Baseball News Archive

  • Here are the live links to all opening-round games Saturday and Sunday at The 62nd Annual JUCO World Series. Follow the games via live stats, play-by-play audio on The Team 1340 AM (KTMM Grand Junction), or by pay subscription on NJCAATV.   JUCO WORLD SERIES LIVE LINKS:    

  • Navarro Baseball hosts a Class of 2019 and 2020 Summer Showcase Camp at Perry D. Graham Field on Monday, June 24. Entry fee is $60 in advance.  Registration on camp day costs $80, cash only accepted.  An hour-long registration process on camp day begins at 8 am. Camp begins at 9 am.  Participants will be evaluated for arm strength, 60-yard dash, infield and outfield actions, batting practices and pitcher bullpens. Registration forms and checks in advance should be sent by June 17 to Navarro College, Attn: Matt Podjenski, 3200 West Seventh Avenue, Corsicana, Tx, 75110. PDF LINK:   Baseball Camp Flyer Summer Showcase 2019  

  • The 10-team field now is set for The Alpine Bank JUCO World Series at Grand Junction, Co. With ninth-ranked Iowa Western winning the Northern District Championship Monday over top-ranked Wabash Valley, all qualifiers have been identified and brackets drawn for the week-long double-elimination tournament that begins Saturday, May 25. Four first-round games are scheduled Saturday, and a fifth one will be on Sunday. Southern District Champion Navarro opens play at noon Saturday against 16th-ranked Chipola. JUCO QUALIFIERS (First-Round Pairings) Sam Suplizio Field / Grand Junction Co., Times Listed (MDT) ___ Saturday, 9 am East Central – Walters State (52-9) Central – Cowley, Ks. (45-12) ___ Saturday, Noon Southern – Navarro (38-16) Gulf – Chipola (38-18) ___ Saturday, 3 pm Southwestern – New Mexico JC (42-15) Southeastern – Chattahoochee Valley (35-18) ___ Saturday, 7:30 pm Western – Central Arizona (44-19) Eastern – Monroe (32-17) ___ Sunday, 10 am Northern — Iowa Western (48-9) South Central — Connors State, Ok. (48-11)

  • Here are some important links for The Alpine Bank JUCO World Series May 25-June 1 at Sam Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Co. Links to Watch Live, or for Live Stats, In-Game Media Stats, The Team1340 AM, and the YouTube Channel are located on the pulldown ‘Media’ tab.   Juco World Seires Bracket Alpine Bank JUCO World Series Page: JUCO World Series Through Monumental Ticket

  • By MIKE MONTFORT  — BEAUMONT — Navarro Baseball will return to The Alpine Bank JUCO World Series at Grand Junction, Col., May 25-June 1. For the first time since 2013, the Bulldogs will return with ‘NJCAA Southern District Champions’ and ‘Region XIV Tournament Champions’ as well as ‘Eastern Conference Champions’ emblazoned across their bursting-with-pride chests. Champions.  Repetitious wording in the second paragraph, but oh-so-fitting.  And they wear it well. Navarro (38-16) continued its post-season march Wednesday by drilling South Zone second-seed Blinn, 14-7, to complete an unbeaten, four-game sweep through the rain-delayed, double-elimination tournament. Since the meet started Sunday, it’s been nothing but blue skies and sunny days for Navarro.  The Bulldogs scored 43 runs on 49 hits during just 31 innings of play, shortened by two run-ruled contests.  Bound now for Grand Junction, their bus is packed with momentum and confidence as the accelerator is pressed to the floorboard. Wednesday at Vincent-Beck Stadium, the Bulldogs broke the game open in the top of the ninth when they batted around during their farewell tour, clubbed five hits and scored six runs.  Consecutive two-run doubles by Kyle Hawkins and Wesley Powell highlighted the onslaught that gave NC a 14-4 advantage. Eastern...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT  — BEAUMONT — Navarro moved into Wednesday’s 5 pm Region XIV Tournament Championship game by defeating Panola, 5-2, Tuesday at Vincent-Beck Stadium. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs (37-16) will play the survivor of a 1 pm elimination bracket game between Blinn and Panola for the championship of the double-elimination tournament. Should tournament-unbeaten Navarro win Wednesday, it would be crowned as NJCAA Southern District Champions and would earn one of the 10 qualifying berths for the Alpine Bank JUCO World Series at Grand Junction, Col. Navarro has won three straight in the tournament, eight games in a row overall, 11 of its 12 and 15 of its last 17 to charge into the championship game.  The Bulldogs are looking for their fourth all-time World Series appearance (1958, 2011 NJCAA Championship, and 2013) and first under Podjenski. The Bulldogs broke a scoreless battle during the middle innings and opened up a 5-0 lead.  Jose Gonzalez collected three hits in his first trips to the plate Wednesday and knocked in two runs with a double and a single. Gonzalez, 10-for-13 at the plate over five games, cracked a first-pitch single to left that scored Cash Rugely with the game’s first run...

