Baseball

By MIKE MONTFORT -- The St. Louis Cardinals selected Navarro College shortstop Cash Rugely in the 40th and final round with pick No. 1205 overall Wednesday as the three-day MLB Draft came to a conclusion. Two former Bulldogs also were drafted on the final day. Three picks later after Rugely at No. 1208, the Tampa Bay Rays selected Abilene Christian University senior catcher Luis Trevino, a Buster Posey Award nominee who was the Southland Conference Player of the Year. Earlier, in the 31st round at No. 920 overall, the Chicago White Sox selected Texas State University senior righthanded pitcher Connor Reich, a former Bulldog who had a three-year record of 17-10, including 8-2 during his All-Sun Belt first-team senior season. Players from other JUCO World Series qualifying teams were picked often Wednesday. Here is a list of those players, many who played against Navarro last week in Grand Junction: Round - Player, School (Drafting Team) 4 -- Ivan Johnson, Chipola 2B (Cincinnati Reds) 9 -- Cody Milligan, Cowley C (Atlanta Braves) 14 -- Lucas Knowles, Central Arizona LHP (Washington Nationals) 15 -- Alex Haynes, Walters State RHP (Colorado Rockies) 16 -- Andrew Baker, Chipola RHP (Los Angeles Dodgers) 16 -- Dakota Donovan, Central Arizona RHP (Los Angeles Angels) 19 -- Joshua Rivera, Chipola...

By MIKE MONTFORT  -- GRAND JUNCTION, Co -- Navarro Baseball's Jose Gonzalez, Jr., and Cash Rugely were named Saturday night to The Alpine Bank JUCO World Series All-Tournament Team and also received special individual honors. Awards were presented after Central Arizona won the NJCAA Division I Baseball Championship over Iowa Western, 13-8, at Suplizio Field. In addition to the all-tournament selections, Gonzalez, Jr., was named the recipient of "The Homa Thomas Sportsmanship Award," and Rugely was given "The Jay Tolman Outstanding Defensive Player" of the series. Gonzalez, Jr., hit .500 in the series (10-for-20), with individual tournament-highs of 5 home runs, 16 runs-batted-in, and 26 total bases. Gonzales, Jr. became the 12th player in JUCO World Series history to hit three home runs in a single game and the first to do it in 10 years. The Navarro designated hitter's .500 average was fifth and his 1.300 slugging percentage was second among all players. Rugely batted .474 (9-for-19), scored eight runs, hit two home runs and drove in five. The Region XIV Eastern Conference Player of the Year finished the tournament tied for fourth in hits (9), fifth in runs (8) and sixth in total bases (16). Rugely's .962 defensive prowess was recognized with the Tolman Award....

By MIKE MONTFORT   -- GRAND JUNCTION, Co. -- Navarro's magnificent, memorable march to the pinnacle of The Alpine Bank JUCO World Series ended Friday, but rewarded coach Matt Podjenski's Bulldogs with a third-place finish. In an elimination semifinal play-in game, ninth-ranked Iowa Western (52-10) reversed Thursday's result and run-ruled the Bulldogs in eight innings, 15-7. Coach Marc Rardin's Northern District Champion Reivers advanced to their fourth JUCO World Series Final and faced Central Arizona's Vaqueros  (49-20) for the title in Saturday's 7 pm MT contest at Sam Suplizio Field. Navarro, lightly regarded among Texas junior college baseball programs during the spring, concluded a 41-18 season that featured a magical run of 22 wins in their final 27 games (15 of 17 regular-season and 7 of 9 postseason).  The Region XIV Tournament Champion Bulldogs used an awesome power display with their searing bats and stormed their way to 103 runs over those final nine contests that included four run-ruled wins. During a week-long stay at Grand Junction, the Bulldogs hit .338, scored 61 runs and slugged 14 homers. On Friday, Iowa Western took charge early against the Bulldogs and freshman lefthanded starter Carson Rollins.  The Reivers chased Rollins after 1.1 innings, and took a comfortable 6-0...

BY MIKE MONTFORT  -- GRAND JUNCTION, Co -- Navarro's 23-8 run-ruled victory Thursday over tournament-unbeaten Iowa Western assured that The Alpine Bank JUCO World Series Championship Game will be played Saturday night. The Bulldogs (41-17/ 3-1) and the Reivers (51-10, 3-1) will meet again in a 7 pm MT Friday game, with the winner advancing to Saturday's 7 pm MT championship game against Central Arizona (49-20). Coach Matt Podjenski's Bulldogs are looking for Navarro's second NJCAA Division I Baseball Championship; Coach Marc Rardin's Reivers are seeking their fourth and Anthony Gilich's CAC Vaqueros will be bidding for their third JUCO World Series Championship. Navarro left little doubt Thursday that the JUCO World Series would extend to a possible Game 19 for all the three once-beaten teams. The Bulldogs dismantled the ninth-ranked Reivers in front of 8,762 fans on Challenger Night. Leadoff-hitting second baseman Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo went three-for-five, scored four and drove in five runs in the five-inning contest. Cardoza-Oquendo lacked only a home run for a potential cycle, but other teammates took care of that business. The Bulldogs parlayed home runs from Stacey Bailey, Jose Gonzalez, Jr., and Kyle Landers with a miserable performance from six Reiver pitchers that included 13 walks, 1 hit-batsmen and five wild...