draw even in the sixth on Jay King's bloop single to right-center and then retake the lead 4-3 off a wild pitch that scored Castoria.
Waddell escaped another bases loaded jam in the seventh for Northwest, getting Xzavier Franklin to strikeout to end the inning.
Northwest would capitalize again in the bottom half and take a 6-3 lead, as James Lear drove in Kramer Hollenbach on an RBI-single to center and J.D. Tackett singled through the right side to score Lear.
But East Central wouldn't go away quietly and rallied to retake the lead in the eighth.
The Warriors loaded the bases with nobody out and pulled within 6-5 on a chopper over the head of Lear at third that scored two. Rubert Alcantara followed a batter later with his fourth hit of the game, singling home a pair to make it 7-6 ECCC.
Northwest stranded runners at the corners in the bottom of the eighth – its 11th and 12th of the game –with the tying run just 90 feet away.
A leadoff walk to the No. 9 hitter again came back to haunt the Rangers in the ninth, as the Warriors quickly added another on Shotts' double down the line. A bases-loaded walk and hit-by-pitch made it 10-6.
Northwest got a runner on in its final at-bat, but a 1-6-3 double play ended the game.
Fernando Gonzalez tossed 2.0 innings of shutout ball to earn the win for ECCC, while Tanner Cable (4-4) was hit with the loss after giving up four runs (three earned) off three hits in 1.2 innings of relief.
Five Rangers finished with multiple hits, led by Lear and Hollenbach with three hits apiece.
Alcantara was the thorn in the Rangers' side, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs in the No. 5 spot, while Shotts was also 3-for-6 with four RBIs in the leadoff spot.
In a season full of individual records, Northwest set a new single-season team record in the bottom of the fourth when Lear stole third for the Rangers' 125th stolen base of the year. The feat broke a 28-year record of 124 bags set during the 1985 season.
Northwest will say goodbye to 11 sophomores who were a part of 56 wins the past two seasons.
Chad Cupples Headed to NJCAA DII National Championship
May 15, 2013
SENATOBIA – For a second consecutive year, Chad Cupples of Northwest Mississippi Community College is headed to the NJCAA Division II Men's Golf National Championship.
The championship is set for May 21-24 at Goose Pond Colony in Scottsboro, Ala.
"I'm really excited," Cupples said. "It's going to be a lot of fun. I want to win, that's why I'm there. I just want to play well and represent Northwest the best I can."
In 14 rounds this season, Cupples had a 78.3 scoring average with five Top 15 finishes, three Top 5 finishes and an individual win at the Northwest Invitational March 25-26.
The sophomore from Southaven (DeSoto Central) qualified for this year's national championship thanks to his play at last year's championship in Plymouth, Ind. He was named an NJCAA All-American Honorable Mention, which automatically qualified him for 2013, after finishing in a tie for 22nd place with a four-day 303 (78-77-78-70).
Cupples' Top 25 finish marked the first for a Ranger since T. Robert Oakley placed 25th in 2008 and was the best overall finish since All-American Jeremy Aldridge placed 12th in 2005.
The Northwest men's golf team is currently ranked No. 19 in the latest NJCAA DII poll.
Reed, Hollenbach Named MACJC Pitcher/Player of the Week
May 14, 2013
GOODMAN – Northwest sophomore left-hander Cody Reed of Horn Lake and freshman designated hitter Kramer Hollenbach of Arlington, Tenn., have been named the MACJC Baseball Pitcher and Player of the Week for games played Monday, May 6 through Sunday, May 12.
Hollenbach is the second Ranger in as many weeks to win the weekly hitting award (Jay King), while Reed has earned his third weekly award this year. Both players will also be considered for NJCAA Division II National Player of the Week honors which will be announced Wednesday.
Hollenbach went 7-for-14 (.500) with four runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base and ended the weekend by extending his reached base streak to 15 games.
Reed tossed a career-high 8.0 innings in a shutout performance vs. Northeast, scattering four hits and seven strikeouts to earn the win. He became the school’s career wins leader with victory No. 16 and also set a new career record with his 158 strikeouts. His 93 strikeouts on the year rank him 6th nationally in NJCAA Division II. Overall, he’s 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA.
Northwest opens NJCAA Region 23 Tournament play this Thursday against No. 1 LSU Eunice in Poplarville. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m. from Wildcat Field.
East Central Wins State Title, Signa Stymies Northwest
May 14, 2013
POPLARVILLE – For the second time in three seasons, Northwest finished as the state baseball runners-up, falling to East Central on Championship Sunday, 4-0, behind a complete-game one-hit shutout by sophomore right-hander Severino Signa. | Final Box
East Central improved to 31-19 overall and went through the weekend a perfect 3-0 to claim the championship. Northwest won two elimination games, 3-0 over Northeast and 16-4 over #8 Pearl River, to advance to the title game and finished the weekend 2-2 to move to 31-16 on the year.
In Sunday's championship game, East Central took advantage of two Ranger errors in the third and scored a pair to take a 2-0 lead that was more than enough offense for Signa.
Chase Domino added a solo home run in the sixth and Tim Anderson delivered an RBI-single in the seventh that gave the Warriors a comfortable 4-0 lead after seven.
Signa was dominant for East Central and carried a perfect game into the eighth inning before a lead off hit-by-pitch to Chase Clark and base hit two batters later by Walt McCullough also broke up the no-hit bid.
The Rangers rallied with runners at second and third and just one out, but a strikeout and fly out ended the inning and the only scoring threat of the game for Northwest.
Anderson, a projected first round MLB draft choice, did not disappoint in going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs for East Central. The Warriors out-hit Northwest 6-1 on the day.
Cody Waddell (1-3) went 6.1 innings and took the loss, scattering four runs (two earned), four hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Will Faulkner tossed the final 1.2 innings and allowed two hits and no runs.
East Central will be the No. 1 seed at this weekend's Region 23 Tournament, also in Poplarville, and will play tournament host and 8th-ranked Pearl River at 7 p.m. Thursday. Northwest, the No. 3 seed, will open with the nation's top-ranked team, LSU Eunice, at 3:30 p.m.
The winner of the Region 23 Tournament will advance to the NJCAA DII World Series in Enid, Okla.