Las Vegas Sun

June 18, 2024

College of Southern Nevada baseball chasing 1st NJCAA title in 21 years

CSN campus

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The College of Southern Nevada will offer an online, non-degree banking certificate program.

"For the front" has been the team motto of the College of Southern Nevada's baseball team this season. 

It's a mentality that the entire roster and staff have bought into, allowing them to create a tight-knit, special relationship. 

That closeness has correlated to success on the field.

A 13-8 win over South Mountain Community College (Phoenix) in the West District Tournament championship punched the Coyotes' ticket to the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo. 

CSN is the No. 9 seed and will face No. 2 Northwest Florida State on Saturday at 2 p.m. PST. 

"This team is such a tight family. They've really played for one another," CSN coach Nick Garritano said. "There's not an individual that supersedes the team. 

"We've really pulled on that same end of the rope ,and they're just a really special group of kids."

The Coyotes are back in the NJCAA World Series for the first time since 2017 and seeking the program's second title, first since 2003. 

While they're in the World Series as one of the bottom five seeds, the Coyotes have been a force this entire season. 

They sit at 51-10, riding a six-game win streak and are 13-1 in their last 14. 

CSN dominated NJCAA Region 18 honors, placing five players on first-team and two on second-team. 

Lucas Boesen was named Pitcher of the Year; Brady Ballinger, Player of the Year; Nicky Garritano, Defensive Player of the Year; Hunter Alberini, Relief Pitcher of the Year; and Nick Garritano Coach of the Year.  

Boesen has struck out 112 batters this season, fifth most in the nation. 

The Utah commit credits the CSN coaching staff for helping him grow as a player. 

"Working with them [coaches] on a daily basis and all my other pitching staff, teammates," Boesen said. "It's just been awesome to learn from them. 

"It's just really helped me grow, especially competitively." 

On the bats, CSN has consistency up and down the lineup. 

Four players are batting over .300 in over 100 plate appearances, led off by Ballinger.

He's batting .434 (76-for-175) and has hit five home runs. Ballinger said he's been more relaxed at the plate, accepting that failure is ok when it happens. 

"I've been learning to be ok with failure," Ballinger said. "The coaches have helped me a lot with that as well giving me an approach and also teaching you that failings are okay, and then I'm going to do it more often than that." 

The Coyotes are facing a juggernaut in Northwest Florida. 

The Raiders have won eight of their last nine, which includes a romping 10-3 win over Chipola College (Forida) to qualify for the NJCAA World Series.

Garritano said that just cause they're in Grand Junction, doesn't mean they shouldn't change anything they've been doing this entire season. 

"We're gonna go do what brought us to the dance," Garritano said. "It's that brand of baseball that we have, and it's a team-oriented lineup."