Delgado baseball team ranked No. 1 for first time

NEW ORLEANS — For the first time in school history, the Delgado Community College baseball team sits atop the NJCAA Division I poll, reaffirming what Delgado coach Joe Scheuermann has felt for some time.

The Dolphins (46-9) climbed from third to first in the latest rankings after winning the Region 23 championship Monday at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium. They earned seven first-place votes and 196 points overall, besting No. 2-ranked Iowa Western Community College (43-12), which had two first first-place votes and 189 points.

Delgado arrived in Oklahoma on Wednesday morning in preparation for the NJCAA South Central District Championship on Friday through Sunday at Connors State College in Warner, Okla.

The Dolphins will play twice Friday in the three-team, double-elimination tournament, facing Maple Woods Community College of Missouri (25-25) at noon and No. 5-ranked Connors State (49-9) at 7 p.m.

“This is so huge for our program,’’ Scheuermann said via text. “Now maybe we have turned the corner to convince recruits that our program is as good as any. It’s something that my dad (the late Rags Scheuermann, who coached Delgado from 1972 to 1990) and I have been fighting for a long time.

“We now have justification on what we have been saying for many years. I thank all my former players who helped make this happen.’’

The South Central District champion will advance to the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colo., beginning May 25.