Juco D-III: Host Tyler Favored

The NJCAA Division III World Series gets underway this Saturday at Mike Carter Field in Tyler, Texas. This year’s series features five of the same teams from a season ago. Top-ranked Tyler (Texas) Junior College seems to be the front-runner to take the title after defeating Richland (Texas) College 3-0 in district tournament action, advancing to its first ever World Series. The Apaches (42-11) are led by sophomore middle infielder Brock Lemire (.439/.522/.743 with 10 home runs and 60 RBIs). On the mound the Apaches are led by 6-foot-6 righthander Michael Wilson (12-1, 1.35) and fellow righty Michael LaCourse (8-0, 2.54).

In the series opener, Herkimer County (N.Y.) CC (32-6) faces off against Massaoit (Mass.) CC (32-10-1). The Generals advanced to the World Series by knocking off Genesee (N.Y.) CC in Region 3 of the 2007 NJCAA regional tournament while the Warriors advanced to the Series by defeating Manchester (Conn.) CC 8-5 in Region 21.

In game two of the series, tournament host Tyler squares off against Suffolk West (N.Y.) CC at noon on Saturday. The SWCC Longhorns (27-9) advanced to the final eight by closing out an 8-6 win over Nassau (N.Y.) CC 8-6 in Region 15. This is Suffolk West’s second straight trip to the Series after putting together a 30 win season a year ago.

Game three of the series features two teams that advanced to the final eight just a season ago. Montgomery (Md.) College (24-13) plays tournament veteran Ridgewater (Minn.) College (38-6) at 4 p.m. The Montgomery Gryphons earned a spot in the series by winning Region 20 after they topped Westmoreland (Pa.) CC 10-0. The Ridgewater Warriors clinched a spot in the final eight by routing St. Cloud (Minn.) Technical College 24-1 to claim the 13th region.

Game four of the series features the matchup of 43 game-winner Joliet (Ill.) JC and Region 19 winner Brookdale (N.J.) CC (32-12). The Joliet Wolves (43-13) clinched a spot in the series by edging Waubonsee (Ill.) CC 6-2 in Regional play, while the Brookdale Jersey Blues advanced to the final eight by knocking off the 2006 runner-pp Gloucester (N.J.) 15-3 in the 19th region. Brookdale has one of the Series’ top prospects in outfielder Jimmy Principe, who ranked seventh on BA’s Atlantic Collegiate League Top 10 prospects last summer. Stats for Principe this season were unavailable, though he homered in the regional final.