Two sophomores that helped Blinn College reach the Junior College World Series for the first time in 22 years have signed letters of intent to play NCAA Division I baseball.
Jose Reyes, a 5-foot-9, 155-pound shortstop out of Houston Dobie High School, signed with the University of Houston and left-handed pitcher Seth Ballew signed on at Sam Houston State University. Reyes and Ballew helped Blinn finish with a 36-28 record and reach the World Series after winning Region XIV Conference Tournament.
Reyes liked that the University of Houston was close enough that his family could come and see him play, he said.
"I took a visit and the facilities are nice," Reyes said after signing his letter of intent. "It is a growing program and it is going up. Last year they had a pretty good season and I am hoping to be a part of that."
Said Blinn coach Harvey McIntyre, "We knew from the get-go that he could be an impact defender and he is probably the best I have ever had. I tell people he is maybe the best defender in junior college baseball."
Reyes posted a .954 fielding percentage with the second-most putouts on the team at 149. He batted .243 with 45 hits and a .353 on-base percentage while scoring 33 runs on the season. His 27 walks last season led the team.
Reyes started in the ninth spot in the lineup at the beginning of the season but after a slew of quality at-bats, coach McIntyre was forced to move him up in the lineup just to get him some more opportunities at the plate.
Ballew appeared in 17 games, including nine starts, and compiled a 7-3 record. He even picked up two saves in 66 2/3 innings. Ballew struck out the third-most batters for Blinn with 53 punch outs.
Ballew said he chose Sam Houston after meeting new head coach Matt Deggs, formerly the hitting coach at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
"I just like what Sam Houston has done in baseball in the last few years," Ballew said. "I also like that the school is fairly close to home and they have won their conference for three years in a row and they are going in the right direction."
McIntyre said Ballew's competitiveness on the mound and his great curveball set him apart.
"Seth is just a three-pitch, left-handed arm that goes out there and competes," McIntyre said.
Both players will finish their sophomore years with Blinn College baseball as the season opens at Leroy Dreyer Field Jan. 30 against Angelina College.
Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 29 NJCAA national championships since 1987. For more information, visit www.buccaneersports.com.
About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for affordable educational excellence.
As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled "Destination Success: First-Year Focus," which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.
For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.