The 19th-ranked Jones County Junior College Bobcats will be heading to postseason play once again under head coach Christian Ostrander.
The Bobcats have qualified for the playoffs in each of Ostrander's five years as head coach.
JCJC, the No. 3 team from the South Division, will open the MACJC playoffs in an opening round, best-of-three series at Northwest Mississippi, the No. 2 team from the North.
Game 1 is slated for 5 p.m. on Saturday with Game 2 set for 2 p.m. on Sunday. A third game, if necessary, will be played at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.
All of the games will be webcast on www.jcjc.tv or www.ihigh.com/nwccrangers. Live stats will be available at http://www.sidearmstats.com/northwestms/baseball/scoreboard.aspx
Other first-round matchups include Itawamba (North No. 4) at Pearl River (South No. 1), Mississippi Delta (North No. 3) at East Central (South No. 2) and Mississippi Gulf Coast (South No. 4) at Northeast Mississippi (North No. 1).
The four winners from the opening round will advance to the double-elimination MACJC Tournament May 9-11 at the remaining highest seeded South Division team. The top three teams from the state tournament, along with LSU-Eunice, go to the Region 23 Tournament May 16-18 at the remaining highest seeded South Division team.
The region champion advances to the NJCAA Division II World Series in Enid, Okla., beginning May 25.
JCJC at Northwest
The Bobcats and Rangers are familiar with each other.
The two teams played April 26 at JCJC's Community Bank Park with the Bobcats winning the opener, 2-1, and the Rangers taking game two, 5-3.
Offensively, JCJC is led by Petal freshman catcher Tyler Graves and Northwest Rankin freshman outfielder Alex Shermer. Graves leads the team with a .372 batting average. He has one home run and 28 RBIs. Shermer is hitting .289 and leads the team with three home runs and 29 RBIs.
South Jones sophomore shortstop Benji Sullivan – a Delta State University signee – is hitting .367 with two homers and 26 RBIs. Perry Central sophomore third baseman Codey Minter is hitting .340 with two homers and 25 RBIS.
Taylorsville freshman designated hitter/pitcher Josh Pankratz is batting .320 with two home runs and 28 RBIs. Northwest Rankin freshman first baseman Jordan Stark is batting .298 with one home run and 23 RBIs.
Metairie, La., freshman second baseman and leadoff batter Trent Giambrone is batting .291 with 17 RBIs. Tupelo sophomore outfielder Collin Dexter bats .242 with one home run and 10 RBIs.
Gulfport freshman outfielder Stephen Stiglets is hitting .234 with nine RBIs and West Jones freshman outfielder Steven Billingsley has been used mostly as a courtesy runner and has 17 runs scored.
Sullivan leads in runs scored with 36, while Minter has scored 35 runs and Giambrone has scored 32. Giambrone has 15 stolen bases, followed by Sullivan and Shermer with 13 each and Stiglets with 10. Graves has been hit by a pitch 16 times.
On the mound, Terry freshman Westin Stringer is 7-0 with a 3.30 earned run average, while Richton sophomore and Delta State signee Cody Brewer is 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA.
Albany, La., sophomore Ryan Milton, a Southern Miss signee, is 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA. Oak Grove sophomore Jon Mark Herrington is 4-1 with a 3.77 ERA and Pankratz is 2-3 with a 4.56 ERA.
Enterprise sophomore Jeremy Kidd is 2-4 with four saves and a 3.24 ERA, while Madison Central freshman Cole Barlow is 2-2 with three saves and a 1.40 ERA.
Denham Springs, La., freshman Dawson Kennard is 1-3, while West Harrison freshman Kyle East is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA.
As a team, the Bobcats are batting .306 and their opponents are hitting .245. JCJC has a 3.35 team ERA, while their opponents are at 5.23.
Northwest is led by leftfielder Dylan Castoria, who is batting .396. Centerfielder Jordan Barnes is hitting .339, designated hitter Walt McCullough bats .321 and third baseman James Lear is hitting .320. Castoria leads the team in home runs with five, while rightfielder Kramer Hollenbach, who bats .316, leads in RBIs with 26.
On the mound, Cody Reed is 6-2 with a 2.49 ERA, Dominick Carlini is 4-4 with a 2.80 ERA, Tanner Cable is 3-3 with a 3.90 ERA and Matt Ferguson is 6-2 with a 3.56 ERA. Tyler Scholl leads the team in saves with five and has a 3.09 ERA.
Northwest, coached by Mark Carson, has a .292 team batting average, while their opponents bat .245. The Rangers have a 3.16 team ERA, while their opponents are at 4.22 ERA.
MACJC Opening Round
Game 1, 5 p.m.
Game 2, 2 p.m.
Game 3, if necessary, 5:30 p.m.
Itawamba at Pearl River
Mississippi Delta at East Central
Mississippi Gulf Coast at Northeast