2021 Division 1 Junior College World Series Preview

“To win it, you not only have to be good, you must play near the top of your capabilities as well as have a lot of things go your way in a 10 team tourney with such heavy competition.“ – Coach David Shelton – Walters State 

It is World Series time! For the first time in 2 years people will be making their way to Grand Junction, Colorado to crown a NJCAA Division 1 World Series Champion. 

 

First let’s just take a look at the history of the teams that have punched their Tickets to Grand Junction. 

 

Between these 10 teams there have been 93 World Series Trips, with 13 National Titles. 

 

Before we preview each team and give you their predictions, here is how we predicted each district would end when it came to the Pre-Season Picks. How close were we? How far off were we? 

 

District Noah’s Preseason Pick Chris’s Preseason Pick Actual Winner
Appalachian  Walters State Walters State Walters State
East  Florence-Darlington Florence-Darlington Florence-Darlington
Mid-South San Jac San Jac San Jac
Midwest Iowa Western John A. Logan Indian Hills
Plains Johnson County Cowley Cowley
South Calhoun Wallace-Dothan Shelton State
South Atlantic Northwest Florida Chipola Miami Dade
South Central Crowder Eastern Oklahoma Crowder
Southwest McLennan Grayson McLennan
West Southern Nevada Southern Nevada Central Arizona

 

Appalachian DistrictRegion 7 – #1 Walters State – 60-5 (2-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction: 

Region 7 Tournament: W vs Columbia State Forfeit, L vs#12  Dyersburg 9-20, W vs Motlow State 3-1, W vs #12 Dyersburg 8-3, W vs #12 Dyersburg 12-6

Appalachian District Championship: W vs #23 Andrew 8-4, W vs #23 Andrew 10-1

Top Pitchers: 

Kohl Drake (SO) (LHP) (LIpscomb Commit)- 9-2, 2 CG, 62.2 IP, 3.45 ERA, 94 K

Andrew Romanoli (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted)  – 9-0, 2 CG, 40.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 30 K

Jake Knapp (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 6-2, 49.1 IP, 5.84 ERA, 60 K

Hayden Summers (FR) (RHP) (Pittsburgh Commit) – 6-0, 2 CG, 32.0 IP, .84 ERA, 47 K

Joey Mitchell (FR) (LHP) (Uncommitted)  – 14 App, 3-0, 2 SV, 25.0 IP, 3.24 ERA, 36 K

Brayden Matthews (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 14 App, 2 SV, 17.1 IP, 3.63 IP, 23 K

 

Top Hitters:

Alberto Osuna (FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .453/.525/.863, 18 2B, 23 HR, 99 RBI

Jerry Haommons (SO) (INF) (Southeastern (NAIA) Commit) – .402/.453/.782, 23 2B, 22 HR, 78 RBI

Nick Block (FR) (OF) (Uncommitted)  – .377/.448/.610, 10 2B, 9 HR, 47 RBI

Caleb McNeely (FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .353/.473/.696, 17 2B, 3 3B, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 13 SB

 

Walters State has sat on top of the National Rankings since week 11, and has been in the top 5 all season which is nothing to be frowned upon. 

 

After a weird postseason they punch their ticket. Walters State is one of the top offensive teams in the country this year and that is something that is going to play very well in Grand Junction. 

 

Like many Walters had to deal with many different COVID related issues/hoops to jump through. For them the biggest one was when it came to their schedule. They could not travel more the 4 hours away to play and then they could not spend the night anywhere. (Until now of course.). When asked about it Coach Shelton said “The fact we were able to get in 55 regular season games with all of our limitations may be our biggest accomplishment of the season.”

 

This postseason coach Shelton mentioned that the biggest thing for them was their pitchers holding down the mound for them when it was needed. Especially when it came to the losers bracket in the District Tournament. 

World Series History:

11 Trips

1985, 2003, 2005, 2006 (National Champs), 2008, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021

3rd Consecutive Trip

East DistrictRegion 10 – #6 Florence-Darlington Tech – 46-6 (7-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction:

Regional 10 Tournament:W vs USC Salkehatchie 9-0, W vs Louisburg 8-3, W vs Spartanburg Methodist 13-7

East District Championship: W vs #13 Monroe 12-5, W vs #13 Monroe 13-1

 

 

Top Pitchers:

Hunter Parks (R-FR)  (RHP) (South Carolina Commit) – 6-0, 38.2 IP, 1.63 ERA, 54 K

Nathan Williams (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 8-2, 1 CG, 48.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 75 K

