As one of the top Junior College baseball programs in the country, the Cumberland County College Dukes baseball team is fortunate to attract the best student-athletes in the northeast region and beyond. After losing four NCAA scholarship recipients, the Dukes have reloaded and are primed for a return to the NJCAA World Series in 2019. As per the January 4 issue of the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the Dukes will be led by five student-athletes, Ryan McIsaac, Mike Miles, Nicholas Milhan, Jarett Quinn, and Dylan Scaranda, as they were tabbed as National Junior College Elite Players to Watch in 2019. McIsaac, Milhan and Scaranda look to build upon their impressive offensive seasons in 2018 as Miles and Quinn aim to lead the always-stout Cumberland County College pitching staff.
Ryan McIssac was the epitome of consistency for the Dukes as he paced the Cumberland offense from Game 1. Ryan started the season by reaching base safely in 18 straight games and reaching base via hits in 16 of those games. Despite a late season injury that caused him to miss the last 11 games, the freshman infielder still finished leading the team in batting average (.444) 2nd in the team in Hits (56), 3rd in doubles (11), and was a perfect 6 for 6 on stolen bases. A hard-nosed, quiet leader on the field and in the classroom, McIsaac has received much attention from NCAA Division I and Division II schools from across the country.
Milhan, the 2018 Team MVP, led the team in hits (60), tied for 1st in doubles (13), 2nd in batting average (.426), and finished 2nd in RBIs (41). The freshman outfielder came through time and time again for the Dukes as the majority of his clutch hits came in RBI situations. In what looked to be a season-defining victory in the Region XIX final four, Milhan drove in the tying runs in an admirable comeback effort against RCGC. Milhan was a freshman captain for the Dukes, a honor rarely bestowed upon a first year player.
Infielder Dylan Scaranda was the power source for Cumberland as he led the team in home runs (10), RBIs (54), Walks (31), Stolen Bases (13), and was 2nd on the team in doubles (12). The third baseman for the Dukes would be a consistent exclamation point as he would send booming home runs to cap CCC rallies that would send teammates and fans into a frenzy. His last hit of the season came in the Region XIX Final Four elimination game versus RCGC in which his bloop single would bring in the go-ahead run in the 9th inning of a dramatic comeback effort. Carrying a 3.57 GPA, Scaranda has received much attention from NCAA Division I schools over the past few months.
Mike Miles joins the Dukes Family by way of Barry University (FL). A 2017 graduate of St. Augustine Prep (NJ), Miles was one of the most sought after recruits heading into his senior season. In 2017, Miles led the talent-laden St. Augustine Prep pitching rotation with a 6-1 record and a 0.53 ERA. He posted an eye-popping 37 strikeouts in 40 innings on his way to multiple postseason awards. The Vineland, NJ native spent the 2018 season at Barry University starting 8 games and tallying 26.1 innings pitched with 20 strikeouts. Miles, a 6'6 hard-throwing right handed pitcher, joins a program that has developed 17 NCAA pitchers in the past 3 years, including 3 Major League Baseball draft picks. Miles remains a prospect for many NCAA schools and has garnered attention from MLB scouts since joining the Dukes.
Jarrett Quinn enters 2019 as the all-time leader in Pitching wins (18) in Cumberland County College baseball history. 2018 did not begin the way Quinn envisioned as he was hampered by injury throughout the season. The 2017 Region XIX Pitcher of the Year battled through to earn a 6-0 record that included 2 key wins during the team's spring trip in March. On that trip, Quinn earned the win against defending NJCAA Division II National Champion, Kanakee CC, and tallied another against NJCAA Division I Black Hawk College (IL). In the historic 2017 season, Quinn was the ace on the pitching staff that drove the Dukes to the NJCAA World Series. He went 12-0, including the World Series opener, and was named a 2nd-team All-American at the conclusion of the season. After succumbing to injury in 2018 and Quinn returns as a refreshed and rejuvenated red-shirt sophomore in 2019 as he looks to build upon his already impressive resume. After receiving multiple NCAA scholarship offers in 2017 and 2018, Quinn will be a highly-touted prospect throughout the 2019 season.
Cumberland Head Coach Keith Gorman praised the Dukes student-athletes, but knows there is much work ahead for them. "Obviously anytime you receive national recognition it is a very big deal. These three students had terrific seasons in 2018, but that season is complete," Gorman said. "2019 is their focus now and I know this honor will only serve as motivation for them. Our coaching staff is excited to see where their hard work in the offseason will lead them."
The Dukes open their 2019 season on the road as they travel to Bryant & Stratton College in Virginia Beach, Va. The Bobcats are an NJCAA Division II program, compete in NJCAA Region X, and finished 2018 with a 28-24 record. First pitch is scheduled for February 15 at 2 PM.