The Three Top Ranked Schools In Division 2 Baseball 2010


The Division 2 College Baseball regional brackets were announced this week. The Regional Tournaments will commence on Thursday May 13th, and the new national polls have some considerable shifts that require some attention. The finals will be held at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary North Carolina on May 22nd through the 29th. This Division is slightly of less quality than that of Division 1, but the Major League scouts regularly draft talent from Division 2 in the first round. Last year, a pitcher from Kennesaw State named Chad Jenkins was the Blue Jays first pick overall. This year’s top 3 Division 2 schools are ready to prove their popular stature is no mistake.

The UC San Diego Tritons have steadily climbed the polls over the past couple of months. They reside in the CCAA conference, where they’ve kept all opposition under their three pronged spear like the mythological Poseidon. Offensively, the Tritons let loose with strong attackers that have helped them become the best hitting team in the conference, and also the 3rd best hitting team in the entire division. Senior first baseman Brandon Gregorich is the leader of that prideful lineup. His batting average of .458 is king in the conference, and it ranks 10th in the NCAA. Gregorish is not shy with the run production, he’s driven in a conference high 75 RBI’s in the season, it perfectly blends with his absolute top slugging percentage of .720. The Tritons also fling with success from the mound. They feature the best pitcher in the conference. Junior right hander Tim Shibuya may not dominate with powerful strikeouts, but his conference best ERA of 2.05 and 10 wins have taken the Tritons to the top through his unmatched 95 innings of work. The gold glove pitcher has been the Triton’s ace since his sophomore year in ’09. Gregorish is not only an all conference player; he’s also an All West Region star that looks to take his team all the way to the finals.

Another weapon the Triton’s carry under their sleeve is senior shortstop Vance Albitz. This year he was named as a 2nd Team All American, it either because of his ability to hit .350 like he did this year, or it must have been for the defensive displays he entertains fans with on the left side of infield. In total, the Tritons have 10 All Conference players on their team, and as they look to repeat as champs for a second consecutive season, they will have to start by beating Chico State in the tournament opener on May 6th. The second ranked team in this division is the Tampa Spartans. They conquered the Sunshine State Conference title as they swept their biggest rivals of the year, the 7th ranked Florida Southern Moccasins. The prowess of the Spartans went unmatched within their conference, and there should be no question as to why. Of the top 5 hitters in the conference, the Spartans have 3 in their dugout. One of them is junior third baseman Mike Schwarts, who during the crucial sweep against the Moccasins to clinch the SSC title in April; he banged out his 11 th homer, and was hit 3 times during the course of the game for a new Spartans record. Schwarts ended the season hitting a conference high .421. Hitting is never enough to win titles; the pitching must keep an equal stride. For the Spartans, the senior lefty Carmine Giardina had the right touch once again. After helping his team reach the NCAA Regional games last year as a junior, he was just as effective in ’10. Giardina posted a conference second best ERA of 2.53 in 46 innings. His leadership and flexibility enabled him to both start, and relieve games in order to block any threats his team faced.

In talking about the 3rd ranked Central Missouri Mules, you can’t help but mention that not to long ago they were at the top of that poll. The two losses to the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks on May 1st was the cause of such a terrible drop. The focus was not lost, the following day, Central Missouri pulled out the atomic bats to crush the Mavericks with 30 runs in doubleheader. Junior outfielder Chance Turtle who ended the season with the Mid-America Athletic Association Conference 2nd highest batting average of .451, went 4 for 4, and had 2 RBI’s in the first game. His teammate, Nick Debiasse who ended the season with the conference’s 4th highest batting average of .429, went 4 for 4 with 4 RBI’s. In the first game of the conference tournament on May 6th, the Mules tore down Northwest Missouri State Bearcats 12 to 2. Senior pitcher Brooks Martin struck out 8 Bearcats and only allowed 2 runs in his impressive outing. The Mules will play their second game in pursuit of a conference title on May 7th. The regional games will surely have legendary moments in the lives of these young men. Everything in life passes us by faster than a blink of the galaxy’s eye, so I hope they take a few moments to enjoy themselves during the whole experience. The notoriety of Division 2 baseball is much higher than most think, so stay tuned for the progress and excitement of aspiring baseball.


By:Adrian Nevarez
College Sports Fans Staff Writer


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