  • BEAUMONT — Tournament-unbeaten Navarro advances to Tuesday’s 5 pm Winners Bracket game after a run-ruled, 13-3 second-round victory over the Angelina Roadrunners. At 5 pm Tuesday, Navarro (36-16) will meet Panola, a 15-9 winner over Alvin in the Region XIV Tournament semifinals at Vincent-Beck Stadium. The Bulldogs have won seven straight games, 10 of 11 and 14 of their last 16. Jose Gonzalez went 3-for-3 and slugged his seventh home run of the season to lead Navarro’s 13-hit attack during its second consecutive run-rule win in the double-elimination tournament. Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo knocked in four runs to back the route-going performance by righthander Ryan Johnston. Johnston threw 86 pitches in six innings and allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out three. He gave up three runs, only one of which was earned. _____ SCORE BY INNINGS…….R-H-E (LOB) Navarro………..102 073 — 13-13-2 Angelina……….000 300 — 3- 5- 2 W: Ryan Johnston (4-3). L: Wesley Gafford 2B: Stacey Bailey, Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo, Kyle Landers, Cash Rugely 3B: Mason Holt HR: Jose Gonzalez TB: Stacey Bailey 3, Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo 2, Jose Gonzalez 6, Kyle Hawkins, Mason Holt 4, Kyle Landers 3, Cash Rugely 3 RBI: Stacey Bailey, Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo 4, Jose Gonzalez 3,...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT   — BEAUMONT — Stacey Bailey knocked in four runs as East Zone champion Navarro run-ruled Laredo, 11-3, in Sunday’s seven-inning Region XIV Baseball Tournament opening-round game. Navarro (35-16) advances to a 5 pm Monday Championship Bracket matchup with Angelina, a 12-9 winner Sunday over Blinn. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs launched a 14-hit attack and scored in every inning off three Laredo pitchers. Five Bulldogs produced doubles in the effort: Bailey, Jose Gonzalez, Mason Holt, Kyle Landers and Dawson Woods. Two of Bailey’s four RBI came via sacrifice flys. Navarro took the lead for good in the bottom of the third inning when Gonzalez and Woods hit consecutive two-out doubles. The Bulldogs batted around in the fourth when Woods, Kyle Hawkins and Wesley Powell strung together consecutive two-out singles after Rugely reached on an error and Gonzales walked. Powell knocked in three runs, one with a sacrifice fly. Lefthander Carson Rollins won for the seventh time, throwing 80 pitches in a six-inning outing. Rollins allowed four hits, struck out six and didn’t yield an earned run. Collin Storms worked the seventh inning. _____________ SCORE BY INNINGS……….R-H-E (LOB) Laredo…..200 001 0 — 3- 4-3 (LOB 5) Navarro…111 511...

  • The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission has added 14 catchers to the official watch list of the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award. Among them is Abilene Christian senior Luis Trevino, a former Navarro Bulldog, who won Region XIV East Zone Player of the Year honors in 2016 after earning Freshman of the Year honors in 2015. Trevino (15-60-1 / .420) leads the Wildcats and the Southland Conference in the triple-crown categories. Trevino also leads in on-base percentage (.507), slugging percentage (.781) and total bases (132). He’s had 71 hits in 46 games, scored 40 runs, and has a 32:14 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Here are the players on the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award watch list: -Aaron Antonini JR Middle Tennessee State -Alex Brait JR Florida Gulf Coast -Zack Costello SR Mount St. Mary’s -Robert Emery JR San Francisco -Brock Hallum SR LIU Brooklyn -Shea Langeliers JR Baylor -Austin Martin JR Iowa -Kyle McCann JR Georgia Tech -Keaton Rice SO Bradley -Matt Scheffler JR Auburn -Taylor Smith FR Incarnate Word -Luis Trevino SR Abilene Christian -Brock Weimer SR SIUE -Eric Yang JR UC Santa Barbara This year, ninety-one catchers were nominated for the award....

  • BEAUMONT — Seven members of the Region XIV East Zone Champion Navarro Bulldogs who were named to the All-Conference team in some capacity. Freshman All-Conference Player of the Year Cash Rugely heads an honors list that includes four first-teamers and two second-team selections. Rugely (.404/.497/.603) leads Navarro with 61 hits and 45 runs scored in 45 games. The freshman shortstop (5-28-11) ranks second in extra-base hits (18) and total bases (91). First-teamers include freshmen catcher Dawson Woods, third baseman Stacey Bailey and lefthanded pitcher Carson Rollins, along with sophomore closer Pepper Jones. Woods hit .343 and drove in 35 runs during the regular season. Of his 35 RBI, 17 came home on two-out hits. Woods not only hit a team-high .370 with runners in scoring position, but led in sacrifice flyouts with 5. Bailey, in a team-high 162 at-bats, tops the club in home runs (9), RBI (58), doubles (13). Rollins (6-0, 2.76) leads Navarro pitchers in starts (13) and innings (64.2) and ranks second in strikeouts. Jones, with 8 saves in 19 appearances, has 42 strikeouts on the season. He recently matched Asher Cook’s single-season save mark. Sophomore centerfielder Mason Holt (3-23-9, .256) and first baseman Kyle Landers (3-37-23,...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT  — BEAUMONT — Beginning Sunday, the road to the Alpine Bank NJCAA Division I JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Col., goes through this southeast Texas city — and perhaps a few flooded streets and roads. Originally, the tournament was scheduled to begin on Saturday, but Beaumont-area forecasts indicated showers and thunderstorms four consecutive days — beginning on Wednesday, and ending with a 70 percent chance on Saturday. Region XIV officials decided on Wednesday to delay the start of the double-elimination tournament one day and begin on Sunday, May 12. Then, Friday, it was announced that Navarro’s first-round opponent, South-4 seed Galveston, was ineligible to participate and replaced by the Laredo Palominos. Now, after all the stops, starts, erasures and do-overs, it seems the tournament is set. Eight teams — four from the East Zone and four from the South — will battle it out here at Lamar University’s Vincent-Beck Stadium. A new Southern District Champion will be crowned and will advance as one of 10 qualifiers to play ‘JUCO’ at Sam Suplizio Field in Grand Junction. The upcoming Region XIV meet will be a tournament of ‘firsts’. It will be the first visit to the renovated,...

