Eagles capture regional baseball crown – againMay 11, 2021
RCC will host District III Championship on May 21-22
The Rockingham Community College Eagles baseball team has won its third regional championship in a row. The victory has launched the Eagles into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Mid-Atlantic District Tournament – which will be held on Gilliland Field at RCC on Friday and Saturday, May 21-22.
It will be a best-two-out-of-three-game tournament. If one team wins both games on Friday, the tournament ends with a winner. If each team wins one game Friday, they will play a tie-breaker on Saturday. The tournament’s winner will advance to the NJCAA World Championship in Tennessee.
The Eagles spent the weekend, May 7-9, in Mooresville playing in the Region 10 Championship Tournament, which consisted of four teams and several elimination rounds.
Heading into regionals, the seeding, along with each team’s season and conference stats, were:
- Caldwell Community College 25-9 (15-0)
- Rockingham Community College 21-13 (10-5)
- Surry Community College 4-27-1 (3-10)
- Thomas Nelson Community College 5-22 (0-13)
RCC had one loss at regionals, falling in the first game to Surry 10-20, in eight innings.
The Eagles scored in the first and seventh innings.
Bennet Nooe, Scott Meitzler and Scott Williams hit doubles. Nooe, Meitzler, Gabe Duncan and Garret Hladilek had RBIs. Daniel Sell pitched 3 innings. Zach Bennett, Trenton Wood and Jonathan Todd pitched 1 each.
According to Head Coach Reece Honeycutt, “The Eagles couldn’t find their groove.”
But they sure found it by morning.
On Saturday, RCC defeated Thomas Nelson 12-10, eliminating that opponent from the tournament.
Nooe and Cameron Graham hit doubles, and Scott Williams hit a homerun. Nooe, Graham and Hladilek had 2 RBIs each, and Duncan, Williams and Jarred Simpson 1 each. Nooe and Hladilek stole bases. Meitzler pitched 5 innings and Ricky Gonzales pitched 3.
Another win followed as RCC shut out Surry 10-0, vindicating the Eagles from their Surry loss a day prior, and bouncing Surry out of the tournament.
Nooe, Hladilek and Alden Kolessar hit doubles. Hladilek had 3 RBIs, to Simpson, Graham and Kolessar’s 2, and Williams’ 1 RBI. Hladilek also stole a base. Wood faced 22 batters in 5 innings.
Still on a roll Sunday, RCC twice beat No. 1 seed Caldwell Tech, 5-2 and then 11-10.
In the first win, Simpson hit 2 doubles, Nooe hit a homerun and had 2 RBIs, and Duncan had 2 RBIs. Todd pitched 8 innings and Meitzler pitched 1.
In the next win, Simpson hit a double, a homerun, and had 2 RBIs. Dylan Shultheiss also hit a homerun and had 6 RBIs. Williams, Graham and Kolessar each had an RBI. Sell pitched 5 innings, to Bennett’s 3 and Meitzler’s 1.
That final win earned the Eagles the Region 10 Championship title and launched them into the District III Championship.
“These boys have had the most up and down season I have ever seen or been a part of in my lifetime. COVID-19 has put a strain on every college program in the country – from closing the season down last year to having not as much time for development for the players this year,” said Coach Honeycutt.
“The guys came out flat and just not ready to play in Game 1 of the Regional tournament. They turned that around by eliminating every single one of the teams the rest of the tournament. We have now won back-to-back-to-back Conference Tournament Championships. I am more than proud of the way these boys fought this weekend than I can describe,” Honeycutt said.
Other tournament highlights
Player of the Year: Scott Meitzler
Coach of the Year: Reece Honeycutt
First Team All-Region
Scott Meitzler (pitcher)
Scott Meitzler (catcher)
Bennet Nooe (outfield)
Gabe Duncan (outfield)
Garret Hladilek (infield)
Second Team All-Region