PARMA, Ohio – The Tri – C challengers have everyone familiar with college baseball talking about them after winning their last 32 of 34 games. They are unbeaten in conference play at 14-0 and sit on top alone of the OCCAC conference after this last weekend’s sweep of Delta and Sinclair colleges.
This hot streak has improved their overall record to 39-10 and made them the team to beat in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference.
The praise for the team is coming on the national level as well as The Challengers were ranked 11th in the most recent Marucci NJCAA Division II national poll.
It is a total team effort, but the fact that four of them have already won Conference player of the week awards cannot be ignored. Already capturing the honors include Sophomore OF Jesus Roldan, freshman OF Matt Starcovic along with two freshman RHP’s Doug Smith and Max Lavisky.
The bats have been hot during this streak and have combined for ten runs in a game in 12 of their last 27 games. There is no ignoring the hot bats in this lineup as Freshman INF Manny Rodriguez currently leads the team with a .444 batting average.
His ability to get on base compliments his other ability to drive runner in as he has also driven in 24 runs this season, good enough for third most on the team.
Mix in even more young talent from the Freshman out of Medina, Collin Minor, and this team looks to be unstoppable.
Outfielder Matt Starcovic is a duel threat player with his bat and feet as he leads the team in hits and runs scored, and is second in stolen bases.
It is an import from Caracas, Venezuela doing the most damage however as Sophomore C Gabriel Vargas currently leads the team in both RBI’s and extra base hits and is hitting .378.
Pitching has also been a major factor behind the teams success as RHP Max Lavisky is currently sporting a 1.72 ERA and leads the club in wins with 12.
Second year manager Evan Agona had this to say about his teams success, ““We do have a lot of freshmen playing, that is part of the process at a 2-year school. Also, with this being my 2nd year the current freshmen were our first recruiting class and we did a lot to turn over our roster. There was a little learning curve early, but we also played a very tough schedule early and a couple keys injuries during that stretch. We currently have a 14 game winning streak, 32 of 34. Getting healthy has been a big part of that stretch. We knew we had a talented group entering the season and during this stretch for the most part we have been able to keep our top guys on the field. Our players also started to see the results of all the work they put in during the off-season and really starting believing in our philosophies. Our first goal is to win the OCCAC, we need to win 1 game in our upcoming series vs. Owens CC to clinch the championship. From there we move to NJCAA Region XII tournament in Battle Creek, Michigan where we hope to compete for the regional championship and a berth to the World Series.“
Be sure to follow the team for updates on Twitter @TriCBaseball as they challenge for the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference championship under the direction of head coach Evan Agona.
You can Follow Vince McKee on twitter at VinceTheAuthor