  • DIAMOND NOTES that didn’t make the weekend Twitter or Facebook baseball and softball coverage because of overlapping doubleheaders and time constraints. + Navarro’s last five wins came from rallies in the 8th or 9th inning – four of them on the road. + Bulldog relievers have not given up a run in their last 17 innings of work that spans five games dating back to April 22. There’s more. Over their last 25.2 innings, they’ve surrendered only one earned run. The emergence of Collin Storms (5-1, 2 Svs, 3.77), Colin Wyman (3-1, 1.77), Tanner Riley (2-0, 2 Svs, 3.17), and Pepper Jones (1-3, 8 Svs, 40 K in 24.1 IP) factor prominently here. + Storms collected four conference wins within his last seven appearances: Northeast (March 31), Angelina (April 5), Paris (April 15) and Panola (April 27). Over his last eight games spanning 17.1 innings, he’s struck out 17 and given up 12 hits and 3 earned runs. He’s unscored upon over his last four outings. + Second baseman Travis Washburn’s six triples matches Navarro’s individual single-season high established by Brock Holt in 2008. + Bulldog baseball has won 30 or more games 12 consecutive years (2008-2019). + Head coach...

  • HILLSBORO — Second baseman Travis Washburn hit a three-run homer, scored four runs and stole four bases Monday as Navarro defeated Hill, 15-6, in a run-ruled, seven-inning non-conference game. Washburn’s homer gave Navarro a 5-0 second-inning lead. Catcher Justin Moore slugged a two-out, two-run homer in the fifth inning that expanded a 7-6 Navarro lead. Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo went 2-for-2, scored, and drove in three runs. His one-out double in the fourth plated Washburn and gave NC a 7-4 lead. Cardoza-Oquendo’s two-run single in the sixth brought home Kyle Hawkins and Riley Lambert to make it 13-6. Starter Kade Pechanec worked 2.1 innings and got credit for the pitching victory. Trent Padron, Corbin Hall and Brady Mehl worked in relief. Hall and Mehl combined for 3.1 innings of hitless relief with two strikeouts apiece. SUNDAY:  Game 2 — Navarro 8, Paris 0 (7 innings) Monday’s single game followed up a Sunday conference doubleheader split here with the Paris Dragons. PJC squeezed out a 4-3 win in Sunday’s opener, but the Bulldogs rolled to an 8-0 run-ruled win in Game 2 behind lefthander Angelo Gennari’s one-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts. Gennari (3-1) threw 62 strikes among his 95 pitches in the seven-inning...

  • Region XIV East Zone-leading Navarro baseball is scheduled to travel Thursday to Paris to face the Dragons at H.L. ‘Hub’ Hollis Field in the first game of another conference weekend series. The teams return to Corsicana for a noon Saturday doubleheader at Perry D. Graham Field, weather permitting. The Navarro-Paris series begins just two days after the Dragons and Panola finished their delayed opening-weekend series Tuesday.  Panola, a 3-2 single-game winner last Friday, took Tuesday’s doubleheader at Paris by scores of 6-1 and 8-0. Although Navarro’s non-conference single game Tuesday at Galveston was cancelled by wet field conditions and inclement weather, coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs remained on regular conference scheduling.  Navarro (10-7) barreled out of the gates with a three-game sweep of Angelina, taking a doubleheader Saturday from the Roadrunners. Saturday’s wins were 4-3 in the seven-inning first game, and 11-8 in the nine-inning nightcap. Carson Rollins pitched a complete-game three-hitter in the opener. Jose Gonzales slugged a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Stacy Bailey’s two-out double to centerfield scored Mason Holt with the tiebreaking run. The Bulldogs overcame a 3-0 first-inning deficit to win. In the nightcap, the Bulldogs used a hits-batsmen, an Angelina error and singles...

  • The outlook appeared bleak for Bulldog baseball.  They had managed to scrape out two runs and 4 hits against eight pitchers in their last 16 innings of play….until the eighth inning Tuesday. Their scoreless-inning streak had reached 11, and it appeared they were headed to a second straight loss here and a breakeven start to their season…until the eighth inning Tuesday. Trailing 5-0 to a Blinn club making its season debut, the Bulldogs pieced together a momentum-turning, game-changing rally to stun the Buccaneers, 8-5. Navarro, muzzled on just two singles, paraded 14 hitters to the plate against three Blinn pitchers in the eighth and put together an eight-run rally — the largest of this young season. The Bulldogs parlayed five hits with four walks and took advantage of shortstop Cameron Gibbons’ error to pull off the comeback. NC batted around and pulled within 5-4 before Blinn could record an out. Second baseman’s Travis Washburn two-run single broke the shutout. Clean-up hitting DH Stacey Bailey pounded a bases loaded double to centerfield that scored two more and lifted Navarro within 5-4. Blinn elected to replace lefthanded reliever Brice Armistead, who allowed the first six batters to reach safely. Jace Hutchins entered...

