San Jacinto College baseball team gets a taste of pro ball

04.24.2014 | By Rob Vanya

Center (from left), Skeeters team members and former San Jacinto College students Clay Schrader, Nick Stavinoha, and David McDaniel are flanked by San Jacinto College baseball coaches Jason Krug, Jimmy Durham, DJ Wilson, and Kory Koehler. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.

The San Jacinto College baseball team got a rare sampling of pro ball when it scrimmaged the Sugar Land Skeeters on April 17. The results of the exhibition game did not count for either team, but San Jacinto College certainly made an impressive showing. The Skeeters won 3-2 in a well-pitched, error-free game.

“Our players performed at a very high level,” commented Kory Koehler, San Jacinto College assistant coach. “We pitched extremely well. Our ability to throw any pitch in any count led to 14 strikeouts. All of our pitchers did extremely well.”

Skeeters Head Coach Gary Gaetti was equally impressed with the performance of the College’s baseball team. “They provided a very competitive game, and it just proves what an excellent program San Jacinto College has,” he commented. “I was particularly impressed with the pitching and just the way the coaches and players conducted themselves the entire game. They were cordial, and yet very much into the game. It shows they have a rich tradition, they recruit well, and the players are well coached.”

Gaetti said he hopes the scrimmage will not be just a one-time event. “If the schedules of both organizations allow it, I would like to play a scrimmage again perhaps next year and start a tradition,” he said. “I think it could be a win-win for the College and for the Skeeters.”

Four members of the Skeeters team are former San Jacinto College students – assistant coach David McDaniel, infielder Nick Stavinoha, and pitchers Jared Wells and Clay Schrader (a recent non-roster invitee to spring training). “Wells will serve a pivotal role on the pitching staff,” Gaetti commented. “We look for Stavinoha to be solid at first base this season, and McDaniel will be a great asset not only as an experienced coach, but also as a bull pen catcher.”

Although scrimmaging a pro team does not count in record books, Koehler says the scrimmage counts in intangible ways. “Being able to compete against former big-leaguers and professional baseball players gives us a great feel of just how good we are, or could be,” he remarked. “The environment at Constellation Field was unbelievable. The hospitality was second to none, and most importantly, the performance our young men displayed in the scrimmage built confidence in what could be a very important stretch before the regional tournament.”

Head Coach Tom Arrington was out on personal business and was unable to attend the scrimmage. “I would like to have attended, however it was just not possible,” he commented. “Though away, I did listen to the game on the Internet from the fourth inning on. I was very excited and proud of the team for their performance.”

San Jacinto College, a five-time National Junior College Athletic Association national champion, is currently 27-14 overall and 17-14 in conference play. San Jac will vie for the Region XIV title May 10 - May 14 at Angelina College in Lufkin, with a return trip to the NJCAA College World Series on the line. For more information about the San Jacinto College baseball team, visit www.sanjacsports.com.

About the Sugar Land Skeeters

The Sugar Land Skeeters, who captured an all-time best Atlantic League record of 95-45 in 2013, are led by former Major Leaguer Gary Gaetti and will host the 2014 Atlantic League All-Star Game on July 16, 2014 at Constellation Field, a state-of-the-art stadium located just 20 minutes from downtown Houston.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College. For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit www.sanjac.edu, or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SanJacintoCollege.