The NCAA Baseball World Series is under way at Omaha, Nebraska and may again provide one of the better sporting events of the year.
The new “Super Regional Series” just concluded certainly produced some excitement.
You will not see many better series than the three-game set between the University of Arizona and Long Beach State University.
Moreover, you will seldom see a better game than the University of Arizona’s dramatic, extra inning 4-3 victory to earn a berth in the finals at Omaha.
Arizona came from down 5-0 in the first game to win 6-5 in the ninth inning.
Long Beach State staged its own comeback to win the second game and to even the series.
Both teams had golden opportunities to win the final game that were thwarted by outstanding defensive plays.
One of the best defensive plays I have ever seen happened in the second game and ended an Arizona rally.
The Long Beach second baseman raced deep into right field and dove for a pop-up that seemed destined to fall for a hit and score at least one run. The bases were loaded with one out at the time.
The infielder not only caught the ball but jumped to his feet and fired a strike to home plate that would surely have nailed the runner had he tagged up and tried to score.
Arizona did not score and the Long Beach victory was secured.
Fortunately for the Wildcats, their turn for such game saving heroics came the next day.
Wednesday was a big day for me as my granddaughter, Juliet Sullenberger, accepted a scholarship offer from Scottsdale Community College.
We were impressed with the head coach Robert Swan, Women’s Athletic Director Darcel Coco and all of the coaches, faculty and staff we met during our tour of the campus.
It did not hurt that we met several people that my brother, my daughter, Juliet, or I knew from other places.
The most notable of those was former Winslow Bulldog football and baseball star Anthony “AC” Carter.
Carter has completed his career at Scottsdale and signed to play football at the University of New Mexico in this coming season.
A.C. was obviously popular with the Scottsdale staff as he was during his days at Winslow High. Expect him to do well at the University of New Mexico.
Juliet is the second graduating senior in our block of Williamson Ave. to accept an athletic scholarship.
John L. Sullivan has signed with Haskell Indian Nations University of Lawrence, Kansas.
Sullivan was the Arizona 3A Defensive Player of the Year for the Winslow Bulldogs in 2003 and should make his presence felt in a big way for the Haskell Fighting Indians.
Wednesday was the first time that I knowingly tasted an artichoke. Now, my granddaughter will be playing for the Artichokes.
That is a strange name for athletic teams, but Scottsdale Community College has some excellent sports programs, coaches and facilities. Coach Swan seems optimistic about the future and we are, too.
That night’s trip to Bank One Ballpark was another story.
The New York Yankees routed the Diamondbacks with Bernie Williams hitting the first pitch out of the park. The Yankees continued to pound away with their homer barrage and the Diamondbacks kicked in with a handful of errors.
Still, the earlier experience carried the day and the trip back to Winslow was an enjoyable one.