East County Sports

Stars face Denver in 88th NBCWS opener



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

HUTCHISON, Kan. —- The San Diego Stars will open its bracket of the 88th annual National Baseball Congress World Series on Friday (Jul y 29), meeting the Denver Cougars in the ballclubs’ first game of the double-elimination tournament. The contest starts at noon Central (10 a.m. Pacific) from Hutchison Community College’s Hobart-Detter Stadium, considered one of the nation’s top community college ballparks.

The contest can be viewed live on the NBC World Series YouTube channel, with Todd Hook , the voice of the minor-league Wichita Aviators, calling the action.

The Stars capped the summer collegiate season at 16-9, finishing in second place in the Western Baseball Association. But when WBA champion San Diego Waves of Escondido elected to decline their NBCWS bid and instead participate in the Gates World Series for summer collegiate teams in Kearns, Utah, the Stars gladly accepted its fourth straight treip to Kansas.

Denver went 14-19 in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate League

Ironically, the weather in Kansas will be very coastal San Diego like, only without the ocean breeze. Following a week of temperatures in the low 100s in the Sunflower State, the Stars will play midday in temps in the low 70s. Meanwhile, the Waves will face hot and humid temps in the mid-90s in the suburb of Salt Lake City.

The Stars announced that their opening pitcher will be Jake Sergent, who just finished his second (and final) season at Grossmont College. The 6-foot-6 right-hander left the Griffins program with a scholarship to four-year school. However, following an excellent summer season with the Stars, the NBCWS announced Sergeant has accepted an offer from NAIA national power Tennessee Wesleyan University(56-8 record this postseason), which holds tiers to the San Diego area.

In additional, former El Capitan standout Blake “Boomer” Sutton, a former member of Deutschland’s Next Level club program, will also play for the Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs.

Tennessee Wesleyan was in the running for several Stars players a year ago, led by starting catcher Andrew Ritayik, who instead took an offer from Southwest Oregon Community College, which is coach by the nephew of the late Mickey Deutschman, the former owner/field manager of the Stars.

Both parties, reportedly, again met prior to NBCWS opener.


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