The San Jacinto College (SJC) baseball team finished as the Region XIV champions, and as the national runner-up. Head Coach Tom Arrington praised the players for their grit and determination. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing department.
Baseball coach reflects on successful season
Rob Vanya, June 15, 2012
HOUSTON – The San Jacinto College baseball team recently wrapped up another successful season, emerging as the undefeated Region XIV champions on its way to finishing as the national runner-up at the Alpine Bank JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado.
There were several significant highlights in the team’s 2012 campaign. Head Coach Tom Arrington, now in his eleventh year at San Jacinto College, earned his 500th career win in a 3-0 win over Blinn College on Feb. 18. Starting pitcher A.J. Glasshof hurled a complete game no-hitter, the first nine inning no-hitter in the College’s history. Six players were named to the All-Conference team, and, for a fourth consecutive year, Arrington was named the South Zone Coach of the Year. The team shut out the defending JUCO champions Navarro College 1-0 in the final game of the regional tournament to earn a record 22nd trip to the national tournament.
There were also several significant national achievements. Although top-ranked Iowa Western eliminated eighth-ranked San Jac 6-5 in the final JUCO World Series game, San Jacinto College was the only team in the national tournament to defeat Iowa Western (5-2 in the opening round). Three San Jac players were named to the JUCO All-Tournament team: Catcher Kyle Bacak (Katy / Seven Lakes High School), outfielder Justin Byrd (Dallas / First Baptist Academy), and Daniel Stumpf (Humble / Atascocita High School). Stumpf also earned the most outstanding pitcher award, and Bacak was named the defensive player of the tournament. Two San Jac players were selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft – Stumpf and Anthony Banda (Sinton / Sinton High School). Banda was also named to the National Junior College Athletic Association All-America third team.
The team went through peaks and valleys during the regular season, which is not surprising for a squad with 19 freshmen. Nevertheless, Arrington says he is proud of their overall performance during the regular season and through their remarkable playoff run.
“Over the course of the season we struggled with consistency,” Arrington commented. “We did not really develop an identity until very late in the year, actually at the regional tournament when we played three consecutive extra-inning games. That identity was determination and grit. The team was going to give everything they had to fulfill a dream of playing for, and winning, a national championship.”
Arrington is also proud of the way many members of the team matured through the season, not only as athletes, but also as students and young adults.
“Often in sports the only defining factor of success is the number of wins and losses,” he said. “This is true to some extent at San Jac, but as a coach and teacher I receive a greater reward watching players develop and grow into young adults who represent themselves well in our society. We have had a lot of success here at San Jac in terms of championships and records, but there is also value in the relationships and friendships the student athletes make, and the astounding transfer rate of the players to universities and to professional baseball.”
For highlights of the season, click on the link below.
For more information about the San Jacinto College baseball program, please visit www.sanjacsports.com/baseball.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.