Pioneer baseball team ranked #1 in the nation!
By JEFF BRASEL firstname.lastname@example.org Harrison Daily Times
At the beginning of the baseball season, North Arkansas College coach Phil Wilson was looking forward to the development of his team. He knew that they had potential, but he didn’t know how they would develop as a team.
On Thursday, the National Junior College Athletic Association released their baseball polls and Wilson saw how his team had developed. The Pioneers were the No. 1 team in the nation.
“It means a lot to the players,” said Wilson. “They worked hard in the fall and in the early spring. It is nice for them to see rewards for their efforts.”
The ranking of No. 1 has been a team effort. Several starting players have been injured including some that will miss the rest of the season.
“It has been a roster full of effort instead of regular starters,” said Wilson. “We have had injuries, but people step up and play well. It has been a total team effort.”
The Pioneers had a 15-game winning streak during their move to the top of the polls. They had compiled a 21-3 mark at the time of the polls. However, after playing 10 straight days, the Pioneers ran into trouble on Tuesday as they dropped a pair of games to Harding University.
“We didn’t play well coming off of spring break,” said Wilson. “The kids know that if we go back to work and keep improving they will be rewarded for their efforts.”
After a win over Lyon College on Wednesday, the Pioneers are sitting at 22-5. However, at the end of the year is when the Pioneers want to peak.
“We have pointed them down the line to see that we have to get ready for postseason,” Wilson said.
One thing that Wilson does like about his group is the team is competitive.
“This group knows how to win,” he said. “They take it one inning at a time. We have come back in some games and each one of those games we did it one game at a time.
Team members include: Josh Baker, Stockton, Mo.; Lance Coffman, Springdale; Trey Rose, Cassville, Mo.; Jordan Storm, Branson, Mo.; Michael Upton, Springdale; Tommy Haas, Clarksville; Matt Prinner, Viola; Kirk Barnes, Monticello; Josh Cassidy, Magnolia; Michael Faddis, Harrison; Steven Todle, Pine Bluff; Josh Turney, Salem; Ceasar Marrero, Springdale; Zack Gulliams, Natchitoches, Miss.; Clayton Solberg, Mountain Home; Blake Neil, Farmington; Hunter Johnson, Star City; Brent Bunker, Searcy; Dakota Omelas, Prairie Grove; Jonathan Batchelor, Ava, Mo.; Jackson Hancock, Germantown, Tenn.; Logan Prock, Lebanon, Mo.; Jacob McDaniel, Jonesboro; Steven Swagerty, Jacksonville; Trey Pitts, Springdale; Matt Crowder, Harrison; Cody Moodyham, Ash Grove, Mo.; Taylor Weifenbach, Bentonville; and Skylar Henson, Marionville, Mo.
Assisting Wilson is Sean Griesenauer.