SUGAR LAND, Texas – Combining lights-out pitching, timely hitting, and heads-up defense, San Jacinto College won the Region XIV Championship with a 4-1 win over Angelina College, and punched its ticket to a nation’s-best 23rd appearance at the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series.
In the regional title game played at Constellation Field in Sugar Land earlier today, San Jac sophomore pitcher Riley Smith (Lufkin / Hudson High School), got the win, going 6.7 innings, allowing 1 earned run and 6 hits, striking out 8, and allowing 1 walk. In addition to winning the critical championship game, Smith also won the first game over Panola College, and consequently earned the tournament Most Valuable Player award.
Key contributors on offense in the regional title game were sophomore outfielder Josh Palacios (Brooklyn, New York / Telecommunications High School), who went 2-for-4, had a double, a triple, and scored a run; sophomore infielder Jon Meyer (Phoenix, Arizona / Mt. Ridge High School), who went 2-for-4, had 1 RBI, and scored a run; and sophomore outfielder Walker Pennington (Houston / Memorial High School), who went 2-for-4 and had 2 RBIs.
Head Coach Tom Arrington had nothing but praise for his ball club. “It’s great to win the regional tournament and make another trip to the World Series,” he commented. “This team really deserves it. I am so proud of them. They are smart. They are talented. And they are a tough team. We were up against the wall and just about eliminated twice during this tournament, but the guys hung together and believed in each other and found a way to win. They have so much heart and so much character.”
The NJCAA World Series will be played May 23-30 in Grand Junction, Colorado. San Jac has won five national titles (1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990) and has appeared in 13 national championship games, most recently in 2012 when it finished as the national runner-up.
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. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.