Charlie Mac Toman (R-FR) (LHP) (Middle Tennessee State Commit) – 7-0, 37.2 IP, 3.11 ERA, 42 K

Matt Poston (R-FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 2-0, 13 App, 14.1 IP, .63 ERA, 20 K

Braxton Elms (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 2-0, 11 App, 16.0 IP, 5.63 ERA, 14 K

 

Top Hitters:

Luke Wood (R-FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .425/.490/.647, 13 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 50 RBI, 22 SB

JT Marr (R-FR) (C/1B/3B) (College of Charleston Commit) – .462/.538/.818, 16 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 59 RBI

Gary Lora (R-FR) (C/1B/3B) (Southeastern (NAIA) Commit) – .397/.438/.679, 11 2B, 11 HR, 56 RBI

Scott McDonough (R-FR) (1B/OF) (Uncommitted) – .338/.378/.700, 12 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 55 RBI

Florence Darlington (FloDar) comes into the tournament in a bit different ways than others. Every team in this field has at least one pitcher that has thrown over 50 Innings. That is all but FloDar. They started 12 different Pitchers this season which shows the depth they have on the mound. 

 

The Key to them there is going to be the Pitchers showing up and doing what they have done all season and shut people down. You don’t know who you are going to get but they have 12 different weapons that they can throw at you which is something that is going to be huge with the amount of games that can be played over the next week. 

World Series History:

2 Trips

2017, 2021

Mid-South DistrictRegion 14 – #7 San Jac – 36-17 (3-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction:

Region 14 Regional: W vs Panola 13-1, W vs Paris 8-2, W vs Paris 11-3

Region 14 Super Regional: W vs Navarro 5-4 (11 Inn.), L vs Navarro 9-4, W vs Navarro 10-9

 

Top Pitchers:

Thomas Burbank (FR) (LHP) (Rice Commit) – 12-0, 71.2 IP, 1.88 ERA, 79 K

Hunter Hollan (FR) (RHP) (TCU Commit) – 9-3, 1 CG, 66.0 IP, 2.59 ERA, 95 K

Matthew Tieding (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 9-2, 1 CG, 65.2 IP, 3.70 ERA, 50 K

Cole McMillan (FR) (LHP) (Washington State Commit) – 1-1, 22 App, 32.0 IP, 3.09 ERA, 48 K

Mason Hilton (SO) (Uncommitted) – 0-0, 12 App, 15.0 IP, 2.40 IP, 23 K

 

Top HItters

Mason Auer (FR) (OF) (Oregon Commit) – .370/.531/.603, 8 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 51 RBI, 31 SB

Chase Adkison (FR) (C) (Oklahoma State Commit) – .295/.433/.494, 12 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 42 RBI, 12 SB

Mason Lytle (FR) (OF) (Uncommitted) – .303/.362/.507, 11 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 15 SB

Harold Coll (FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .353/.452/.462, 9 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 10 SB

 

“Look who’s Back, Back Again. San Jac’s Back. Tell a Friend”

 

After a year where they could not participate in the postseason San Jac is Back and better then ever. With a Young Core and High end arms San Jac Comes in with force. 

 

One thing that Coach Koehler says is their biggest Strength coming into the tournament is their bats. They have played against some of the top pitching staffs from across the country. Having played games against the powers of west Texas Howard and Odessa, against fellow world series team McLennan, as well as a top team from Florida in Chipola. He says they showed up there so why not keep going. 

 

Despite the fact that their hitters have been hot does not mean that their pitchers do not have what it takes to hold it down. With years of experience in Grand Junction, Coach Koehler says pitching is the key to winning the whole thing and he feels like this is the most ready team for this tournament that they have had in recent years. 

 

World Series History:

24 Trips

1984, 1985 (National Champs), 1986 (National Champs), 1987 (National Champs), 1988, 1989 (National Champs), 1990 (National Champs), 1997, 1998, 1999, 200,2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021

Midwest DistrictRegion 11 – #13 Indian Hills – 43-14 – (10-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction:

Region 11 Opening Round: W vs Southwestern 12-2, W vs Southwestern 10-0

Region 11 Championship: L vs #16 Iowa Western 3-4, W vs #16 Iowa Western 6-2, W vs #16 Iowa Western 7-3

Midwest District Championship: W vs Kaskaski 16-5, L vs #2 Wabash Valley 1-6, W vs Kaskaskia 12-4, W vs #2 Wabash Valley 10-4, W vs #2 Wabash Valley 9-4

 

Top Pitchers:

Douglas Rojas (FR) (LHP) (Uncommitted) – 6-0, 3 CG, 39.2 IP, 4.08 ERA, 58 K

Nick Marshall (SO) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 8-1, 3 CG, 64.2 IP, 3.06 ERA, 70 K

