Monthly Archives: May 2009

Coach Joe Wharton leads Richland College baseball team to World Series title; T-Ducks win fourth championship in past seven years

Your job as a leadoff hitter is to get on base.

In the biggest game of the season for the Richland College baseball team, Matt Williams did just that on Wednesday night, opening the T-Ducks’ NJCAA Division III World Series championship game against Montgomery with a double before later scoring the  first of two key runs in the frame.

The runs, and the momentum they gave Richland College, proved to be the difference in the T-Ducks defeating Montgomery, 7-5,  for their fourth national championship since 2002.

Williams was also key to giving Richland a 3-0 lead in the third inning when he led off with a walk. He then advanced to second on a passed ball, stole third base and scored on an error. Chris Castillo added an RBI single in the fourth to give the T-Ducks a huge 4-0 cushion, which they needed, along with Kirk Pritchett’s clutch pitching.

Montgomery, which lost ,17-2, to Richland College in the semifinal round, was threating to do serious damage in the fifth inning when it had runners on first and third with no outs after it had already scored one run. However, Pritchett forced a double play, which allowed another run, before he ended the inning with a strike out.

The T-Ducks then responded with a two-run sixth inning, thanks to one of two Chris Castillo RBIs and an unearned run,  to push their lead to 6-2. But like in the fifth inning, Montgomery responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to trim Richland’s lead to two before Chad Kruse’s RBI in the seventh lifted the T-Ducks to a 7-4 lead.

Montgomery was able to cut the lead to 7-5 in the bottom half of the inning but with runners on first and third with one out, but Pritchett struck out the next two batters to end the inning and the threat. Pritchett, who threw a complete game, made sure Montgomery wouldn’t score any more runs as he allowed only one more hit. Pritchett  finished the game with 11 strikeouts.

Richland College finished its championship season with a 47-13 record.

Baseball team advances to World Series Championship game for sixth time

For the secoond game in a row, the Richland College baseball team needed only five innings to win a game.

Only this time, the 17-2 thrashing over Montgomery on Monday evening advanced the T-Ducks to the NJCAA Division III World Series championship game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20. Because it’s a double-elimination tournament, should Richland lose Wednesday’s contest, the T-Ducks can still win the championship with a victory at  7 p.m. on Thursday, May 21.

With Monday’s game tied at 2-2 following the first inning, Richland exploded for five runs in the second inning to take control of the game. Both Matt Williams and Trevor Burton finished with four RBI while Chad Kruse totaled three RBI. Steven Richardson pitched four innings and struck out four  batters to record the win.

Overall, in the three games that Richland has played in the World Series tournament, the T-Ducks have outscored their opponents by a  43-10 margin.

The T-Ducks, who finished with 14 hits against Montgomery, will be playing for their fourth World Series championship and first since 2004. This is the sixth time that Richland has advanced to the title game.

12-0 rout over Joliet advances T-Ducks to semifinal round of World Series tournament

Playing for an opportunity to move to within one win from advancing to the NJCAA Division III World Series tournament championship game, the Richland College baseball team defeated Joliet, 12-0, in the second round on Sunday, May 17.


The win advances to the T-Ducks to the semifinal round where they will play Montgomery at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18. In two games, Richland College, which is the NJCAA Division III No. 1-ranked team, has combined to score 24 runs.


T-Ducks win opener in World Series tournament

Powered by 14 hits and a Chris Castillo grand slam in the second inning, the Richland College baseball team defeated Riverland, 14-8, in the first round of the NJCAA Division III World Series tournament on Saturday, May 16.

Trailing 1-0 entering the bottom of the second inning, the T-Ducks scored eight runs in the frame to take complete controll of the game, never looking back.

Richland College finished the game with six players totaling two hits. Among these players were K.C. Pfister, Garrett Henderson and Chad Kruse, whom each finished with two RBI. Meanwhile, Phillip Clinard picked up the win.