  • NEW YORK — Ex-Bulldog Brock Holt hit for the first post-season cycle in major league history Monday as the Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees 16-1 in the American League Division Series Game 3. Starting in place of Ian Kinsler at second base, Holt went 4-for-6, scored three runs and knocked in five as the Red Sox clubbed the Yankees with their most-lopsided playoff loss in history at Yankee Stadium and took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five game series. Holt singled to start a seven-run fourth inning, and also belted a two-run triple to right to cap the rally that gave Boston a 10-0 lead. In the eighth inning, he added a run-scoring double to centerfield. He hit a one-out, two-run home run into the rightfield bleachers off catcher-turned-relief pitcher Austin Romine in the ninth inning that provided Boston its final runs. Holt’s cycle is the second of his career. He first cycled on June 16, 2015, during a 9-4 win over Atlanta at Fenway Park. In that game, as a leadoff hitter, he went 4-for-5, scored twice and knocked in two runs against Braves starter Julio Teheran and reliever Sugar Ray Marimon. Holt is the second Red...

  • The Class of 2019 and 2020 Baseball Showcase Camp will be here on Sunday, November 11 at Perry D. Graham Field. Navarro, Grayson, Hill and North Central Texas College programs will host the camp here, according to Bulldog baseball coach Matt Podjenski. Entry fee is $90 by November 4, but increases to $120 (cash only) on camp-day registration. A hour-long Sunday morning registration period begins at 8 am.  Evaluations, including timing in a 60-yard run, hitting mechanics, fielding ability and arm strength, will start at 9 am. For more information, registration forms and waivers, click on “Camps” on the Navarro Athletics webpage toolbar, pull down “Baseball Camp,” and scroll down that page to locate a link for a printable pdf.   The informational packet also is available on Navarro College Athletics’ Baseball home page.

  • By MIKE MONTFORT Two former Navarro Baseball stars have been nominated for Major League Baseball’s prized Roberto Clemente Award for a second consecutive year. Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles and Brock Holt of the Boston Red Sox have been chosen by their teams as major leaguers “who best exemplify the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Davis, Holt and all nominees were announced one day before the observance of “Roberto Clemente Day” throughout MLB. The league-wide winner of the Clemente Award will be announced during the World Series. He will be selected by a blue-ribbon panel that includes MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, representatives from the national networks which broadcast games, MLB.com, and Clemente’s widow, Vera Clemente.  There is also a fan vote component. Davis, a Longview native, has played 11 major league seasons with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles.  The Rangers’ fifth-round pick in the 2006 draft signed out of Navarro College.  Davis led the American League in home runs (53) and runs-batted-in (138) in 2013, and topped the home-run chart again in 2015 (47). Holt played at Stephenville High School, Navarro College and Rice University.  The seven-year major leaguer was...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT Navarro first baseman Scott Hastings earned a spot on the ABCA/Rawlings NJCAA Division I Gold Glove Team announced Tuesday. Hastings, a rising junior Texas A&M-Corpus Christi commitment from Flower Mound, claimed one of the nine prestigious positions with his .997 fielding percentage. Hastings is only the second Navarro baseball player to be recognized with the annual award since the American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings partnered in 2007 to honor top players in all divisions of NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA baseball. Hastings is the first NC player to receive the honor since second baseman Kyle Livingston in 2008. In addition to his excellent defense, the left-handed hitting first baseman turned in a solid season at the plate with a 5-55-5 and a .305 batting average for the Region XIV East Zone Champions. Hastings led NC with 13 sacrifice flies and shared team leadership in at-bats (190).  He ranked second in games played (54), plate appearances (228), hits (58), runs-batted-in (55), total bases (86) and shared the doubles leadership with 13. Other 2018 D-I honorees included Blinn catcher Brandon Ashy and Panola second baseman Michael Lawson from Region XIV.  The six others recognized were USC-Lancaster SC pitcher Brock...

  • June is Navarro College Athletics’ Camp Month. All types of camps for youths of varying ages are open and available now:  Soccer, Volleyball, Baseball, Softball.  Detailed information, registration forms and waivers are available by clicking on “Athletic Camps” along the top toolbar on the Navarro Athletics webpage front and selecting the camp from the pull-down menu. Check your calendars.  Sign up for a great fun and learning experience! SOCCER:  June 4-7 — Kids Day Camp for Ages 6-12 (Roark Montgomery Soccer Complex) VOLLEYBALL:  June 12-14 — All Skills Camp for 6th, 7th and 8th graders (8 am until 11 am) VOLLEYBALL:  June 12-15 — High School Speciality Camp (1 pm until 4 pm) (Wolens SEC) BASEBALL:  June 18 — Class of 2018 and 2019 Showcase (8 am registration at Graham Field) SOFTBALL:  June 18-22 — Overnight Campers for ages 9-18. (Cummings Field) SOFTBALL: June 19-22 — Day Campers for ages 6-18. (Cummings Field)  