Wyatt Wendell (SO) (RHP) (Purdue Commit)  – 8-3, 3 CG, 62.0 IP, 3.77 ERA, 70 K

Gavin Hinckley (Uncommitted) – 18 App, 2-2, 3 Sv, 32.1 IP, 4.45 ERA, 33 K

 

Top Hitters:

Noel Perez (FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .324/.411/.539, 21 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 49 RBI

CJ Castillo (FR) (Uncommitted) – .326/.454/.472, 9 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 41 RBI, 15 SB

Ren Tachioka (FR) (OF) (Southern Indiana Commit) – .362/.498/.523, 12 2B, 2 3B, 32 RBI, 31 SB

Pier-Olivier Boucher (FR) (OF) (SIU-Carbondale Commit)  – .312/.444/.494, 8 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 39 RBI, 21 SB

 

What many people thought was going to happen happened at Indian Hills this season. A handful of 3rd year Junior College guys sticking around and them having success. For Indian Hills it was their pitchers. 3 of their 4 pitchers are 3 year guys along with their catcher. Which are some key places to have Veterian players. 

 

Apart from that Venteran depth that group of guys helped then younger guys and newcomers buy into the culture that Coach Torrez has built there. 

 

For them this season pitching has been the biggest strength. The guys continued to show up and compete when they needed to and thrived when it came to elimination games. Having to win elimination games to claim both the Regional and District title. 

 

Indian hills in my opinion is one team that did not get as much credit as they deserved due to their scheduled. But when it came time to show what they were made of they proved they are one of the national best. 

 

World Series History:

12 Trips

1973, 1981, 1985, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2021

 

Plains DistrictRegion 6 – #5 Cowley – 46-8 – (5-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction:

Region 6 Sub-Regional: W vs Dodge City 10-2, W vs Coffeyville 4-3, W vs Coffeyville 13-3

Plains District Tournament: W vs Kansas City Kansas 10-3, W vs Burlter 11-3, W vs Butler 14-4

 

Top Pitchers:

Grant Adler (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 7-0, 58.1 IP, 2.78 ERA, 72 K

J’Briell Easley (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 9-0, 3 CG, 52.0 IP, 3.81 ERA, 67 K

Miguel Fulgencio (FR) (LHP) (Uncommitted) – 18 App, 7-1, 1 SV, 29.1 IP, 1.53 ERA, 39 K

Cole Miller (FR) (LHP) (Oklahoma State Commit) – 15 App, 2-1, 22 IP, 8.18 ERA, 25 K

Top Hitters:

Janson Reeder (FR) (OF) (Wichita State Commit) – .410/.486/.688, 15 2B, 3 3B, 12 HR, 76 RBI, 10 SB

David Herring (FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .351/.440/.634, 16 2B, 4 3B, 10 HR, 66 RBI

Bryce Madron (FR) (OF) (Uncommitted) – .401/.550/.615, 19 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 55 RBI, 16 SB

Felix Chenier-Rondeau (FR) (OF) (Uncommitted) – .423/.545/.737, 9 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 52 RBI, 22 SB

 

Unlike most Cowley has relied mostly on their pitching this year instead of out hitting people. Now that is not to say that they have not put up offensive numbers. 

 

This postseason for them has relied mostly on good pitching and solid defense across the board asst. Coach Brock Buckingham said when we talked about their season. 

 

One cool thing about Cowley though is that in the past 6 years they have been one half of the Plains District Title game. Playing 6 Different teams during that span. This is their 4th trip to grand Junction in the past 5 years and they hope it ends a bit differently than the other trips. 

 

World Series History

10 Trips

1997 (National Champs), 1998 (National Champs), 2001, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021

South DistrictRegion 22 – #17 Shelton State – 39-15 (9-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction:

Region 22 Regional/South District Tournament: W vs Coastal Alabama-Monroeville 14-0, W vs Southern Union State 5-4, L vs Wallace-Dothan 0-12, W vs Chattahoochee Valley 12-10, W vs Wallace-Dothan 13-3, W vs Wallace-Dothan 22-6

 

Top Pitchers

Jackson Reynolds (SO) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 7-1, 2 CG, 74.1 IP, 2.30 ERA, 77 K

Garrett McMillan (FR) (RHP) (Alabama Commit) – 11-0, 3 CG, 65.0 IP, 2.08 ERA, 74 K

Grant Hickman (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 5-6, 55.0 IP, 4.09 ERA, 46 K

