Summer Check-In Part II
Husky baseball players are spending their summers all across the nation, playing for a variety of summer teams and leagues stretching from Cape Cod to Alaska to California.
Recently, we heard from several of those Huskies, who share with us how their summers are going. Here's what they had to say:
AUSTIN VOTH, Brewster Whitecaps
Since my last message, I have played in a lot more games and learned more about the town. I have been doing very well so far in our season. I have a 0.00 era with 10 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched. I am one of the three players on my team that has an era of zero.
The Brewster Whitecaps (my team) is in second place in our division and will have a chance to move up to first place tonight when we play the Harwich Mariners. They are a well-rounded team with speed, power, and pitching.
I am getting to know the people of this town very well. A couple days ago, my team and I went to a local library where we signed bats and balls while answering any questions from the people of Brewster.
It was amazing to find out all the people who were interested in your life and wanted to know about your baseball career. Also at many of our games, during and after the games, kids come up to us either if were in the bullpen or going to the bathroom wanting our autographs.
Many of the players on my team have been doing very well. Taylor Davis is leading the division in batting average and Tanner Nivins is tied with the lead in home runs and leads the division in hits. An exciting thing to see last week was seeing Scott Griggs accomplishing his goal of hitting 97 mph. We are almost half way through the season and I'm looking forward to seeing my team slide into first place.
AARON WEST, Humboldt Crabs
I arrived in Arcata, Calif., on June 15 and since then life has not been the same. Arcata is a small town with a population of 15,700. This town is full of local businesses and restaurants. The only major corporate store is a Safeway that I tend to frequent a lot because I love to eat.
Every restaurant has some sort of pizza or burger that you can buy. The weather here is not typical California weather. It hasn't gotten above 62 degrees here yet and at night during are 7 p.m. games it is usually 50 degrees with lots of wind. Most of the guys are from southern California and can be seen bundled up with two sweatshirts and pullovers.
The fans here in Arcata are amazing to say the least. We average 800 people attending our games and will fill the house at 1,500. When opponents play us there also playing the screaming and heckling fans as well. One wild pitch or one bad play adds fuel to the fire, a fellow Husky Will Sparks can vouch for that as his team's starting pitcher walked four straight hitters causing the Arcata fans to go crazy.
The field itself is different from most baseball fields out there. A home run to right gives someone the chance to put a dent in a cop car in the police station while a home run to left puts the ball onto the freeway with cars going 65.
The mound is a short flat bump on the field that cause many opposing pitchers to trip and fall on their first warm up throw, again the crowd will go wild.
Every night there is a 50/50 raffle that the fans will buy tickets for to get a chance to win half of the money that they team makes that night. I have yet to see a winning below $200 and on our 4th of July game the winning total was $1,530 which was about an eight-inch stack of money. My grandparents have yet to win but they will be here for a few more days so there's still a chance.
Unlike most summer teams we do not live with host families. The entire team lives in one apartment complex that is a block away from the field. Three of us live in a small, two-bedroom apartment but it's free so no one is complaining.
The Crabs players are treated like kings in this small town. On Sundays we go to Big Pete's to get pizza and drinks and if we win the fans get free pizza as well. Pretty awesome deal as they really know how to treat their players. Overall this has been a great experience. I am very excited to get back to UW to see my teammates and to get going this fall! That is all for now, GO DAWGS!
TY AFENIR, Anchorage Bucs
Hello Husky Nation, Ty Afenir here. We traveled to Kenai last weekend to play a pretty good team called the Oilers. We beat them in extra innings so it was worth sleeping in the 4-by-8 bedroom with two bunk beds that night. We stayed in a bingo hall with walls that didn't even go up to the ceiling, which separated each room. It added to the experience! I have been hitting the ball well this last week. The competition is very good as to be expected with this league.
The wildlife is awesome in Kenai. The place to fish is in the Kenai River where you can find king salmon. The town was small and it was mostly older people living there but if you ever get a chance to go to Alaska, I would highly recommend visiting Kenai.
Last night was the 4th of July doubleheader against our city rivals which always turns out to be a good game. We played two seven-inning games. We lost the first and won the second and ended the great night with fireworks. There was about 6,000-plus fans in attendance, which produced a pretty fun environment to play in. Half the season is over and I'm looking forward to the second half. Talk to you guys soon!
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