By Tony Adams, for Temple College
The Temple College Leopards will take on the Odessa College Wranglers in the opening round of double-elimination play at the 2023 NJCAA Region V Tournament on Friday at Roger Williams Ballpark in Weatherford.
Game time is 7 p.m.
The game will be streamed live on TSBN Sports.
The Leopards finished second in Region V North with a mark of 22-10, seven games behind conference champion Weatherford College (29-3/46.9). TC finished with a 35-17 record overall.
Temple hit .302 as a team (17th in Region V), with an on-base percentage of .408 (18th). The Leopards are second in Region V with 40 sacrifice hits.
Cade Climie (.369 BA/.462 OBP, 8 homers, 42 RBI, 11 doubles), Simon Larranaga (.354 BA/.472 OBP, 12 homers, 38 RBI), Dawson French (.339 BA/.429 OBP, two homers, 19 RBI), and Trent Rucker (.329 BA/.403 OBP, seven homers, 38 RBI, 14 stolen bases) are just a handful of the offensive leaders for the Leopards.
The Leopards earned run average is an impressive 4.02, third in the region. The staff’s eight shutouts rank fifth, with opponents hitting just .227 against TC.
Luis Martinez-Gomez (7-3, 3.02 ERA, three complete games, 46 strikeouts, 29 walks, two shutouts) and Clay Westbrook (6-3, 4.30 ERA, 51 strikeouts, 21 walks) have started the bulk of games for TC. Christian Okerholm (5-0, 2.16 ERA, 50 innings pitched, 43 strikeouts, 16 walks), Garrett Baumann (4-0, 2.17 ERA, 45 2/3 IP, 59 strikeouts, 13 walks), Joel Burgess (3-2, 5.85 ERA, 32 1/3 IP, 39 strikeouts, 25 walks) have been valuable in swing roles as starters and long relievers. Tyler Cooper (0-1, 2.70 ERA, eight saves, 33 1/3 IP, 54 strikeouts, 20 walks) has been one of TC’s top short relievers.
Odessa College finished in third place in Region V West with a 22-14 mark, eight games behind conference champion New Mexico Junior College (30-6/43-12) and three games behind runner-up Midland College (25-11/41-13). The Wranglers finished with an overall mark of 34-21)
The Wranglers hit .342 (eighth in Region V) and had an OBP of .440 (11th in the region). Odessa finished in the top 10 in Region V in hits (fourth, 603), doubles (ninth, 118), triples (fifth, 27), stolen bases (seventh, 120), and hit-by-pitches (sixth, 82).
Chase Diggins (.434 BA/.544 OBP, four homers, 34 RBI, 14 doubles, three triples, 20 stolen bases), Liam McDonald (.418 BA/.507 OB, 15 homers, 77 runs batted in, 19 doubles), and Camden Coleman (.376 BA/.459 OBP, six homers, 56 runs batted in, 20 doubles) are three of the offensive leaders for the Wranglers.
Odessa College has a staff ERA of 5.82 and opponents’ batting average of .319.
Connor Myles (6-1, 2.85 ERA, five complete games, 53 2/3 IP, 78 strikeouts, 19 walks, .217 opponents BA), Reese Bassinger (8-1, 4.08 ERA, four complete games, 62 strikeouts, 30 walks), Colin Hunter (3-2, 7.71 ERA, 38 strikeouts, 20 walks), and Cade Griffin (3-3, 8.10 ERA, 38 strikeouts, 27 walks) have started the bulk of the games for the Wranglers. Luke Wiseman (1-0, 21 appearances, 3.71 ERA), Riley Kettner (4-2, 4.85 ERA, 41 strikeouts, 11 walks), Landyn Sterling (0-2, 4.95 ERA), and Will Hellings (0-0, 6.91 ERA) are Odessa’s top pitchers out of the bullpen.
Common opponents for TC and Odessa this season have been Navarro College (Odessa won 9-6 and 7-2, TC lost 3-1, 5-2, and 14-7) and Grayson College (the Leopards split, winning 10-0 and 10-6, and losing 10-4 and 11-2, while the Wranglers defeated Grayson, 7-3).
The matchup between TC and Odessa is the late game on Friday. McLennan (Region V North third seed) will take on Midland College (Region V West second seed) at 10 a.m., Weatherford (Region V North first seed) will take on New Mexico Military Institute (Region V West fourth seed) at 1 p.m., and Cisco College (Region V North fourth seed) will play New Mexico Junior College (Region V West first seed) at 4 p.m.
The winner of TC-OC will take on the Cisco-NMJC winner Saturday at 7 p.m., while the loser of the two opening games will play in an elimination game Saturday at 1 p.m.
ABOUT TEMPLE COLLEGE
Temple College is “Your Community’s College,” a dynamic and growing community college that equips thousands of Central Texas students with the knowledge and skills for 21st-century success. Temple College, which has campuses in Temple, Hutto and Taylor, offers more than 75 degree and certificate programs to students who seek to earn credits for transfer, graduate with an associate degree, or complete a certificate for fast entry into the workforce.
Founded in 1926, Temple College has enjoyed a reputation for academic excellence for 97 years. It is nationally recognized for its exceptional programs, from visual and performing arts to competitive athletics. The College has become one of the state’s premiere institutions for healthcare providers’ education and training, advanced manufacturing, and workforce development programs. The faculty and staff are committed to providing exceptional quality instruction.