Camp Community College baseball team wins NJCAA Region 10 championship
Published 1:43 pm Monday, May 15, 2023
The Camp Community College Hurricanes baseball program has had a historic year, which will continue later this month. By virtue of pounding Surry Community College 31-7 on Sunday, May 7, the Hurricanes won the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 10 Division III championship, the first in program history.
A CCC news release noted that next up, the Hurricanes will host Prince George’s Community College in a best-two-out-of-three series at Repair Tech Field in Franklin beginning May 19. The winner of the District Series championship will receive a bid to the Junior College Division III World Series in Tennessee. Camp is 14-3 at home this year and defeated PGCC twice during the season.
The May 7 win over Surry included seven home runs — two of those were grand slams — in a game that Surry actually led early on.
“Surry fought early. They came out and put three runs up in the first inning,” Hurricanes Head Coach Daniel Rollins said. “The one thing I can say about our guys — we can take a punch, but we can get back up, and we keep going. We have fought a lot of adversity on and off the field this year, and that right there was a great example.”
The Hurricanes made it to the championship game after defeating Caldwell Community College 9-7 on Saturday, May 6. Coming into the tournament, Caldwell was the No. 1-ranked Division III team in the nation, the top-ranked team in the tournament and undefeated in District 10.
Losing to Caldwell earlier in the year was the turning point in the Hurricanes’ season, according to Rollins.
“We played them down at their place earlier in the year, and we had a terrible weekend. It was one of the worst weekends we played all year. But I think that weekend really helped us turn things around and helped us figure out what we needed to do moving forward,” he said. “We knew we could beat them, but it was going to take a huge effort defensively, on the mound and offensively. The game plan our coaching staff put together really panned out. It was effective enough to get the win on Saturday. Caldwell is a great team, but our guys believed, and that’s what it takes.”
A HISTORIC SEASON
It has been a historic sixth season for the Hurricanes. This team has broken the single-season record for wins, home runs, stolen bases and hits. Multiple players have set individual records for stolen bases, home runs and total bases. Rollins thought early on this was a special team.
“I said from the very beginning we had a special group. I challenged us early because we played the ninth-toughest schedule in the country. I put that schedule together because I felt like to prepare for what it was going to take at the end, we were going to have to play some really good teams,” Rollins said. “At the end of the day, it looks like it paid off. Back in February and March, I was thinking it wasn’t the smartest move. Now that we are into May, it looks like it was a good decision.”
A SPECIAL TEAM OFF THE FIELD AS WELL
This team is also a special group off the field for the volunteer work it has done in the community.
“Yeah, we love to win, but the goal in our program is that we want these men to grow up and learn how to be positive members of society,” Rollins said. “So we have participated in a lot of community service events including at the Hope Center, FoodBank and the city of Franklin, helping at the Christmas Parade.”
Jeff Zeigler, director of institutional advancement at Camp Community College, has seen the work the players have done.
“We call on them a lot to help with different things. They have even helped move furniture at the college,” Zeigler said. “I know our community partners are grateful for all they have done.”
Rollins said the coaches put a huge priority on the classroom for these players.
“We hold these guys to a high standard in the classroom, but this year it was easier. They just came in and got the work done. They did a phenomenal job in the classroom,” Rollins said. “Some of the players took advantage of the resources the college offers so they didn’t fall behind and stayed on top of their school work. We had the highest team GPA in program history this past fall, and it’s a true testament to their hard work.”
Rollins also was named the Region 10 Division III Coach of the Year, for which he gives credit to his assistant coaches, both past and present.
“I don’t think anybody would be too appreciative if I took a chainsaw to the award, but I’d love to cut it up into pieces and hand it out to different people,” Rollins said. “That award goes to my three assistant coaches and the past assistant coaches who have helped put this team together and helped lay the foundation for us to do something like this. That award is not just mine, it’s theirs as well.”
The Camp Hurricanes, in their first-ever postseason appearance, will host Prince George’s Community College, the winner of Region 20, in a best-two-out-of-three series at Repair Tech Field in Franklin on Friday, May 19. Game One will start at 11 a.m. Game Two will follow at 2 p.m. If necessary, Game 3 will be played at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 20.
There will be an admission fee for the Friday and potential Saturday contests. Children younger than 12 will be admitted for free. For more information, call 757-569-6700.
The winner will advance to the 2023 NJCAA Division III World Series in Greeneville, TN, May 27-31/June 1.