Harvester Bees hope to finish strong


The Eastfield Harvester Bees are no longer the No. 1 baseball team in the country, but their World Series goals are still intact after a weekend sweep of Dallas Athletic Conference rival Mountain View.

After holding the top spot in the NJCAA Division III poll since the preseason, Eastfield slipped to No. 2 in last week’s poll behind Caldwell Tech. The Harvester Bees have an overall record of 30-9 and are 15-3 in conference play with four DAC series matchups remaining.

“What contributes to our success is us not getting comfortable with where we’re at,” said sophomore third baseman Manny Moore, the DAC Offensive Player of the Week for March 12-18. “The end goal is definitely (winning the) World Series.”

The Harvester Bees have been one of the top-hitting teams in the nation this season, led by first baseman Angel Rodriguez with 64 RBIs and 12 home runs, which rank second and first, respectively, among all Division III players. Gus Witt is fourth nationally in RBIs with 44, while Cade Conway is fifth in stolen bases with 26.

What contributes to our success is us not getting comfortable with where we’re at.

— Manny Moore sophomore third baseman

“We welcome that opportunity to go out every weekend and prove ourselves,” Eastfield coach Michael Martin said. “And these guys so far have been up to the task.”

Eastfield’s national ranking and past accomplishments, including a second-place finish at last year’s World Series, have made them a bigger target for opponents, including those in the DAC. The Harvester Bees are hoping to finish the season strong in their final meetings with Richland, Cedar Valley, Brookhaven and North Lake.

“We’re probably going to get their best baseball game,” Martin said. “Most of the teams kind of get up for us because of our history and what we’ve been able to accomplish in this conference. 

Moore said the Harvester Bees are working hard to stay on top.

“Every practice is like a game. There’s always something to get better at,” he said. “No matter if they are the best team on the planet or the worst team on the planet, we’re out here to win.”

Rodriguez is optimistic about the season and is taking his leadership role seriously, urging his teammates to continue to improve.

“I think it’s good to have guys like me who are a little older in the lineup, or just even around to get the guys going a little bit. Hype them up,” he said. “I think we have a good shot this year to win some ballgames, and possibly get a chance to go to the next level.”