The best player on last year’s history-making Niagara County Community College baseball team hasn’t missed since being called up to Canisius.
Sean Jamieson stepped into the starting shortstop position and the top third of the batting order for the Golden Griffins, who went 19-5 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play to claim the No. 1 seed in the championship playoff that begins today in Fishkill.
“For being his first year here and making the adjustment to Division I baseball, Sean’s done a terrific job,” said Mike McCrae, the former Niagara coach who has now led Canisius to four straight MAAC tournaments.
“He’s been a steadying influence in the infield,” McCrae added. “He makes the routine plays. He’s certainly shown the ability to make tremendous plays. He’s a leader at the top of our lineup to get on base and drive some guys in. We’re very excited and pleased with Sean’s year.”
Jamieson has reached base in 32 of his last 34 games this year. In MAAC play, he ranked first in runs scored (39), first in walks (24), first in on-base percentage (.568) and fifth in RBIs (32).
He’s performed even better when the pressure is on, batting .407 with 45 RBIs in 59 at-bats with runners in scoring position. With runners in scoring position and two outs, he is hitting .500 and with the bases loaded, he’s also at a .500 clip to go along with 17 RBIs.
“I’m just working hard, trying to put the ball in play,” said Jamieson, who came to NCCC out of Simcoe, Ontario. “I’ve gotten more power in the last year, making more consistent swings.”
McCrae said Jamieson came in knowing what was expected from he because he spent the last two years playing for one of McCrae’s former players, Niagara Falls native Matt Clingersmith.
Jamieson was one of the top players for the Elmira Pioneers of the New York Collegiate Baseball League last summer. He’ll move up a level this year, joining the Front Royal (Va.) Cardinals in the Valley League.
Last year, Canisius lost its first game at the MAAC tournament then battled through the loser’s bracket to get all the way to the championship game.
Jamieson said his current team has the same makeup as the Trailblazers squad that went to the junior college World Series last spring.
“I love the team we had last year,” he said. “We could just turn it on. When we got to tournament player, everyone came together and wanted to win so bad. Everybody played the best baseball they could. When you want it so bad, your best comes out. We’re going to grind this weekend.”