Looking for the best battery in all of junior college baseball?
Just drive down 7th Avenue and drop by Navarro College, where the Bulldogs capped off a memorable season on Wednesday when the team’s ace and catcher were both named to the NJCAA Division I All-American team.
Navarro’s pitch-and-catch combo of Lukas Schiraldi and John Clay Reeves was the only battery to earn All-American honors. Schiraldi was named to the All-American first-team, and Reeves was named to the All-American fourth team.
No one in this part of the country was surprised. After all, Reeves had already been named the Player of the Year in the Region XIV East Zone and Schiraldi was the Pitcher of the Year in the region. Not a bad 1-2 punch. It was good enough to help lead Navarro to the College World Series and land both Schiraldi and Reeves on the All-American team, which was announced Wednesday.
Schirladi, a native of Austin, was perfect in the regular season, going 10-0 with a 1.80 ERA. Reeves had a monster season behind the plate, where he handled a pitching staff with a 2.91 ERA, and standing at it, where he hit .372 with three homers and 39 RBIs.
Since 1992, Navarro has had 16 All-Americans.
Schiraldi’s father, Calvin was a star at the University of Texas in 1983 when he and Roger Clemens led the Longhorns to the NCAA national title. He was a first-round draft pick who had success in the big leagues. Lukas avoided pitching until he got to high school, but he has been on the rise since — especially at Navarro.
“I saw him in the fall of his freshman year and he’s light years from that point,” said a Major League scout who has seen Schiraldi pitch numerous times at Navarro. “He was intriguing because he’s big and he went from throwing 86-88 mph with not much of a breaking ball to a really improved fastball and his breaking ball is better.”
Schiraldi emerged as the ace of a Navarro staff that ran deep in talent, and on Wednesday he emerged again, recognized as one of the top pitchers in the nation.
Reeves, who is from Monroe, La., was a backup at the University of Arkansas last year. He came to Navarro to make a statement. He did. And it was loud and clear.
He had such a dominant season that he was the unanimous choice to win the region’s MVP award.
“After looking at everybody in the conference, John Clay had the best numbers and everybody picked him,” Navarro coach Whoa Dill said when Reeves was chosen as the region player of the year. “Lukas was a slam dunk. We didn’t even vote. We all just said it was unanimous and just went on and picked the rest of the team.”
You could say the same for Navarro’s battery — simply the best in the nation.
Looking for the best battery in all of junior college baseball?
GC Softball: Playoff Time
There were some bumps on the road and slides in the standings and a few bruises along the way, but five Golden Circle teams have reached the softball playoffs that begin with first round games on Thursday.
For Corsicana it was a wakeup call during the second half of district play that gave the Tigers the push they needed, and for Mildred it was the culmination of yet another splendid season as the Lady Eagles made the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Blooming Grove is back again, a regular in post season play with a chance to make a run, and Hubbard begins its quest to get to the state tournament and Austin with a one-game playoff on Thursday against Itasca in Italy.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs split with Kilgore, win final home game
Kristen Ahearn was mad, steaming.
Even her peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she ate between the doubleheader games didn't taste good. Nothing fit. Nothing was in sync. Nothing felt right or even tasted right.
Then Ahearn found the cure.
Simple enough: Just go out and blast a three-run homer.
That's the short version of what happened Tuesday at Navarro College, where Ahearn's three-run bomb ignited the Bulldogs in the second game against Kilgore and Navarro went on to win 8-5 to close out its regular season with a bang and a smile from Ahearn.
GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981
The wait is over.
And it came just in time for Brett Anderson, who left it all on the mound Tuesday night at Kerens, where he pitched a masterpiece to lead the Bobcats over Cayuga, 5-1, and help the program win its first baseball district title since 1981.
“I've got no gas left. I'm out,'' said Anderson, a senior lefty who stopped Cayuga cold, holding the three-time defending district champs to just three singles while striking out 14.
GC Basebal Roundup: Corsicana blasts Jacksonville; BG wins huge district game
The Corsicana Tigers wrapped up district play with a dominating 9-0 win over the Jacksonville Indians behind Trevor Nolen, who shut out the Indians and allowed only one hit over 6 1/3 innings. Donovan Fields came on to retire the final two hitters. The Tiger pitchers limited the Indians to only 25 plate appearances in the game and no runner to reach third base.
Rodeo: Navarro County Derrick Days -- Burton is back
Professional rodeo entertainer Ronald Burton returns to the Navarro County Exposition Center April 25-26 to entertain the crowd at the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro Rodeo.
Huggins to call shots at Derrick Days Rodeo
West Huggins will serve as the announcer for the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro rodeo. The Gardendale native is the reigning three-time United Professional Rodeo Association Announcer of the Year.
Dill gets 300th win in Navarro baseball sweep of Bossier Parish
Navarro baseball’s weekend in Louisiana was significant on a number of fronts. On one hand, coach Whoa Dill notched his 300th win. On the other, and perhaps more importantly, the Bulldogs simply continued to play well. The Bulldogs swept Bossier Parish to move 14-11 in Region XIV East Zone play, and 27-17 overall.
Mildred sending five to regional track meet
Sasha Ballard set a school record in the 800 meters and paced a contingent of five Mildred thinclads heading to Stephenville for the regionals later this week.
Kerens boys grab four gold medals at area track meet
Tavion Hall and Jalon Moss each snared a pair of gold medals as Kerens boys finished second at their area track meet last week with 88 points.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
- More Sports Headlines
- GC Softball: Playoff Time