In late May, the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) announced the 2017 All-OCCAC team and the major award winners in baseball.
Sinclair captured this year's conference title with a 17-3 record, and they earned it the hard way by taking three of four games from Cuyahoga on the final weekend of the regular season to win the crown by one game. Lakeland (8-8), Mercyhurst North East (7-9), Edison (8-12) and Clark State (0-20) rounded out this year's order of finish.
Kyle Ruehlman (FR/RHP – Milford H.S.) was named the OCCAC Pitcher of the Year and his coach, Steve Dintaman was named the OCCAC Coach of the Year.
Ruehlman the freshman right-hander for Sinclair, took home OCCAC pitcher of the year. He earned two OCCAC pitcher of the week recognition, April 30th and May 7th. He compiled a 3-1 in conference play as a freshman in 25 innings, while posting an incredible 0.00 ERA while striking out 20. His lone loss came on April 15 when he gave up two unearned runs in the first inning of a 2-0 loss to Lakeland.
Steve Dintaman, who led Sinclair Community College to its seventh conference championship in his nearly 10-year tenure, was named the OCCAC Coach of the Year for the eighth time. Dintaman, who reached 400 career wins at Sinclair with a win over Kalamazoo Valley on May 17, has led Sinclair to a 403-142 record. Last year, his team went 53-12 overall and won the program's first ever Region XII tournament championship and a trip to the College World Series where they finished 3rd in the nation.
Joining Ruehlman with All-Conference honors was four other freshman; Blaze Glenn (FR/3B – Toronto H.S.), Brandon Henson (FR/CF – Pickerington Central H.S.), Sean Darmafall (FR/LF – Elyria Catholic H.S.) and Jake Dennis (FR/1B - Licking Valley H.S.)
In addition to the conference awards being announced, NJCAA Region XII also posted its honorees. And Blaze Glenn collected top honors as he received the most votes in the region voting as the top player in Region XII. Glenn batted .431 (25-for-60) in conference play with 28 runs, six doubles, three home runs, 27 RBI, 12 walks and two stolen bases. Kyle Ruehlman finished second in all region voting and Brandon Henson a rounded out the top five.
After many rain delays and a suspended game, Sinclair found a way to get back to the NJCAA Region XII championship game Monday, May 22. In a tournament that started Wednesday in Battle Creek (MI) and finished on Monday in Grand Rapids (MI), the Pride kept finding ways to stay alive and get to the next game. The magic ran out in the championship game as Sinclair could not get past Lansing for a return trip to the College World Series. Earning All-Tournament honors for the Pride; Kyle Ruehlman, Peyton Ley (FR/IF – Granville H.S.) and Aaron Mowery (FR/C – Marysville H.S.).