The T-Ducks now will play Joliet, which defeated Suffolk, 3-1, in the second round at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 17. The winner advances to the semifinal round.

Richland College’s Tony Bishop signs letter to play basketball for NCAA Division I Texas State University; Mullins, Elonu, Turner, Thompson also headed to four-year institutions

NJCAA Division III basketball Player of the Year Tony Bishop signed to play for NCAA Division I Texas State University on Friday during Richland College’s media day.

Heading to NCAA Division II institutions are Antwan Mullins (Texas A&M University-Kingsville) and Chibuzo Elonu (Southeastern Oklahoma State University) while Travis Turner and CJ Thompson are both heading to Langston University, an NAIA affiliate.

Bishop, a Garland native and Rowlett High School graduate, averaged slightly over 14 points, around seven rebounds and 1.5 assists during his two seasons with the T-Ducks.

Mullins, who was a pre-season All-American, was the floor general for Richland College. He averaged 13.3 points during the regular season and averaged 6.3 points, four assists, 3.3 rebounds and two steals during the national tournament.

Elonu’s consist high-energy style of play was critical to the T-Ducks winning their second national championship as he was named the 2009 National Tournament MVP after averaging 8.6 points and seven rebounds per game.

Thompson and Turner averaged 5.4 and 4.6 points per game, respectively, during the regular season. Turner also was second on the team in steals at 1.33 per game while Thompson made 52 percent of his baskets.

Richland College baseball team advances to World Series for second straight season

For the second year in a row, the Richland College baseball team will play in the NJCAA Division III World Series.

The T-Ducks earned a trip to the World Series after they beat Eastfield College, 4-2, for a second time in three days in the District C championship game on Sunday.

Richland College, ranked No. 1 in the latest NJCAA Division III polls, is looking to improve on a third place finish at last year’s World Series baseball tournament.

The World Series will be held from May 16-21 in Tyler, Texas.

Baseball team advances to District C championship game

Richland College’s baseball team will play for a chance to advance to the NJCAA Division III World Series on Sunday after the T-Ducks pounded Tyler Junior College, 14-6, to advance to the District C tournament championship game.

The T-Ducks, ranked No. 1 in the nation, will play Eastfield College in the championship game at noon.

Richland beat Eastfield, 5-1, in the opening game of the tournament. Because the T-Ducks haven’t lost a game in the district tournament, they will have to lose twice in order to get eliminated.

Despite injuries, Richland College baseball team ready for district tournament

If there is one thing Richland College baseball coach Joe Wharton has learned about this season’s squad is that these T-Ducks are a highly-determined bunch who will not allow injuries to be an excuse for anything.

Having battled injuries – seven total – to key players all season, Richland College has still been able to live up to its No. 1 NJCAA Division III ranking.

“A positive spin we can take from all of the injuries is that they have given players who haven’t played a lot a chance to compete,” Wharton said following a win against Tyler Junior College on April 25. “I’m very happy with how they have stepped up. Hopefully they can continue to do so.”

The T-Ducks enter this weekend’s District C tournament in McKinney as the No. 1 seed and will play at 6 p.m. on Friday against Eastfield in the opening round.

If Richland wins, it will play at in the championship game at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The winner of the tournament advances to the NJCAA Division III World Series.

Richland College will enter the district tournament with a 40-13 record. According to Wharton, every team in the past that has reached 40 wins has advanced to the NJCAA National Championship tournament.

“The way we have played against quality competition, with so many guys out, shows how well our guys are playing,” Wharton said. “The guys have really stepped up.”

The T-Ducks, who have won three NJCAA World Series championships, finished in third place at last year’s national tournament. Overall, Richland College has advanced to the World Series seven times.

“With our injuries, our pitching depth has been pretty thin. But our reports are getting better and we might be getting back [some players] by the district tournament,” Wharton said. “If we play with confidence, we will have a legitimate shot to get to the World Series, and win it.”