HOUSTON — San Jacinto College honored former student-athletes and coaches who have excelled in collegiate and professional baseball at the Legends ceremony, held Friday, Feb. 5 at John Ray Harrison Field at Andy Pettitte Park, located at the San Jacinto College North Campus.
Former San Jac student-athletes and coaches recognized at the event included Matt Albers (Chicago White Sox), Duane Walker (retired Major League Baseball player), Chris Rupp (Deer Park High School Head Coach), Rusty Pendergrass (MLB scout), Donald Wright (owner of Just Wright Sports), and Brandon Belt (San Francisco Giants).
Belt played for San Jac in 2007, excelling as a pitcher and hitter. He transferred to the University of Texas, where he played two years for the Longhorns. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2009, moving rapidly through the farm system and joining the MLB team in 2011. He currently plays first base and outfield for the Giants, and was a member of the 2012 and 2014 World Series championship teams.
Albert, a relief pitcher for the Chicago White Sox attended San Jacinto College in 2002. His professional career started in 2006 with the Houston Astros. In his 10 years in the majors, primarily as a reliever, he has also pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Cleveland Indians. He was considered the White Sox’ most consistent reliever for the 2015 season, in which he posted an outstanding 1.21 ERA in his 30 outings.
Relatives of the late John Ray Harrison, San Jacinto College’s first baseball coach, attended the ceremony, including his wife Barbara, their son Robert, and daughter Nancy (Harrison Farries). The ceremonial first pitch of the game that followed the Legends ceremony was delivered by Larry Wilson, San Jacinto College Board of Trustees Vice Chairman. Wilson is a longtime friend of the Harrison family, is active in community events and an avid supporter of San Jacinto College athletic programs. After the first pitch, members of the Pearland Little League team that played in the 2015 Little League World Series were recognized on the field.
Meanwhile, San Jac is dominating on the diamond, going undefeated in the first seven games of the season. The team went 4-0 in the opening tournament played in Henderson, Nevada, outscoring opposing teams 48-12. The tournament highlight was a perfect game by lefty pitcher Colten Schmidt. Schmidt’s gem was followed two games later by a no-hitter hurled by right-handed flamethrower Montana Parsons.
San Jac maintained its momentum – beating Grayson College 7-1, St. Petersburg College 9-0, and Howard College 9-1 – in the Tournament of Champions, played Feb. 5 through 7 in Houston.
The first home conference game for San Jacinto College will be on Saturday, Feb. 27 when the team will host Galveston College in a doubleheader that starts at 3 p.m. For more information, please visit sanjacsports.com.