Baseball

Blue skies, sunshine and a lights out bullpen … Welcome to opening day for the Navarro Bulldogs, who took their first steps into the 2018 season Friday afternoon at home with a 6-5 victory over No. 24 Weatherford. “It's something to build on,'' said Navarro coach Matt "Pudge" Podjenski, who liked just about everything he saw from his team. “We played really good defense and pitched well at times, and our bullpen did a real good job.” The Bulldogs got hits up and down the lineup and built a 5-1 lead. Right fielder Josh Ragan had a double and a triple and drove in two runs to lead the way along with catcher Beau Orlando, who had a big two-out, two RBI hit for the Dawgs. “We had a lot of good at-bats and our lineup put a lot of pressure on them,” Podjenski said. “And we forced the issue on the bases, which I really like.” Podjenski started freshman right hander Cole Wesneski, who struck out four in three innings of work. Middle reliever Ryan Johnston picked up the win, followed by Johnny Panatex for three innings and closer Asher Cook. Panatex worked a scoreless, hitless two-and-two thirds innings before five Weatherford batters reached safely...

By MIKE PHILLIPS / Corsicana Sun It's always the same goal at Navarro: The College World Series in Junction, Colorado. That hasn't changed. But this year's Bulldog team may be a little hungrier, may be a little more confident, and may just be the first to get there since 2013. [caption id="attachment_911001" align="alignright" width="200"] MATT PODJENSKI[/caption] The Bulldogs have had some tremendous teams since the '13 team made it to Junction, but have fallen short in the Region XIV Tournament over the past four years. The difference with the players who return from last year is the way their season ended. It was a remarkable and inspiring run to the finals of the region tournament in Grand Prairie, just a step away from Junction — a run that began after the Bulldogs lost their second game, forcing them to fight back through the loser's bracket in a double-elimination marathon. They almost made it, but clearly they simply ran out of pitchers, and fell to San Jacinto, which went on to the CWS and played for the title against national champion Chipola. “I didn't mourn over it because we gave it everything we had,'' said Beau Orlando, who will move from second base to catcher this season. “We just...

By MIKE MONTFORT   --- Two Baseball Camp Showcases for the Class of 2018 and 2019 are scheduled in November, and Navarro head coach Matt Podjenski indicates that one will be Sunday, Nov. 5 here at Perry D. Graham Field. The second showcase will occur Sunday, Nov. 19 at Grayson County Community College's Dub Hayes Field in Denison, according to Vikings head coach Dusty Hart. The camps are a cooperative effort among Navarro, Grayson, North Central Texas and Hill College baseball programs. Early pre-registration entry fee for this professionally run tryout camp is $90.  Camp-day registration costs $120 (only cash accepted). At both camps, participants register between 8 and 9 am.  Skill evaluations occur between 9 and noon.  After an hour lunch break, afternoon scrimmages begin at 1 pm. Participants benefit for the summer and fall recruiting process.  Individual evaluations will be assessed for speed in the 60-yard dash as well as arm strength, fielding ability and hitting mechanics. A three-page, printable pdf providing a registration form and detailing more camp, contact and mailing information is posted:    2018 and 2019 Baseball Showcase Information...

WEATHERFORD -- Five sophomore members of coach Matt Podjenski's Bulldog baseball team participated in the Texas-New Mexico Junior College All-Star Game here at Roger Williams Ballpark last weekend. Navarro representatives included pitchers Paul Dickens, Asher Cook, Johnny Panatex, infielder Beau Orlando and outfielder Josh Ragan.  The top talents from 40 top programs in the four conferences convened for the two-day event. All-star teams represented Region XIV East and South, as well as Region V North and West.  Sandwiched between games on Friday was a home-run derby. Professional scouts and major university program coaches were on hand to see prospective talents at the junior college level....