  • By MIKE MONTFORT   LINK:   2018 Region 14 East All Conference Team       Navarro Baseball dominated the Region XIV East Zone All-Conference team released Monday as the league champions claimed 12 major awards. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs (35-20/23-7) secured seven first-team, two second-team and two honorable-mention spots on the mythical squad, in addition to one of the superlatives — The Pitcher of The Year. Sophomore lefthander Paul Dickens (8-2, 2.64) was selected by coaches as the league’s premier pitcher.  The Baylor pledge went 6-0 with a 1.56 earned run average and three shutouts during his nine league starts. First-team honors went to sophomore catcher Beau Orlando, first baseman Scott Hastings, shortstop Esteban Cardoza-Oquendo, outfielders Josh Ragan and Mason Holt, plus freshman righthanded pitchers Austin Faith and Pepper Jones. Second-team picks included designated hitter/first baseman Kyle Landers and Ryan Johnston. Honorable mentions went to third baseman Noah Menchaca and closer Asher Cook. All have played major roles for the Bulldogs as they closed the regular-season by winning 13 of the final 14 games and securing their third league title in four seasons.  NC won its zone by five game over runner-up Panola and six over third-place Northeast Texas....

  • BY MIKE MONTFORT   — MOUNT PLEASANT — The beat goes on for Navarro’s Bulldog baseball team, which swept its weekend series from Northeast Texas and extended its streak to 12 wins in its last 13 games, as the East Zone champions snowballed momentum toward the Region XIV Tournament. The Bulldogs (35-20/23-7) will open tournament play at 8 pm Saturday in Lufkin against South Zone No. 4 seed Galveston (21-33) at the Larry Phillips Family Sports Complex. First-round pairings for the five-day, double-elimination tournament were finalized Sunday. Navarro clinched its third East Zone championship in four years on Wednesday as it crushed Northeast 11-3 in eight innings here.  Then, the Bulldogs finished off the regular season with a doubleheader sweep of 6-3 games at Eagle Field that enabled them to win the league by a gaping, 5-game spread. Opportunistic Panola took advantage of some Bulldog beneficence to vault over Northeast and become the East Zone’s second seed on Sunday when it defeated the Cavaliers 4-2 in a re-scheduled, final regular-season game. Panola wasn’t the only Region XIV squad to alter seeding on the final weekend. Navarro’s first-round opponent, the Galveston Whitecaps, won three of four games from Wharton and used...

  • A Class of 2018 and 2019 Showcase Camp is scheduled Monday, June 18, at Perry D. Graham Field on the Navarro College campus in Corsicana. The Showcase Camp here is presented by five of the state’s top junior college baseball programs — Navarro, Grayson, North Central Texas, Blinn and Hill Colleges. The Showcase helps prospects with name recognition for the fall and spring recruiting process. Individual evaluations of hitting mechanics, fielding ability, arm strength and speed are recorded during this professional-like camp.  Scrimmages after the morning tryouts will evaluate prospects in game-like conditions. Entry fees are in advance.  Registration on camp-day costs 0 cash. Click on the link below to access the three-page, printable PDF information, registration and waivers: Class of 2018 and 2019 Baseball Showcase  

  • It was a walkoff! Navarro Baseball’s third Region XIV East Zone Championship in four years was accomplished on a walkoff.  A bases-loaded walkoff hit-by-pitch.  In the eighth inning. Northeast’s fourth pitcher of the day, righthander Brody Curry, walked Scott Hastings with the bases full and then hit batters Beau Orlando and Tim Bechtold consecutively to give the Bulldogs the necessary three runs to enact the run-rule in the eighth inning. The strange, premature finish actually stunted Navarro’s celebration of its 11-3 clincher near first base. Once the party started, the reality of an outright title and the East Zone’s No.1 seed for the Region XIV Tournament at Lufkin May 12-16 began to take its grip.  The championship was the cherry on top of the win in the final game of the regular season at Perry D. Graham Field, where Navarro went 18-8. For Navarro (33-20/21-7), the conference baseball title is its third under head coach Matt Podjenski and the program’s 16th since 1994. Wednesday’s heroes were numerous: Starting pitcher Austin Faith (8-1, 3.08) became the team’s first 8-game winner, claimed his seventh win in 10 league outings and remained unbeaten since a February 15 non-conference game at McLennan.  Faith threw...

