Photos and game recap by: Gary Demski
FREDERICK, Md.- Not sure if Hollywood could have scripted this one up today! After securing the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region XX D2 tournament on Saturday, the FCC baseball team won a thriller on Sunday afternoon by the score of 4-3 over Montgomery College thanks to a walk-off homer by Eric Naylor on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the ninth. With the victory, FCC Head Coach Rodney Bennett notched career win #600! I'd say that is a pretty sweet last 24 hours for the baseball program and Head Coach Rodney Bennett! FCC is 28-13 (14-4 MD JUCO) on the year and winners of seven straight. It is Naylor's sevent homer of the season and he continues to rip the cover off the baseball by hitting .403 BA on the year.
FCC jumped on the board in the bottom of the second as Mitch Long pulled a solo homer over the right field fence. Montgomery College took the lead late in the game 3-1. It is Long's third homer on the year. The Cougars would not go away quietly. FCC second baseman, Hayden Kissel, tattooed a 2-run homer over the left field fence to knot the game up at three in the bottom of the sixth. Heading into the bottom of the ninth the momentum swung FCC's way and the fun began. Eric Naylor stepped to the plate leading off the inning. On the very first pitch of the at-bat, Naylor scorched a homer into the trees to straight away center. It was a no-doubter and the big fella knew it! As the ball left the bat, Naylor tossed the bat and turned towards his teammates and shouted, "Lets Go"! What a way to earn Coach Bennett his 600th win as the skipper.
An unbelievable job by FCC starting pitcher Chris Altopiedi. The lefty tossed seven strong innings and earned a no-decision in the game. He battled all day and was dealing on the hill striking out 10 batters. Colby Maun came in out of the bullpen and pitched two innings to earn his first collegiate victory on the hill.
FCC will travel to Cecil College on Tuesday (5/1) for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1:00 P.M.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Cougars ranked nationally for 16 straight seasons!
- 12 Straight seasons with 32 or more wins!
- 172 NCAA/NAIA players
- 82 All-Region players
- 63 All-Conference players
- 26 All-Americans
- 4 MLB draftees
- 2 MLB free agents
- 1 National Player of the Year (2015)
Maryland JUCO Coach of the Year- 2010, 2011
Region XX Coach of the Year- 2007, 2008, 2010, 2015
Northeast District XX Coach of the Year- 2007, 2010, 2015
Diamond Sports NJCAA Division II Region Coach of the Year by American Baseball Coaches Association- 2007, 2010, 2015
Maryland Collegiate Coach of the Year by the Maryland Association of Baseball Coaches- 2007
HEAD COACHING RESUME
2002: 11-11 Davis & Elkins College Interim Head Coach
2003: 29-7 Region XX Final Four
2004: 32-17 Region XX Runner-Up
2005: 23-20 Region XX Final Four
2006: 34-19 Region XX Runner-Up
2007: 33-12 Region XX Champions, District Champions, Word Series Trip
2008: 36-20 Region XX Champions, District Runner-Up
2009: 32-18 Region XX Final Four
2010: 53-7 Region XX Champions, District Champions, MD JUCO Champions, World Series Trip
2011: 45-7 MD JUCO Champions
2012: 34-22 Region XX Final Four
2013: 39-16 Region XX Final Four
2014: 45-10 MD JUCO Co-Champions- Region XX Runner-Up
2015: 50-9 Region XX Champions, District Champions, World Series Trip
2016: 37-20 Region XX Final Four
2017: 39-16 Region XX Final Four Runner-Up
2018: 28-13 (Current as of 4/29)
OVERALL RECORD: 600-244