Texas JUCO Week 3 Recap


Noah Sharp
PBR Texas JUCO Insider

TEXAS, USA - It was another successful week across the State of Texas. With the Tournament of Champions taking place in Houston along with other big series, there was a lot that happened this past week. There were nine different teams that had undefeated weeks: #3 Cisco (2-0), #5 Howard (4-0), #6 Tyler (3-0), #14 Ranger (1-0), #20 Angelina (2-0), #23 Richland (1-0), #24 Wharton (2-0), UR Hill (3-0) and UR North Central (3-0).



#14 Ranger 1-0


Despite only playing one game this week it was a big one for Ranger. It was the first real test of the season for them and they showed up. Playing Region 5 power New Mexico is always a tough one. They met in Abilene and came out on top 10-2. The Rangers kept the Thunderbirds from scoring until the last inning. At the plate SO UTIL Tucker Burton led the way going 2-4 with 1 double, 1 triple, bringing in 3 runs along with scoring 1 himself. On the mound, RS FR LHP Austin Smith had a strong 6 innings allowing only 1 hit while striking out 3 over the course of 6 innings.


#5 Howard 4-0


Howard had the most impressive week of any team in the state. Any time that you can come out of the Tournament of Champions without a loss says something about your club. All of their wins came in the later part of the games. Against #17 Alvin they had a big 8th inning where they scored six runs thanks to Brett Cain (Houston Commit), Lance Russell, Jacob Martinez, and Ben McLain. Against #4 McLennan they pulled away in the 6th thanks to a Diego Ramirez single. Against #9 Navarro, Cain hit a bases clearing double to put them ahead 7-4. When wrapping up the weekend against #1 San Jac the winning run came across thank to a wild pitch in the top of the 8th.


#4 McLennan 2-2


Despite having two losses this week Mclennan still had a successful week. Those two losses were two #1 San Jac by 1, and #5 Howard by 4. To say these were quality losses might sound odd but they were close games. The loss to Howard came down to the 6th inning where they gave up a bases clearing double. Against  Sac Jac, they were picking away at the early 6-2 lead, but the comeback fell just short in the top of the 9th. The other two games the Highlanders outscored their opponents 17-0. Their first game against Alvin, Jase Embry threw a 5 inning no-hitter striking out 3 while walking 4. Embry also faced the minimum 18 batters in the game. Leading the way against Laredo, Tanner Brooks was lights out. Going 5 innings with no hits and 8 strikeouts.


#1 San Jac 2-2

San Jac was another team that split this week. Their two losses where however just like McLennan, were to quality teams, including an extra inning loss to a scrappy Odessa, and a late inning loss to Howard. Against #4 McLennan they jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Sophomore OF Andrew Papantonis (Houston Commit) went 2-4 with 2 RBI and a homer, while RJ Ochoa went 2-3 with a Triple and 2 RBI. In their game against Grayson, it was dominated by the performance by SO RHP Jackson Rutledge (Kentucky Commit) who went 6 innings striking out 12 with no earned runs.



For more on the Tournament of Champions:

>>> Tournament of Champions: Day 1

>>> Tournament of Champions: Day 2

>>> Tournament of Champions: Hitter to Watch


Players of the Week:

Hitter

Sophomore 3B/C Spencer Bloom North Central Texas

Big part of the 3-0 Weekend North Central had. Hitting .666 with 1 double, 2 Homers, Along with driving in 8 Runs and scoring 3 himself.


Pitcher

Sophomore RHP Jackson Rutledge (Kentucky Commit)

To kick off the Tournament of Champions Jackson started if off for the Gators. Going 6 innings Striking out 12. He did give up 2 runs however they were not earned runs.

Juco Wire