  • BY MIKE MONTFORT BASEBALL PHOTO GALLERY LINK:     Keith’s Sports Photos on Facebook —  Someone heard a light scratching on the door Saturday evening. Upon closer investigation, the marks looked like those of a Bulldog that was ready to break over the threshold and return inside for its comforts. That was the story Saturday at Graham Field where Navarro split a doubleheader, won another weekend series 2-1, but was left to wait at the doorstep of a third Region XIV East Zone Championship in four seasons under coach Matt Podjenski. Combined with Northeast Texas’ weekend sweep of Angelina, the Bulldogs know they have clinched no worse than a tie for the conference crown.  That’s a good feeling heading into the final series of the regular season.  It could, however, turn into a great feeling next weekend as the Bulldogs battle the only obstacle in their way — their only remaining zone contender, NTCC. Weather permitting, Navarro (32-20/20-7) is scheduled to host NTCC (32-18/17-10) for a 3 pm single-game Thursday at Perry D. Graham Field.  The teams are scheduled to wrap up the regular season with a 1 pm Saturday doubleheader at Eagle Field in Mount Pleasant. Navarro’s captured every...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT     — As great as the weekend has been for Navarro baseball, it isn’t over yet. The Bulldogs (29-9/18-6) completed a three-game weekend sweep of Bossier Parish Friday and will carry a six-game winning streak Monday to Gainesville where they will face the North Central Texas College Lions in a non-conference matchup. NC also learned Sunday that its Region XIV East Zone lead ballooned to four games as the Paris Dragons (18-27/7-17) swept a doubleheader from second-place Northeast Texas (28-16/14-10) by 12-11 and 6-1 counts at Hub Hollis Field.   Additionally, wet grounds in Carthage forced Sunday’s delayed twinbill between Angelina (25-17/13-9) and Panola (30-16/12-10) to 1 pm Monday start. To reiterate, the 8th weekend of East Zone baseball is not over.  And to further emphasize, with three-game series remaining against Panola and Northeast, the league race is not over, either. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs got some early, extra rest this weekend after securing three-game sweep in 20 innings of work — downing the Cavaliers 12-4 in a seven-inning Thursday game and posting 5-1 and 13-3 victories Friday. THURSDAY GAME 1 Navarro 12, BPCC 4 Freshman righthander Austin Faith joined lefthander Paul Dickens as a seven-game...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT  — The weekend Region XIV East Zone baseball series here with Bossier Parish has been re-set, according to Navarro head coach Matt Podjenski on Tuesday afternoon. Navarro (26-19/15-6) and Bossier Parish (15-25/6-15) now will play a 3 pm Thursday single-game and a 1 pm Friday doubleheader at Perry D. Graham Field. The series was pushed up one day in advance of the increasing possibility of rain Friday night and Saturday. National Weather Service forecasts Wednesday indicate that there is a 29 percent chance of rain Friday night,  an 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with gusty south-southeast winds Saturday, and a 50 percent chance of precipitation on Saturday night. The Bulldogs are riding a three-game wining streak after Tuesday’s 11-8 non-conference win over Blinn at Brenham and last Sunday’s conference doubleheader sweep of Paris. Navarro’s most recent games: TUESDAY, APRIL 17 Non-Conference Navarro 11, Blinn 8 BRENHAM — Derek Mueller collected five hits and scored four runs, and the Bulldogs pounded four home runs in a 17-hit attack that subdued Blinn at Leroy Dreyer Field. Mueller, thrust into the leadoff role Tuesday, responded with four singles and a bunt base hit in six trips to the...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT    — LUFKIN — Navarro baseball scored a dramatic, extra-inning victory in Game 1 Sunday, settled for a doubleheader split with Angelina and the East Zone leaders continued their rhythmic best-of-three weekend series wins — this time, from the Roadrunners. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs (23-17/13-5) maintained their two-game spread over Northeast Texas and Panola as the rain-delayed first series of the second half concluded Sunday.  NC now has won all six of its conference series this season — the last four in 2-of-3 fashion (BPCC, Panola, NTCC and Angelina, for a second time since March 1). Navarro posted a 3-0, 10-inning win over the Roadrunners in Game 1 as pitchers Paul Dickens and Pepper Jones combined on a four-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts.  Derek Mueller’s two-run double off AC reliever Hagan Hartman broke a scoreless pitching duel, and Scott Hastings later added an insurance run by hoisting his team-high 11th sacrifice fly that plated Mueller. Dickens and righthander Lance Lusk locked up in a superb pitching duel — the league’s longest double shutout of the season — but neither figured in the decision.  Dickens, the southpaw who will play at Baylor next season, threw 96 pitches, allowed...

  • BY MIKE PHILLIPS / Corsicana Sun There’s plenty of baseball left for Navarro’s Bulldogs, but if you’re looking for the top two pitchers in the Region XIV race, you don’t have to travel much farther than a trip up 7th Avenue. Paul Dickens and Austin Faith are two of the biggest reasons the Bulldogs are in first-place in the East Zone, and that was never more evident than Friday afternoon when they both pitched gems against Northeast to break free in what has been a tight race. The Dawgs had a one game lead on Northeast before Friday but now have a two-game cushion in the zone race after taking the best-of-three weekend series from the Eagles. That brings us back to Dickens and Faith. The Dawgs are still pounding out hits and beat Northeast 7-2 and 9-1, and Dickens and Faith picked up the wins on the mound, where neither allowed an earned run. Dickens won the opener, 7-2, going four innings and giving up two hits while striking out seven. Pepper Jones took care of the final three innings, allowing three hits while fanning five as Dickens and Jones combined to strike out a dozen batters in just...

  • CARTHAGE — Navarro split its Region XIV East Zone baseball doubleheader here with Panola Saturday, but won the series from the Ponies and managed to open a one-game lead over Northeast Texas in league standings. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs (18-14/9-3) took Saturday’s opener as Mason Holt, Beau Orlando and Josh Ragan belted home runs to back lefty Paul Dickens in a 9-2 victory.  In the second game, Navarro rallied from a 6-2 deficit to tie and send the game to extra innings, but Pqnola secured a 7-6 win in 10 innings thanks to catcher Ryne Ray’s walkoff single. While Navarro was winning its weekend series, Angelina helped the Bulldogs by taking 2-of-3 from Northeast and knocked the Eagles into second place. Navarro and Northeast meet this week as the first round of East Zone series conclude on this short, holiday week.  NC plays the Eagles at Mount Pleasant in a 3 pm Wednesday single game.  The teams return to Perry D. Graham Field in Corsicana on Friday for a 1 pm doubleheader. SATURDAY: Game 2 Panola 7, Navarro 6  (10 innings) Ray’s single off sixth Bulldog pitcher Colin Wyman delivered Cameron Sibley with the game-winning run.  Navarro had scrambled back...

