MILLINGTON, Tenn. — In 35 years under NJCAA Hall of Fame coach Steve Bazarnic, the Allegany College of Maryland baseball teams have done everything but win a national championship. This year’s team will be looking to change that in the Division II World Series that gets under way Saturday at the USA Ballpark in Millington.

Allegany, ranked No. 6 in the NJCAA national poll, is entering the World Series as the winningest team in the eight-team field with a 47-9 record. The Trojans will be facing No. 5 Brookdale Community College of New Jersey (40-8) in the fourth game of the first day at 7:30 p.m.

Top-ranked Mesa of Arizona (44-19) will play No. 8 Elgin of Illinois (46-14) in the opener at 9 a.m. The other two games will have St. Louis-Forest Park (44-19) playing Louisiana State University-Eunice (44-10) at noon, and No. 7 Iowa Central (43-16) will be taking on No. 9 Grand Rapids of Michigan (37-19) at 3 p.m.

If Allegany wins Saturday, the Trojans will take on the Iowa Central-Grand Rapids winner Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The losers of games three and four will play on Sunday at noon. The tournament is scheduled to run through next Friday.

This is Allegany’s first trip to the Division II World Series since dropping down from Division I four years ago. The Trojans made seven trips to the Junior College World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., under Bazarnic and had third-place finishes in 1984 and 1991.

Allegany earned the trip to Tennessee by waltzing past Monroe of Rochester, N.Y., 27-11, in the Northeast District Tournament on Sunday on the wind-blown Allegany Rock. The Trojans came back from a 9-4 first-day loss to Monroe to defeat the nation’s No. 2 ranked team Lenoir (N.C.), 10-4, to reach the championship game.

To reach the District Tournament, Allegany came from behind to edge CCBC-Dundalk, 6-5, for the school’s 12th Region XX championship after falling to the Lions, 4-0. The first 11 region titles were in Division I.

During the regular season, Allegany won the 21st Maryland JUCO Conference title under Bazarnic with a 27-3 record.

“We bulldogged through both the region and district tournaments and I’m proud of our players for never giving up,” said Bazarnic. “It has been great chemistry and we are a team. We just have to keep getting the combination of hitting, pitching and defense we have had all year. We’re balanced up and down the lineup.”

The Trojans have been led by Scott Hugney, who had two home runs and four RBIs in the win over Lenoir. The sophomore first baseman is hitting .380 with 12 home runs, 67 RBIs and a school-record 10 triples.

Sophomore centerfielder M.J. Parsons had a pair of home runs and five RBIs in the championship game against Monroe. The former Hyndman (Pa.) High School standout has a .362 batting average with seven home runs and 52 RBIs.

Last year’s Cumberland Times-News Area High School Player of the Year Corey Dolly, out of Frankfort, blasted a grand slam home run to help nail down the win over Lenoir. The freshman shortstop is leading the team in hitting with a .389 average and has eight homers and 58 RBIs.

Billy Reams, the 2004 Area Player of the Year at Southern Garrett, drove in six runs with a home run, double and two singles in the win over Monroe. The freshman designated hitter is hitting .375 with nine homers and 59 RBIs

The other Allegany starters are second-baseman Eric Flynn (.387), third-baseman Jeremy Potter (.366), rightfielder Arek Zambanini (.353), leftfielder Jimmy Conners (.324) and Kelly Frantz (.286).

While it was a hitters’ weekend with the high winds, Allegany pitcher Shane Weldon was named the Most Valuable Player in the District Tournament. The freshman lefthander shut down Monroe without a run in the final three innings after coming in with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh. He also pitched the first 4 2/3 innings against Lenoir and the Lancers only scored one unearned run. He has a 10-2 record with a 3.83 earned run average and a team-high 74 strikeouts.

Matt Smith was unbeaten in 12 games before taking the loss in the first game against Monroe in the District Tournament. The sophomore lefthander has a 3.47 ERA and 57 strikeouts.

Another former Southern Garrett standout Chris Smith was the winning pitcher against Lenoir and had an 8-2-1 record with a 4.61 ERA.

“You have to give my assistant coach Mike Carter a lot of credit for the job he has done with our pitchers this season,” said Bazarnic.

This will be the third time that Allegany and Brookdale have met in post-season play. The Trojans beat the Jersey Blues for the 1984 East District en route to the third-place finish in the World Series. Brookdale took two games from Allegany in the 1999 District Tournament.

Brookdale is playing its fifth Division II World Series and ninth overall. The Jersey Blues were knocked out in two games in last year’s series.

To return to the World Series, Brookdale won the Region XIX championship and won the East District by sweeping Orange County (N.J.) 6-1 and 3-0 after a 15-2 win over UConn-Avery Point.

Coach Johnny Johnson has a strong nucleus back from last year’s team, including three outstanding righthanded pitchers with Ryan Beard (11-0, 2.01 earned run average), Kevin Rickert (8-1, 1.01 ERA) and Billy Lawson (6-1, 2.60 ERA).

“We had a good team last year, but I think we are more balanced this year,” said Johnson. “Our defense and pitching keep up us in games and we have hitting down through the lineup. But all eight teams in the tournament are good and it will depend on who makes the fewest mistakes.”

Steve Luse is a Cumberland Times-News staff writer. He can be contacted at

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