A little bit different than last year but hey it is a new year and we’re making adjustments as they come along. So for the Weekend Previews, we will highlight 4-5 major series or weekends for across all three divisions. With there being a main Series which will go into a bit more detail.
Fort Scott (21-7) vs #9 Johnson County (30-2)
Johnson comes into this series with one of the longest win streaks in the country at 22. In those 22 games, they have outscored their opponents by an average of just over 10 runs a game. Leading arguably the nations top offense is one of the nations top hitters in Anthony Amicangelo (Washington State). He is currently first in the country in both average (.612) and On Base % (.679), is 5th in Slugging (.953), and has 10 doubles, 5 triples, 3 homers, with 39 runs batted in with 7 stolen bases. Look for them to use Zachary Ebert (K State), Trey Ziegenbein (Lipscomb), Dylan Bierman (Lipscomb), and Sioan Thomsen on the mound.
Fort Scott has been one of the quiet risers. Their offense is up there with anyone in the country and is ranked 9th in team batting average, 5th in team On Base Percentage and 6th in team Slugging Percentage. Their offense is led by the duo of Andruw McKenzie and Hampton Hall (both uncommitted SO). McKenzie is hitting .441 with 11 Doubles, 7 Homers, with 35 RBI. While, Hall is hitting .429 with 10 Doubles, and 10 Homers, with 41 RBI. On the mound look for them to use Wyatt Folsom (Lipscomb), Shane Scott (Arkansas Tech), Raine Richter(Indiana State), and Bo Dallas.
USC Lancaster (25-8) vs Florence Darlington Tech (27-9)
Florence is led offensively by the duo of Patrick Baggett and Alex Stennett. Baggett is hitting .366 with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 2 homers, with 34 RBI. While, Stennett is hitting .330 with 5 doubles, 7 triples, and 17 RBI. Look for them to use Will Abbott, Elian Almanzar, Zac Branham, and Boyce Kobleur on the mound this weekend.
Lancaster is a team that started out of the Pre-Season Top 50 but has worked their way up to be just outside the Top 25. They are led by Mark Kneece and Walker McDowell. Kneece despite only hitting .219 leads the team in doubles with 7, has 4 homers, and leads the team with 29 RBI. McDowell leads the team hitting .342 with 6 doubles, 3 homers, and 18 RBI. On the mound look for them to use Seth Chestnut, Tyler Harrison, Mike Nunez, and Griffin Jester.
#11 Arizona Western (32-10) vs #19 Central Arizona (28-14)
Here is a matchup that you do not want to miss if you are in Arizona this weekend. Both teams have been ranked in the Top 10 at different points of the season. With Arizona sweeping their series earlier in the season. This also is a matchup between two of the top pitching staffs in the country.
Western’s pitching staff is second in the country in Shutouts with 10 and 8th in Team ERA at 2.38. But Pitching is not the only strength of Western. They lead the country in walks with 231 and are top 10 in both Sac Flies and Sac Hits. They also know about the green light special and have racked up 107 Stolen bases which puts them at 8th in the country. Leading that offense has been the duo of Zach Huffins (Arizona State) and Justin Greene (ULL). Huffins has been to many scouts one of the fastest risers up many draft boards. He is hitting .386 with a .484 On Base %, and a .608 Slugging %. To go with that he leads the country in hits with 61, is 5th in doubles with 15, has 4 triples, and has 4 of the teams 10 home runs. Even further he has 29 Stolen bases which is 6th in the country while only being caught twice. Greene not to be outdone is hitting .243 with 9 double, 2 triples, 2 homers, and 39 RBI. Between those two they have been walked a total of 60 times. On the mound look for them to use Ramone Miranda and Mason Myhre.
Central staff is just as impressive. They are 9th in Team ERA with 2.45, 4th in Shutouts with 9, and 3rd in AVG Against with .192. The offense too is nothing to bat an eye to. They lead the country in doubles with 87, they are 7th in total bases with 553 and are 3rd in hits with 383. Leading that attack is the duo of Erney Ordonez (Kansas) and Zach Hogueisson. Ordonez leads the team hitting .333 with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers, and 38 RBI. Hoguession is hitting .305 with 11 doubles, 5 homers, and 36 RBI. On the mound look for them to use Jason Nelson (ULL) and Avery Jones.