  • BY MIKE PHILLIPS / Corsicana Sun    — Talk about a grand finish to a long day. How about a Grand-off?  Or maybe a Slam-off? Kyle Landers jumped on the first pitch he saw from North Central’s Derek Potts, belting a walk-off grand slam that lifted Navarro to a 10-6 non-conference win Monday afternoon at Graham Field, where the Bulldogs leaped for joy along with Landers, who hit the only pitch he saw all day. But there he was pinch-hitting in the bottom of the ninth, going deep for the first time this season.  He drove in four runs and now has 10 RBI for the season. But that’s baseball and it’s not what you do as much as when you do it, and Landers stepped up and was the man for a Bulldog team that seems to find new heroes every time they take the diamond. The victory goes in the non-conference books, but it felt as sweet as any win this season.  The ‘Dawgs are hot right now and after starting on a bumpy road of ups and downs.  They have now won eight of their last 10, including a 7-2 record in the Region XIV race, where...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT     — BOSSIER, La. — Navarro baseball battled to gain a doubleheader split Saturday with Bossier Parish, but the Bulldogs won the best-of-three series and remained firmly entrenched in a first-place tie with Northeast Texas in the Region XIV East Zone race. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs improved to 15-13 overall and 7-2 in East Zone play with a late second-game rush for an 11-1 win on the heels of a stunning 11-7 first-game loss. In the nightcap victory, Navarro broke open a 4-1 game with two eighth-inning runs and five more in the top of the ninth.  In the seven-inning Game 1, BPCC stormed back from a 5-0 third-inning deficit and shocked the Bulldogs with a seven-run fifth inning that secured the Cavaliers’ first East Zone win. The overriding story of Navarro’s 2-1 series win was the offensive heroics of sophomore rightfielder Josh Ragan.  In three games, Ragan went 7-for-12 (.583) in 14 plate appearances against Cavalier pitching.  Unsolveable for the weekend, the Irving Nimitz product walked twice, hit two singles, two doubles, three home runs, drove in six runs and scored seven.  He hit home runs in each of the three games, raising his team-leading...

  • Coach Matt Podjenski’s Navarro baseball team took two of three games in their Region XIV East conference-opening series against the Angelina Roadrunners. The Bulldogs stayed close and scored late in Friday’s game at Lufkin and also in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader in Corsicana.  Navarro won Friday 10-4 and secured a 5-1 first-game victory Saturday at Perry D. Graham Field. Angelina salvaged the doubleheader nightcap, 7-3. Lefthander Paul Dickens (3-2) used 94 pitches to throw a complete-game four-hitter with 10 strikeouts in Saturday’s opening-game win.  The Bulldogs broke a 1-1 tie with four fifth-inning runs, punctuated by leftfielder Mason Holt’s two-run single and right fielder Josh Ragan’s run-scoring double. Dickens was touched for a first-inning run when Angelina got two of its four singles.  With one out, shortstop Hayden Baker and right fielder Alec Paz singled.  Designated hitter Sean Bergeron’s 6-4 fielder’s choice grounder enabled Baker to score the run. Dickens allowed only two singles by third baseman Dylan Murphy the rest of the way — one in the fourth and the other in the seventh.  Coincidentally, Dickens worked around each hit and struck out the sides in both of those innings. GAME 1/2 SCORE BY INNINGS Angelina   100 ...

  • WEST — The Navarro Bulldogs baseball team will face the Temple Leopards in a noon, non-conference game Monday at West High School. Coaches agreed Sunday to move the nine-inning game to a neutral site.  Monday’s game will the last before the Bulldogs’ Region XIV East Zone conference-opening series with Angelina that begins Thursday at Lufkin. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs (8-8) are coming off a four-game split with the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds at Hobbs, N.M.  Navarro and NMJC divided doubleheaders played Friday and Saturday at Ray Birmingham Thunderbird Field. On Friday, NC got off to a great start with an eight-inning, 11-10 win as Beau Orlando scored the winning run when second baseman Matt Wood drew a two-out, full-count, bases-loaded walk.  The Bulldogs used home runs by Scott Hastings, Mason Holt and Noah Menchaca to jump out to an 8-2 lead, but NC fell behind 10-8 after 5 innings.  Navarro scrambled back for the win by scoring single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Asher Cook picked up the save in Game 1. NMJC used home runs by DH Ryan Rijo, first baseman Soterio ‘Junior’ Ramirez and rightfielder Avery Tuck to overpower the Bulldogs 14-5 in a...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT Navarro scored twice in the second and third innings and then rode solid pitching to a 4-3 non-conference win over the McLennan Highlanders here Friday at Graham Field. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs (5-6) snapped a five-game losing streak and won the finale of a three-game set.  Southpaw sophomore starter Paul Dickens claimed his first pitching victory over 2018 as he worked five innings, yielded six hits and struck out seven Highlanders.  Sophomore Asher Cook picked up his third save of the young season. Third baseman Noah Menchaca doubled home Navarro’s two second-inning runs off righthanded starter Levi David.  Menchaca drove a 3-1 pitch to right-center field that scored Beau Orlando an Tim Bechtold with the game’s first runs.  Orlando was hit by a pitch and Bechtold reached on a single. Dickens evaded a serious third-inning threat by striking out leftfielder Chase Sortor and catcher Jackson Nichols with the bases loaded. After shortstop George Callil struck out to open the inning, leadoff-hitting centerfielder Dylan Neuse slugged an 0-2 pitch for his second home run of the series and sliced Navarro’s lead in half. The Highlanders’ 2-3-4 hitters — third baseman Griffin Paxton, DH Josh Breaux and first baseman...