Kyle Chastine (FR) (LHP) (Uncommitted) – 17 App, 5-3, 35.2 IP, 4.29 ERA, 39 K

Connor Campbell (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 10 App, 0-1, 21.2 IP, 4.64 ERA, 17 K

 

Top Hitters

Colby Smelley (SO) (C/OF) (UL-Lafayette Commit) – .435/.540/.661, 15 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 44 RBI

Carson Clowers (SO) (INF) (Delta State (Div. 2) Commit)- .330/.415/.430, 9 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 24 RBI, 24 SB

Griffin Eldridge (FR) (OF) (Uncommitted) – .402/.457/.496, 3 2B, 3 HR, 28 RBI

Drake Logan (FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .368/.446/.595, 10 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 43 RBI

 

World Series History:

5 Trips

2007,2008, 2009, 2012, 2021

 

South Atlantic DistrictRegion 8 – #19 Miami Dade – 36-17 (8-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction:

Region 8/South Atlantic District Tournament: W vs Polk State 9-6, W vs Pensacola State 9-5, W vs Northwest Florida State 4-3 (10 Inn.), L vs Santa Fe 1-11, W vs Santa Fe 10-5

 

Top Pitchers

Henry Ogando-Martinez (SO) (RHP) – 67.2 IP, 3.86 ERA, 71 K

Gabriel Figueroa-Hidalgo (SO) (RHP) – 58.0 IP, 4.66 ERA, 61 K

William Silva (SO) (RHP) – 43 IP, 3.77 ERA, 45 K

Marvin De La Hoz (SO) (RHP) – 26.0 IP< 1.38 ERA, 22 K

 

Top Hitters

Erick Orbeta (SO) (INF/OF) – .369/.422/.505, 15 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 30 RBI

David Crawford (SO) (OF) – .346/.406/.463, 11 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 15 SB

Ian Jenkins (RSO) (OF) – .307/.419/.579, 11 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 27 RBI

 

World Series History:

9 Trips

1964 (National Champs), 1966, 1967, 1971, 1974, 1976, 2001, 2014, 2021

South Central DistrictRegion 16 – #3 Crowder – 52-6 – (1-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction:

Region 16 Tournament: W vs Metropolitan 6-0, W vs Jefferson 10-2, W vs Jefferson 4-2

South Central District Tournament: W vs Delgado 12-2, W vs #4 Eastern Oklahoma State 8-2, W vs #4 Eastern Oklahoma State 9-4

 

Top Pitchers:

James Hicks (CO-FR) (RHP) (South Carolina Commit) – 11-1, 8 CG, 81.1 IP, 3.43 ERA, 82 K

Kaleb Hill (CO-SO) (LHP) (Charleston Southern Commit) – 10-1, 5 CG, 68.2 IP, 2.88 ERA, 77 K

Dylan Carter (CO-FR) (RHP) (Arkansas Commit)  – 7-1, 1 CG, 54.2 IP, 5.60 ERA, 66 K

Jace Presley (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 14 App, 21.1 IP, 2.53 ERA, 23 K

Chandler Ashby (CO-FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 7 App, 4 St. 2-0, 18 IP, 8.00 ERA, 14 K

 

Top Hitters:

Logan Chambers (CO-FR) (INF) (Tennessee Commit)  – .414/.473/.754, 35 2B, 3 3B, 14 HR, 65 RBI, 14 SB

Landrey Wilkerson (CO-FR) (OF) (Arkansas Commit) – .356/.510/.711, 12 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 66 RBI, 11 SB

Jeffry Mercado (CO-FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .473/.539/.636, 10 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 44 RBI, 16 SB

Josh Patrick (CO-FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .320/.472/.747, 17 2B, 4 3B, 17 HR, 55 RBI

 

World Series History

3 Trips

2010, 2017, 2021

 

Southwest DistrictRegion 5 – #8 McLennan – 42-16 – (4-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction:

Region 5 Regional: W vs Clarendon 10-2, W vs #21 Temple 8-7, W vs #21 Temple 10-4

Region 5 Super-Regional: W vs Cisco 12-3, W vs Cisco 10-1

 

Top Pitchers

Logan Henderson (FR) (P) (Texas A&M Commit) – 8-2, 3 CG, 81.2 IP, 1.87 ERA, 138 K

Will Carsten (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 9-1, 2 CG, 63.2 IP, 3.53 ERA, 69 K

Brady Rose (FR) (LHP) (Dallas Baptist Commit) – 8-1, 2 CG, 63.2 IP, 2.40 ERA, 70 K

Gray Harrison (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 21 App, 4-2, 34.0 IP, 3.44 ERA, 35 K

