Mesa, AZ – A second place national finish by the baseball team and a 12th place ranking for the entire department in the national Daktronics Cup highlighted yet another outstanding year for the Mesa Community College athletic department.
In baseball, MCC emerged as the No. 1 seed in the tough Region I tournament after completing the regular season ranked 11th in the NJCAA Division II poll.
Much as they did in their national championship run in 2014, the T-Birds battled their way back through the losers' bracket after falling in their second contest. Winning three straight games, including two over Madison (Wisc.), the team that had beaten them earlier in the tournament, as well as host Northeastern Oklahoma-Enid. Mesa eventually, 5-4, to the home team in a national championship game thriller before the largest crowd in the history of Enid's David Allen Ballpark.
The finish in the Daktronics Cup, however, indicates how good a year MCC had overall in 2018-19. The Cup is a ranking compiled by the National Association of Two-Year College Athletics Administrators (NATYCAA) using a point system determined by finishes in NJCAA national championship competition. It encompasses over 400 NJCAA scholarship institutions.
MCC has never finished lower than 21st in the cup's 16-year history and has been among the top ten eighth times. The T-Birds won the title in the cup's second year, 2004-05.
As usual, MCC fared exceptionally well in the classroom. A total of 34 student-athletes were honored as NJCAA All-Academic selections. To be so honored an individual had to have maintained a minimum 3.60 GPA. Of the 34 a total of 15 had perfect 4.0 marks. In addition, four complete teams were cited for having at least a 3.0 cumulative team GPA. Those teams were women's golf, men's tennis, volleyball and softball.
Quite a few sports contributed to the high national ranking.
The men's tennis team placed sixth at the NJCAA nationals, while women's cross country was ninth and women's outdoor track and field took 11th place. Overall, ten Mesa squads were in the top 20 nationally.