  • 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...

  • 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. 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....

  • 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

  • LUFKIN — Navarro baseball participates in first-day action Thursday at the Fall Conference Tournament scheduled at Angelina College. Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs face Panola at 1 pm and Northeast Texas at 7 pm on Thursday. The team wraps up play Sunday when it faces Paris at 4 pm and host Angelina at 7 pm.

  • 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.

  • For a third straight season, a former Navarro Bulldog baseball player is a finalist for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award. Orioles’ first baseman Chris Davis is Baltinore’s nominee for the honor as the major leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement, and the individual’s contribution to his team” as voted by fans and media members. Nominations for all 30 major league teams were released Tuesday, Sept 5. Each team will recognize its nominee in pre-game ceremonies Wednesday (The 16th Roberto Clemente Day).  The overall MLB winner will be announced during the 2017 World Series.  Originally given as the Commissioner’s Award in 1971, The Roberto Clemente Award honors the memory of the former Pittsburgh Pirate Hall of Famer who was killed in a plane crash while delivering supplies to Nicaraguan earthquake victims. A Longview native, Davis was a 2006 fifth-round draft choice of the Texas Rangers. “It’s definitely an honor,” Davis told MASN’s Steve Melewski on Tuesday afternoon.  “For as long as I can remember, it’s been Adam (Jones, as the team’s nominee). It is something that you, as a person and a player who is obviously in the spotlight most of the time.  It is...

  • 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

  • By MIKE MONTFORT — Two former starters on Navarro College’s 2011 NJCAA Championship Team — righthanders Austin Pruitt of the Tampa Rays and Drew VerHagen of the Detroit Tigers — earned major league call-ups in July and starts for their respective clubs last week. For both pitchers this week, first starts at home are in the works. Pruitt (6-2, 1 save, 1 hold, 5.65) opposes the Boston Red Sox and lefthanded ace Chris Sale in a 6:10 pm Tuesday matchup at Tropicana Field, while VerHagen (0-1, 5.00) is penciled into the Tiger rotation for a 12:10 pm Thursday interleague start at Comerica Park against righthander Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pruitt, the Rays’ ninth-round pick of 2013 who made their 2017 Opening Day roster, had been summoned from Triple-A Durham on July 28 to replace injured rotation member Jake Odorizzi, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a mild back strain.  Against the Red Sox on Tuesday, Pruitt will be making his fourth career MLB start and his first at Tampa. VerHagen, the Tigers’ fourth-round pick of 2012, had been recalled from Triple-A Toledo on July 24 and made two relief appearances.  The 6-foot-6 righthander from Royse...

  • By Athletic Communications / University of Oklahoma   — NORMAN, Ok. — University of Oklahoma Vice President and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione announced Monday that Skip Johnson has been named the 10th head coach of the OU baseball program. Johnson served as the Sooners’ pitching coach last season after a 25-year coaching career in the state of Texas, including the most recent 10 years as an assistant and associate head coach at the University of Texas. In his lone season in Norman, he helped OU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013. Johnson, the Sooner pitching coach in 2017, becomes the 10th head coach in OU baseball history. He previously spent 10 seasons as an assistant at Texas (2007-16) and 13 as the head coach at Navarro JC (1994-2006). “It’s an exciting new day for Sooner baseball with the hiring of Skip Johnson as our head coach,” said Castiglione. “Once our search got underway last week, we spoke to many people throughout the youth, college and professional baseball worlds about the candidates we were considering, and the information gleaned from those conversations further validated our belief that Skip is the right and the best choice for our program now...

  • By MIKE MONTFORT   — One sophomore and a former Bulldog were selected Wednesday on the final day of the MLB Draft. Fairfield outfielder Caleb Scires was chosen in the 17th round with the 505th overall pick by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Scires, a 6-foot, 190-pound lefthanded batter, had a slash line of .241/.402/.414/.816 in 45 games for coach Matt Podjenski during his freshman season at Navarro as the Bulldogs reached the Region XIV Tournament Championship final. Scires (4-23-6/9) had 14 extra-base hits and 11 two-out RBI.  He was 5-for-15 in Navarro’s first four post-season games and also hit .320 during 20 non-conference games. Last year as a high school senior, Scires was drafted in the 39th round by the Miami Marlins. Moments after Scires was chosen, former Bulldog and Corsicana High school righthander Heath Donica was selected in Round 21 with the 621st pick by the Oakland Athletics.  The Sam Houston State University senior was drafted after he had been named a Perfect Game/Rawlings College Third-Team All-American Wednesday morning. Donica, The Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year, led coach Matt Deggs’ Bearkats to an NCAA Division I Super Regional before falling to the No. 3 ranked Florida...