Landry Wideman (RS-FR) (RHP) (Kansas State Commit) – 23 App, 1-1, 6 SV, 23.1 IP, 2.31 ERA, 28 K

 

Top Hitters

Dominic Tamez (FR) (C) (Uncommitted) – .372/.440/.648, 17 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 56 RBI

Garrett Martin (SO) (SS) (Oklahoma State Commit)- .355/.476/.755, 15 2B, 4 3B, 19 HR, 64 RBI, 

Mason Greer (FR) (INF) (Uncommitted) – .323/.378/.606, 11 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR, 58 RBI

Miguel Santos (FR) (INF) (Dallas Baptist Commit) – .342/.403/.604, 20 2Bm, 3 3B, 11 HR, 50 RBI

 

World Series History

7 Trips

1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 (National Champs), 2015, 2017, 2021

 

West DistrictRegion 1 – #9 Central Arizona – 48-7 – (6-Seed)

Path to Grand Junction:

Region 1 Regional: W vs Cochise 7-3, W vs South Mountain 7-2

Region 1 Super Regional: L vs Yavapai 4-5 (11 Inn.), L vs Yavapai 6-10

West District Tournament: W vs Western Nebraska 13-4, W vs Yavapai 22-3, W vs Yavapai 15-8

 

 

Top Pitchers:

Hunter Omlid (FR) (RHP) (Uncommitted) – 13-0, 2 CG, 84.2 IP, 2.98 ERA, 90 K

Mat Olsen (RFR) (RHP) (Arizona State Commit) – 11-0, 2 CG, 81.2 IP, 1.87 ERA, 124 K

Tyler Woessner (SO) (RHP) (Hope International Commit) – 8-1, 66.1 IP, 4.48 ERA, 78 K

Drew Sommers (FR) (LHP) (Uncommitted) – 21 App, 2-2, 5 SV, 25.2 IP, 3.16 ERA, 40 K

Christian Sanches (RFR) (RHP) (Tulane Commit) – 15 App, 17.1 IP, 5.71 ERA, 29 K

 

Top Hitters:

Dayton Dooney (SO) (INF) (Tennessee Commit) – .356/.438/.691, 15 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 56 RBI

JD McLaughlin (FR) (RHP/OF) (Uncommitted) – .354/.433/.670, 12 2B, 9 3B, 12 HR, 59 HR, 30 SB

Kiko Romero (FR) (OF/C) (Uncommitted) – .316/.436/.561, 12 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 53 RBI

Matt Aribal (SO) (INF) (Hawaii Commit) – .318/.444/.500, 6 2B, 1 3B, 4 Hr, 27 RBI, 12 SB

 

The Defending National Champs have made it back to Grand Junction. The 2019 National Champs return to go back to back to be the second consecutive team to win back to back World Series (Chipola won back to back National Titles in 2017 and 2018).

 

Central Started the season on a 31-0 before running into another World Series team in Division 2 Phoenix. That was one of the longest streaks this season by any team.

 

The Key for Central this season has been the fact that they have an older group of guys with 7 guys who were on that last National Championship team who Coach Gilich says has been a key part to the team having both veterian leadership on and off the field. 

 

World Series History:

7 Trips

1976 (National Champs), 1999, 2002 (National Champs), 2008, 2011, 2019 (National Champs), 2021

 

Bracket

Computer Picks

These were done via the Massey Rating Matchup Tool

 

Game 1 McLennan Florence Darlington McLennan 3-0
Game 2 Crowder Indian Hills Indian Hills 4-2
Game 3 Walters State Shelton State Walters State 2-0
Game 4 San Jac Miami Dade San Jac 4-1
Game 5 Cowley Central Arizona Central Arizona 14-10
Game 6 Florence Darlington Crowder Crowder 6-2
Game 7 Shelton State Miami Dade Miami Dade 12-6
Game 8 Walters State San Jac San Jac 11-8
Game 9 Crowder Miami Dade Crowder 6-4
Game 10 McLennan Indian Hills McLennan 4-0
Game 11 Cowley Walters State Walters State 12-7
Game 12 Crowder Indian Hills Crowder 19-1
Game 13 Central Arizona San Jac San Jac 8-6
Game 14 Walters State Central Arizona Central Arizona 16-2
Game 15 McLennan San Jac McLennan 4-1
Game 16 Central Arizona San Jac San Jac 6-1
Game 17 Crowder McLennan Crowder 6-1
Game 18 San Jac McLennan McLennan 9-4
National Championship Crowder McLennan Crowder 9-4

Crowder is the Computers Pick for National Champion

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