Although temperatures have been nearing 100 degrees in Farmington, New Mexico, the heat is perceived very differently to two Santa Clarita Valley baseball players as they compete at the Connie Mack World Series.
For Valencia grad Luke Chung, it’s really hot, but still “perfect weather for baseball.”
For Golden Valley senior-to-be Collin Woodard, the heat is a non-factor.
“I guess I’m used to it because I’m a catcher,” Woodard said. “It’s hot all the time.”
Thermometer readings can’t compare to the heat that the pair’s team, the So Cal Renegades, is bringing in the CMWS.
The team went unbeaten at 4-0 in open pool play, which began on Aug. 3, to secure a ticket to bracket play, which began on Monday. The Renegades beat the Dallas Tigers to advance to the second round where they’ll play Knights Baseball of Tennessee.
Chung noticed that the pitch speed was similar to that of Foothill League pitchers, but also said that the level of play is unlike what he has faced in prep baseball.
“It was really intense,” Chung said of the CMWS. “Nothing like high school baseball. It’s great to see other teams from other parts of California. And yeah, competition is great out here. It’s really competitive.”
Both Chung and Woodard recently joined the Renegades, an 18U team coached by Si Pettrow, but have been friends for years through Foothill League baseball.
“He’s a great person, awesome player,” Woodard said of Chung. “I’ve known him for a great time in my baseball career. He’s a great friend away from the field and only enhances our team’s skill set. It’s great to have him on the team and play with him.”
Chung, who finished his senior year with the Vikings with a .387 batting average and 13 RBIs, will be playing for College of the Canyons in spring and has been using the CMWS to make his game more consistent.
Woodard has one year left with the Grizzlies and would like to work on his leadership skills and show Golden Valley just how competitive baseball can be.
But for now, they have the CMWS championship game, set to take place on Aug.11, in view.
“All the teams are very well-trained and pretty professional,” Chung said. “They’ve been training since they were kids so we’re facing pretty tough competition but I think we’ve been handling it well.”