COLORADO SPRINGS – Four members of Chipola College’s National Championship team have been named to the 2017 NJCAA Division I All-American Baseball team.
Chipola infielder Reynaldo Rivera was named to the First Team. Infielder Andrew Bechtold was named to the Third Team. Pitcher Bowden Francis and catcher Max Guzman were named Honorable Mention.
Infielder Reynaldo Rivera from Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, is a two-year letterman for the Indians. He played in over 100 games, hitting a career .438 while slugging 20 homeruns and 77 RBI. A member of the National All-Tournament team, he signed to play with Mississippi State University before being drafted by the Detroit Tigers #57 overall in the second round of the MLB Draft.
Infielder Andrew Bechtold of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, came to Chipola this season and started over 50 games. He batted over .419 with 12 homeruns and 65 RBI’s with an on-base percentage of .532. He signed with Louisiana State University before being drafted in Round 5, #136, by the Minnesota Twins.
Pitcher Bowden Francis of Tallahassee was 12-2 this season and recorded more than 79 strikeouts with only 20 walks and a 2.88 ERA. Francis signed with Florida State University before being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, #204 in Round 7.
Freshman Catcher Max Guzman was a member of the National All-Tournament team. He hit .377 this season with 16 homeruns and 57 RBI in 59 games.
The Indians (51-9) won the NJCAA National Championship, the FCSAA State Championship and the Panhandle Conference title with a 20-4 league record. Chipola’s 15 runs in the title game of the JUCO World Series set a new single tournament record for total runs with 85, breaking the College of Southern Idaho’s previous record of 79 in 1984.
Chipola was the top-ranked team in the state and national polls for most of the season.