Miami Dade College Men’s Baseball Team Hoping to Bring Home another National Championship
Miami, May 23, 2014 -
Colorado will be invaded by sharks beginning this weekend – that is, Miami Dade College’s (MDC) men’s baseball team, which will travel to Grand Junction to play in the National Championship,
May 24-31. Fresh off the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) State Championship title for the 11th time in team history, the players are now hoping to bring home an NJCAA national title, for the third time.
Among those in the line-up is sophomore Alejandro Castro. This right-handed pitcher’s average this season included 2-2, five saves, 41 strikeouts, and an ERA of 1.55. As a walk-on athlete during his freshman year, Castro knew he had to prove himself to his coaches. By the next season, the coaches realized his knack for pitching and awarded him a scholarship. In the fall, he’ll head out to Alabama and play for Faulkner University. “I can’t wait to get out there and improve my game even more,” said Castro. “Without Miami Dade College, I do not feel I would have had this opportunity.”
SophomoreRobert Evans was told he’d never play sports again due to a rare hereditary heart ailment. But this setback would not dash his dreams. He underwent surgery in 2012, and with courage and lots of hard work, he proved he could do the job, and do it well. Today, he’s pitching with a fastball near 90 and is a key player on the team. "Through my experience, I have learned to never take anything for granted, and that nothing is promised,” said Evans. “And, to count your blessings,” he added.
Head Coach Danny Price, named Coach of the Year for the State of Florida, will also be in Colorado, guiding the team he calls his “family” toward another national title.
MDC baseball has had a rich history of having some of the top players in the nation. During the recent State Tournament, they proved to be a team to be reckoned with. They began their journey May 10 against State College of Florida-Manatee and defeated them 4-3. The Sharks also played the College of Central Florida, and for the championship game, they defeated Polk State College.
Over the past five decades, MDC has helped develop some of the country’s top baseball players, including Major Leaguers Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez, Orlando Palmeiro, Kiko Calero, and Alex Sanchez. In addition, former Major League players Mike Piazza, Mickey Rivers, Bucky Dent, Alex Fernandez, Jaime Navarro, Oddibe McDowell, Warren Cromartie, Steve Carlton, Gil Patterson, and Kurt Bevacqua also played baseball at MDC. Moreover, many other MDC players have enjoyed great success in professional leagues in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia, while others have made strides in the coaching ranks of high schools, colleges and professional teams. Many have also succeeded in businesses and while obtaining advanced degrees following their studies at MDC.
Combined, MDC’s athletic teams have earned a total of 33 NJCAA titles, including 13 in women’s sports.
To catch the Sharks in action, tune into http://www.njcaatv.com/baseballchamp/. Their first face-off will be against Spartanburg at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 25.
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, firstname.lastname@example.org, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino Florin, 305-237-3949, email@example.com, MDC media relations director
Roxana Romero, 305-237-3366, firstname.lastname@example.org, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, email@example.com, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, firstname.lastname@example.org