Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications

Office:  321-433-5700, 321-759-4540 (C)

BCC Baseball Team Needs 2 Victories to Host Conference Tournament

April 15, 2013 - The task for Brevard Community College's baseball team is simple: Win.

BCC closes the regular season with two games against Palm Beach State at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Lake Worth and 5 p.m. Wednesday at Bruce Bochy Field on the Melbourne Campus. If BCC wins both, it hosts the Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference tournament on Friday and Saturday.

If it loses just one, Palm Beach hosts the tournament that determines if BCC, Palm Beach or Broward College joins Miami Dade as the conference's two participants in the state tournament in Lakeland in May.

BCC is 10-12 in conference and Palm Beach is 12-10. Palm Beach also had beaten BCC three times in four games. But if BCC wins both it claims the tiebreaker – two victories over first-place Miami Dade.

Sophomore right-hander Aaron Miller is scheduled to be the starting pitcher for BCC on Tuesday with freshman Kenton Hering penciled in to start on Wednesday.

BCC head coach Jeff Tam and his players are facing the challenge head on thanks to a rejuvenated pitching staff.

"It's been the sophomores stepping up," Tam said. "They struggled early. They're aware of that. For them to get right at this juncture of the season, it's a blessing for us. We don't have to worry about what we are going to get today.

"We know they are going to give us a quality start. If we get quality starts from our sophomores, to teach these young kids how to win and how to pitch in tough games, that's just huge for us right now."

The sophomores who have stepped up are right-handed starters Taylor Brookes, Ashton Fronsoe and Aaron Miller and reliever James Baggs. All have turned in solid efforts in their recent starts including Miller throwing seven innings of one-hit ball in the playoff clinching victory against Indian River State College and Fronsoe pitching seven innings of no-hit ball in a key victory against Broward College.

Their efforts and those of freshman starter Kenton Hering, relievers Jon Piriz and Chayce Hubbard and closer Chris Gilmore, mirror those of the entire BCC team that has stood strong against a rugged schedule including 22 games in the Florida College System Activities Southern Conference. BCC is in third place at 10-12 and is 22-20-1 overall.

"Anytime you are preparing a team, you've got to get them to believe," Tam said. "They bought into our routines and our processes as a coaching staff. We preached to them that that was where we wanted to go.

"We didn't want to step on this field without a purpose. We stepped on this field and they bought into it and they fought their butts off. They have done absolutely everything we have asked. They've done everything and excelled. We've had some rough stretches, but every team does.

"I tip my hat to these guys. They've done a phenomenal job. It's all them. It's all them. None of the coaches have played one inning or pitched one inning. It's all those guys who have gotten us here. I really appreciate it from them."

Offensively BCC has been paced by sophomore shortstop Chris Dennis – who also has been a stalwart with the glove – who is 10th nationally in NJCAA Division I with 64 hits; sophomore outfielder T.J. Glessner, who is tied for 15th nationally with 62 hits; sophomore first baseman Matt Harris, who has gotten clutch hits including the game-winner in the playoff-clinching victory against Indian River State; and designated hitter David King.

Freshman centerfielder Chris Torres has been a key defensively with third baseman Roman Restrepo while freshmen catchers Austin Leeney and Jorge Gonzales have been strong behind the plate.

Tam is assisted by coaches Oscar Restrepo and Jose Soto.