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PDCCC breaks through in year two

The Paul D. Camp Community baseball program made a big leap in its second year actively competing.

After winning six games its first year, the team won a total of 30 in its second year. Paul D. Camp was coached by former Nansemond-Suffolk Academy baseball coach David Mitchell, and he was excited to see the growth of the team.

PDCCC hopes to take it up another notch next season; however, it will be without Mitchell at the helm. Mitchell will be stepping down as coach from PDCCC and will head back to the high school level, taking a position at Isle of Wight Academy.

PDCCC is mostly made up of players around Hampton Roads, with some of the players being from Suffolk. The team recently competed in the NJCAA Region 10 Southeast District Tournament in Greenville, S.C. It saw multiple ranked opponents from North Carolina down to Florida, getting wins over Wake Tech Community College and Catawba Valley Community College, both of which were ranked top 10 in the region. PDCCC fell in the semifinals and finished the season with a 30-16 record.

“Those guys fought through a lot of adversity last year,” Mitchell said. “To see the team compete the way they have this season, you can’t be nothing but happy for those guys. Even more important, you get to see guys graduate with associate degrees and things like that as well.”

After being on probation from conference play last year because of it being the inaugural season, the team hit the ground running this year. With 12 teams in the division, PDCCC was projected to finish near the bottom but finished in second place. Mitchell credits the jump in year two to the guys having a chip on their shoulder.

“Even though we only had six wins last season, we had a dozen games where we only lost by one run,” Mitchell said. “I think guys just got better and we got more time to recruit. Also, the guys did a heck of a job playing on the road. It’s very difficult to do that. The guys came out focused enough to do that.”