#5 NOC Tonkawa (29-6) vs Murray State (17-15)
If you want to talk about offensive teams then look no further then Tonkawa. They are the top team at the Division 2 level up to this point. They are currently Ranked 7th in Walks and Stolen Bases, 5th in team average, 4th in Extra Base Hits, 3rd in sac flies, 2nd in Runs, Hits, and Doubles, and 1st in On Base %, Hit by Pitch, and RBI. Leading the top offense this season has been led by the duo Joey Pena, and Ben MacNaughton. Pena is hitting .395 with 11 doubles, 4 homers, is 4th in the country in RBI with 44, and is 4th in both Hits (47) and Runs (41). MacNaughton is not far behind hitting .393 with 7 doubles, 5 triples (5th), 4 homers, 35 stolen bases (2nd), with 48 hits (3rd), and scoring 51 runs (1st). On the mound this weekend look for them to use Zach Stephenson, Tyler Kisner, Trevin Michael (Lamar), and Seth Martin.
Murray State is looking to get back on track after they have had a tough couple of weeks playing the likes of Tyler, and Grayson. Murray has been ranked as high as #15 and has just fallen out of the Top 25 for the first time this Season. Their offense has been led by the duo of Mason Brinkley and Austin Garrett. Brinkley is hitting .411 with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 24 RBI, and 31 R. Garrett is hitting .320 with 8 doubles, a team-leading 6 homers, 31 RBI, and scoring 34 runs. On the mound look for them to use. Dalen Hall, Raygan Dodd, Cole Shinksy and Billy Wall.
#4 Brookdale (20-3) vs #3 Rowan Gloucester (16-3)
Any other week when two top 5 teams play each other that would be the Premier game of the week. But this is not a normal week as you will soon find out if you keep reading. Both these teams have been staples at the top of the NJ and National Division 3 level for the bast couple years.
Brookdale has climbed from unranked to top 5 in just a matter of weeks and for good reason. They have outscored their opponents by an average of almost 5 runs a game. Leading their offensive charge this season has been TJ Scuderi and Connor Kolich. Scuderi is hitting .367 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, currently leads the country at the Division 3 level with 7 home runs, and has 34 RBI( 8th). Kolich is hitting .386 with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers, and 18 RBI. On the mound this weekend look for them to use Justin Fall and Jordan Winston.
Gloucester has been one of the teams that has been in the Top 10 all season making it as high as #2 before falling this past week. They have won by an average of 7 runs. They have been led by the duo of Alex Gattinelli and Anthony Angelino. Gattinelli is hitting .406 with 9 doubles, 1 triple 2 homers, and 19 RBI. While, Angelino is hitting .419 with 6 doubles, a triple, Homer, and 21 RBI. On the mound this weekend look for them to use Nick Yoder and Mike Biasiello.
Series of the Week
#1 LSU-Eunice (D2) (29-4) vs #1 Tyler (D3) (31-7)
It is a pretty rare thing when you have two teams that played at the World Series the previous year playing each in the regular season. Even rarer is the having both played in the National Championship. But what has probably never happened is two teams that are both ranked #1 in their respected division played each other. Now of course at the Junior College level that can and does happen more often then you would think. But still, it does not happen very often.
Tyler is the #1 team at the Division 3 level and for good reason. They are statistically the best overall team at that level and you can argue that they are the statistically the best overall team in the country at any Junior College level. They currently are ranked in the top 10 in 18 different categories across both hitting and pitching. While being ranked in the top 5 in 14 of those 18. Leading their offense this season has been Erick Owens and Michael Morissette (Miami OH). Owens is currently hitting .369with 8 doubles, 3 triples, 2 homers, 25 RBI, has stolen 24 bases (6th), an scored 35 runs (5th). Morissette is hitting .306 with 11 doubles(5th), a triple, homer, and 30 RBI. On the mound for them, this weekend look for them to use Cooper Rawls, Christain Grigsby (Lamar), Jacob Blatney, and look for Peyton Miller(A&M Corpus) to make an appearance or two out of the pen.
The defending Division 2 National Champs picked up right where they left off. They currently are on an 11-game win streak. Eunice not to be outdone by Tyler is in the top ten in 18 total statistical categories with 13 of them being in the top 5. Leading the way for their offense this season has been Tristan Welch and Jarrett McDonald. Welch is currently hitting .405 with 12 doubles, a triple, homer, 47 RBI(2nd), 15 stolen bases, and is 10th in the country in both Hits (45) and Runs Scored (36). McDonald is hitting .378 with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 3 homers, 27 RBI, and has scored 32 runs. On the mound this weekend look for them to use Dane Dixon, Andrew Sheridan, and Tyler Booth.