Prep Baseball Report

Texas JUCO Week 5 Preview

Noah Sharp
PBR Texas JUCO Insider

As always there is a lot going on across the state this week. #12 Navarro plays mid-week against #5 Blinn before taking on New Mexico and #18 North Central. #9 Tyler takes on Bossier Parish in a four-game series. This week in the preview we take a look at two top 10 matchups, and early season division 3 conference series, along with one lower ranked cross region matchup.

#21 Clarendon vs #24 Paris-3 Game Series

Lower rankings take nothing away from this series. Both teams have the potential to make a postseason run.

Paris has one of the top offensive teams in the country. They are top 10 in home runs, runs batted in, doubles, runs, total bases, stolen bases, and extra-base hits. Leading the way for them is one of the countries leading hitters SO C/OF Nick DeNicola (Oklahoma State) who is currently leading the country in home runs (7), runs batted in (25), total bases (47). Another big bat for the Dragons is SO C/OF Ian Groves (uncommitted) who is hitting .385, with a double, home run, and 10 runs batted in.

Leading the offense for the Bulldogs this season is SO SS Shawn Ross (Faulkner) and SO INF Lennard Pietersz (uncommitted). Ross leads the team hitting .462 with 3 doubles, 2 triples, and 5 runs batted in. Pietersz comes in just behind his teammate hitting .375 with a triple, and 5 runs batted in along with leading the team with walks (5)

#21 Clarendon

#24 Paris

Game 1

SO LHP Jason Porter (uncommitted)

FR RHP Zach Norris

Game 2

SO RHP Kevin Miranda (uncommitted)

SO RHP John Altman (uncommitted)

Game 3

FR RHP Zach Gagnon

FR RHP Daxton Tinker

Division 3

#22 Richland vs UR Cedar Valley-3 Game Series

This is one of the top Division 3 matchups this week. Both teams have a good chance at winning their conference and this early season series may set the tone for the rest of the conference season.

Richland got the win in game one 6-4.

The Thunderducks are one of the countries best hitting teams (Division 3) this season. They are top 10 in almost all offensive categories being ranked number 1 in triples (9), home runs (14), extra-base hits (48), total bases (204), and slugging % (.547). Leading the offense for them is SO OF Cody Windisch (uncommitted) and FR INF Riley Blanton. Windisch is hitting .500 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs along with 9 runs batted in 11 walks and 15 stolen bases. Blanton is right behind him hitting .452 with just 3 doubles and 8 runs batted in.

For the Suns, the two guys leading their offensive attack are SO OF Billy Rogers (uncommitted), and FR UTIL Jose Castillo. Rogers leads the team hitting .519, with 5 doubles, a triple, a home run, and 8 runs batted in. Castillo is right behind him hitting .462 with 2 doubles, a home run with 9 runs batted in.

#22 Richland

Cedar Valley

Game 1

FR RHP Dylan Salinas

SO RHP Noah Lynch (uncommitted)

Game 2

SO Riley Ramsey*

SO RHP Ryan Ratliff* (uncommitted)

Game 3

FR RHP Kyle Higgins*

FR RHP Aaron Salazar*

*projected pitchers

Top 10 Matchups

#8 Howard vs #2 McLennan-3 Game Series

Any time these two teams get together you can expect good baseball. Both Howard and McLennan have been staples at the top of Region V for the past few years. Howard won their last meeting 9-5 during their sweep of the Tournament of Champions back in week 2. This will be the last meeting of these two before postseason play.

McLennan is coming off a hot week where they swept Region 14 opponent Navarro in a 3 game series. Leading the way offensively have been FR INF Garret Martin (.327/.459/.571 with a team-leading 3 home runs) and FR INF Jalen Battles who is hitting .339 with 9 doubles (2nd in the country) with 12 runs batted in.

Howard struggled last week but is looking to bounce back in a big way. Leading their offense right now are two freshmen, IF Brandon Pimentel and OF Ty Manning. Pimentel is hitting .455 with a double and 3 runs batted in while holding a .538 on-base %. Manning is just behind him with a .444 average with 2 doubles, a home run, and 2 runs batted in, along with his .583 on-base %.

#2 McLennan

#8 Howard

Game 1

SO RHP Alex Deleon (uncommitted)*

FR RHP Nicco Cole (Cal State Fullerton)*

Game 2

SO RHP Jase Embry (uncommitted)*

SO RHP Jordan Mikel (UL-Monroe)*

Game 3

FR RHP Mason Hilton*

FR LHP Ricky Apodaca*

*projected starters

#6 Odessa vs #10 Weatherford-3 Game Series

This is another series that has big Region V potential. Both teams have had success at the regional tournament in the past few years.

Odessa was one of the teams that came out and impressed during the Tournament of Champions. Leading the way for the Wranglers was one of the Hitters to Watch during the Tournament of Champions, RS-SO OF Kyler Castillo (uncommitted). Castillo has not let off the gas and continues to be one of the top hitters in the state hitting .471, with 2 doubles, 2 triples, a home run along with 7 runs batted in. Look for the Wranglers to use their go-to guy, FR RHP Chandler Arnold from their bullpen with 1 save and a 12.86 K/9.

The Coyotes are one of many teams that have been affected by the weather this season. That, however, has not affected their playing. Leading the offensive attack for them are SO INF JT Thompson (Texas State) and SO INF Hunter Gieser (uncommitted). Thompson was the PBR Texas Hitter of the Week back in week two and for good reason. He is currently hitting .417 with 3 doubles 2 home runs, 8 runs batted in with 7 walks. Gieser is just behind him hitting .393 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, a home run, 6 runs batted in and a team-leading 11 walks.

#6 Odessa

#10 Weatherford

Game 1

SO LHP Marc Luna (uncommitted)

FR RHP Bryce Hackett

Game 2

SO RHP Noah Bartlett (uncommitted)

SO RHP Carlos Tavera (uncommitted)

Game 3

FR Kayden Cassidy

SO RHP Trevis Sundgren (Texas State)