Through his 25-year tenure as Delgado’s baseball coach, Joe Scheuermann has touted his program as one of the best in the country among the junior college ranks.
After the Dolphins (31-13) won the NJCAA South Central District title on Tuesday, clinching their second consecutive trip to the NJCAA Division I World Series, Scheuermann had a signature accomplishment to back up his claims.
“What this really does is put a stamp on what I’ve been trying to tell everybody for the past 25 years,” Scheuermann said. “If you want to play baseball in junior college, I think we have one of the premier programs in the country — and making it to the JUCO World Series in back-to-back years really shows that.”
What makes the accomplishment even more special for Scheuermann is that this year marks the 30-year anniversary of Scheuermann’s father, longtime Delgado coach Louis “Rags” Scheuermann, lading the Dolphins to their first World Series trip in 1985.
Delgado, ranked No. 7 in the NJCAA Division I poll, will kicking off its World Series run in Grand Junction, Colorado, at 1 p.m. Saturday against Walters (Tenn.) State College.
“There’s no doubt that our program has always been about family and giving guys that kind of family environment,” said Scheuermann, whose son Tyler is also the team’s sports information director.
“It’s provided that sense of stability for our guys, and I think there’s no doubt it’s been part of the reason why we’ve been able to build the program up throughout the years.”
Stability is what may have helped build the baseball program through the years, but the main word most of the team has harped on heading into the tournament is “urgency.”
Delgado catcher Kyle Bracey was not a member of last season’s team, but he said there has been a consistent message coming from the leaders who were there.
“Those guys have just been telling us that they were happy about making it last year, but they are trying to win the whole thing this year,” Bracey said. “Those guys have just been pushing us to go out there and win games, and not just have it end after two games like last year.”
The leaders to whom Bracey was referring, among others, are Cole Freeman, Cody Ducote and Bryce Adams — a trio of hitters that has been an integral part in Delgado becoming one of the most explosive offenses in the country.
All three have committed to play baseball at LSU next season, and they’ve been the guiding force down the stretch for the Dolphins in some of their biggest games.
Freeman, Ducote and Adams combined to go 17-for-50 in the four games at the South Central District Tournament; they had 14 runs scored and 14 RBIs.
“It’s just been really fun going through this experience with those guys and knowing we are building toward something,” Adams said. “But the big thing for us is, we don’t want to just be happy we made it. We think we are capable of competing with anybody if we play the way we are supposed to.
“I think everybody is hitting their stride at the right time right now, and we are just hoping to go in there, stack a few wins and see how far we can go.”