EYES ON THE PRIZE - WCJC Pioneers baseball team sets sights on Region 14 Championship

February 03, 2022
EYES ON THE PRIZE - WCJC Pioneers baseball team sets sights on Region 14 Championship

Pictured is the 2022 Wharton County Junior College Pioneer Baseball Team. Front row, left to right, are Kole Tauzin of Tomball, Julian Rodriguez of Humble, Rafael Capistran of Brownsville, Kameron Snodgrass of Corpus Christi, Casey Sunseri of the Woodlands, Ben Columbus of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Matthew Delagarza of Victoria, Keaton Urioste of Katy, Hunter Smith of Spring, Daniel Pineda of Deer Park, Criztian Delgado of Kingsville, AJ Smith of Kilgore and team manager Blake Williams. Middle row, left to right, are assistant coach Michael Molina, head coach Trey Porras, assistant coach John Cannon, Jeremiah Bush of Corpus Christi, Andrew Hoanzl of Spring, Mohamed Harati of Houston, Daniel Dial of San Benito, Jake Rabe of Corpus Christi, Ryan Pehrson of Southlake, Ethan Casey of Buda, Andrew Kithil of Round Rock, Rome Shubert of Santa Fe, Derek Saenz of Corpus Christi and assistant coach Ricky Watkins. Back row, left to right, are Will Lee of Spring, AJ Kostic of Surprise, Arizona, Ethan Campos of Houston, Ian Soto Roman of Florida, Puerto Rico, Cole Beddingfield of Spring, Caden Biedermann of Bellaire, Brayden Evans of Pearland, David Lopez of San Benito and Lance Hicks of Spring.

WHARTON, TEXAS – Starting the 2022 season as the third highest-ranked team in Region 14 according to the Junior College Baseball Blog, the Wharton County Junior College Pioneers baseball team is in a position to reach its goal of capturing a regional championship.

Head Coach Trey Porras led his team to a second place finish last season with a 17-13 conference record. That marked the first time the Pioneers have finished in the top two in conference since 2005. To ensure his team is playing at its top potential, Porras arranged a challenging schedule this season.

“We have 16 games against nationally-ranked opponents,” Porras said. “I am excited to see our guys rise to the challenge.”

The Pioneers will rely upon a cadre of veteran players this season. Key players include Criztian Delgado of Kingsville, who appeared in 27 games last season and compiled an impressive .449 on-base percentage; Will Lee of Spring, who played in 80 percent of WCJC’s games in 2021 and will help stabilize the lineup; and Canadian catcher Ben Columbus, an All-Conference player currently ranked 10th best catcher in the country by Prep Baseball Report.

On the mound, WCJC will look to three returners from last season. Rome Shubert of Santa Fe is slotted in the starting rotation for the 2022 season, with Danny Dial of San Benito and Kole Tauzin of Tomball set to close out games from the bullpen.

“All three will play an important role in our success,” Porras said.

The Pioneers opened the 2022 season on Jan. 28 against Baton Rouge Community College in Louisiana, winning two games and losing one. Their first home game is set for Sunday, Feb. 6, against Odessa College at Corbett Park on the Wharton campus. Click the link for the full schedule: 2022 Schedule