JACKSONVILLE - The Florida State College of Jacksonville baseball team; with six Clay County players and one St. Johns Country Day School player on the roster, advanced to the National Junior College Athletics Association Division II World Series after winning a best two of three matchup in the NJCAA super regional championship against Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. The team, now 30-19, traveled to Enid, Oklahoma to start the national tournament on May 28. The invite is the first since 2000 and fourth time overall for the program.
FSCJ, winning game one 3-0, lost game two 11-8, then won the decider 10-6.
At the NJCAA Div. II World Series, Florida State College at Jacksonville’s incredible 2022 season came to an end on Wednesday at the NJCAA Div II World Series. FSCJ went 3-2 at the national tournament en route to a third place finish in the country, along the way beating Phoenix College (AZ) twice and Lansing Community College (MI) and losing to the eventual national champion Pearl River Community College (MS) twice. The final record for the 2022 campaign was 33-21, in the most successful season since 2000, claiming the Region 8 Championship, the South Atlantic District Championship, and advancing to the program’s fourth World Series.
On the team for the Blue Wave are Clay County athletes Garrett Chun of Clay (Outfield), Evan Wickeri of Ridgeview (Infield), Jack Gidcumb of Fleming Island (Catcher), Dylan Dudones of Fleming Island (Pitcher), Ryan Dickey of Ridgeview (Outfield) and Mason Davis of St. Johns Country Day School (Pitcher).
Game One - FSCJ 4, Phoenix 0
In the opening game of the World Series on Saturday, the Blue Wave rode the hot hand of ace lefty Daniel Gaviria (8-2) as he threw a complete game shutout against Phoenix, going all nine innings, allowing no runs on five hits, no walks, and three strikeouts on just 93 pitches. The final run of the contest came in the eighth inning via a Jack Gidcumb RBI single. Evan Wickeri led FSCJ at the plate with two hits.
Game Two - Pearl River 10, FSCJ 2
In Sunday’s winner’s bracket matchup, Pearl River jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. After FSCJ scored one in the sixth on a Garrett Chun sacrifice fly, the Wildcats used a three run home run to put the game away. Evan Wickeri continued his hot start to the tournament, recording another multi-hit game.
Game Three - FSCJ 5, Phoenix 3
FSCJ took on Phoenix College for the second time in three days in Monday’s 1-1 elimination game. FSCJ struck early and took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an Evan Wickeri RBI single that scored leadoff batter Cam Wademan. The Blue Wave would take the lead for good in the third inning, scoring three runs on a Wickeri RBI walk, Garrett Chun sacrifice fly, and Blake Wood RBI double. True Freshman righty Dylan Dudones (5-2) shook off some early nerves that resulted in the three runs for PC in the first inning to turn in a gritty performance on the mound, going 5.2 innings, only allowing the three early runs on seven hits, five walks, and two strikeouts.
Game Four - FSCJ 7, Lansing 0
FSCJ took the field for the fourth time in four days on Tuesday on the back of True Freshman lefty Colby Lipovsky (3-7), who turned in his best outing of the season at 7.1 shutout innings, allowing only six hits and four walks, striking out six. The Blue Wave struck early to take a commanding 5-0 lead after two innings thanks to five RBI singles by Barry Eiseman, Jack Gidcumb, Cam Wademan, Evan Wickeri, and Garrett Chun. In total, FSCJ pounded out 13 hits, with Wickeri and Chun having three apiece and Hunter Bradshaw contributing a pair.
Game Five - Pearl River 13, FSCJ 11
As the calender turned to June, FSCJ’s fifth game in five days came in the form of a semifinal matchup rematch with Pearl River. The back and forth affair saw five lead changes and a total of nine pitchers. PRCC struck first in the bottom of the first with one run before FSCJ answered with a run of their own in the second inning on Jack Gidcumb’s first career home run. FSCJ came back once again in the seventh to take the lead 8-6 on a two-RBI Eiseman double and a Garrett Chun RBI single. After a scoreless bottom half of the eighth, the Blue Wave clawed to the very end, getting Chun and Hunter Bradshaw in scoring position to have a chance to tie the game, but were unable to bring them in. Evan Wickeri threw the final 1.1 innings with zero runs allowed.
At the NJCAA Division Two region 8 baseball tournament, FCSJ won 7-6 against Palm Beach State College, 8-6 against Asa College in Miami, lost 13-6 to Pasco Hernando State College and beat Pasco 9-2. The region 8 tournament was a double elimination format.
Led by a strong bat from Clay High’s Garrett Chun, with an RBI double in game two; an 11-8 loss, that also saw Ridgeview High grad Evan Wickeri hit an RBI single, FSCJ, had to, and did, win the decisive third game 10-6 with Chun bashing a second RBI double to put FSCJ up 10-4.
Also on the roster are Fleming Island High products Jack Gidcumb, a catcher, and right hand pitcher Dylan Dudones. Dudone started game three and stayed for 4.2 inning and allowing four runs before reliever Manny Reyes entered the game finishing the job with just two hits and no runs. Gidcumb had a double in game two and scored a run and hit an RBI single.
From St. Johns Country Day School, Mason Davis is a freshman right hand pitcher.
Also from Ridgeview is Ryan Dickey, an outfielder.
In the 7-6 Palm Coast region 8 win, Wicker had and RBI double, Chun had a two-RBI single that put the Blue Wave up 5-2.
Against ASA, Chun had an RBI single.
In the championship game against Pasco for the second time, Wickeri had a solo homer in the fifth inning with Chun adding an RBI single and Gidcumb adding an RBI single. Gidcumb hit another RBI single in the eighth. Dudone earned the win with four shutout innings.
In the NJCAA Div. II rankings, Pearl River Community College, in Mississippi (36-10) is top ranked with FSCJ 14th.