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 Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
GC Basketball; Kerens' Ames signs with Cloud (Kan.) Community College
There's nothing quite like signing day, and Taylor Ames was all smiles and beaming about her future Wednesday when she signed a letter-of-intent, accepting a basketball scholarship to Cloud County Community College in Kansas in front of family, friends and coaches at Kerens, where Ames leaves a legacy like no other.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs get ranked, split with Paris
Minutes after Navarro split a doubleheader with Paris on Wednesday, Navarro softball Coach Jessica Karenke was told her Bulldogs had just been nationally ranked and are now No. 16 in the NJCAA national softball poll.
She had no idea.
And she didn't care.
Karenke is worried about what happens on the diamond, and she had some concerns after Navarro made four errors in the second game that opened the door for Paris to pull off a 7-2 win after the Bulldogs and Ciara Luna controlled the first game with a 4-1 win.
GC: Mildred's O'Sullivan and Bland chosen to play in FCA All-Star games
Mildred’s Devin O’Sullivan and Callie Bland have been selected to play in the FCA’s All-Star games on June 1.
CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win
Lindale has been poison to Corsicana all year.
The Eagles won a bizarre game in Lindale to keep the Tigers out of the football playoffs and ruined the boys basketball season with two gut-wrenching wins in the final week of the season.
They did it again Tuesday, beating the Tigers 4-0 at Price Field to take over second place in the District 16-4A race.
Lindale (6-2) had one big inning to hand Corsicana (5-3) its second loss in a row.
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