Blame and credit their talents. These guys are too good to deny access to the nearest diamond.
Thundering Herd senior shortstop Dom Nunez has been selected to the 20-man roster for the 18-under USA Baseball National Team. The versatile leader for Elk Grove will play for the IBAF Junior AAA/18-under World Championships in Seoul, Korea from Aug. 25 to Sept. 8.
Nunez is a four-year starter for the Herd who has given a verbal commitment to UCLA. He is also expected to be picked in the major league amateur draft next spring.
Elk Grove sophomore infielder Nick Madrigal competed on the 15-under USA Baseball National Team that participated in the Dominican Friendship Series in the Dominican Republic over the summer. He started at shortstop and was the leadoff hitter, with his club going 4-0.
Elk Grove junior outfielder Derek Hill was picked for the USA Baseball 17-under Development Program this month in North Carolina, the feeder program for next year's 19-under National Team.
And Elk Grove freshmen infielder/pitchers Dylan Carlson and Auston Del Chairo were picked to the Northern California side in the USA Baseball National Identification Series Program. From Sept. 7-9, their team will play against other regional programs at the USA Baseball Complex in North Carolina as part of the feeder for next year's 15-under National Team.
Elk Grove High coach Jeff Carlson said it's never too much baseball for this group, their passion clear in their workouts and attitude.
"Without a doubt, these guys are true baseball nuts, just love to play the game," Carlson said. "Dom will miss two weeks of school, but he goes to Taiwain, South Korea, and that's a chance of a lifetime, to go to a different part of the world. Even teachers say you can't turn that down."
Adding special significance for Carlson is experiencing his son's joy in all of this. Dylan has grown up on the Elk Grove football and baseball fields. He is a two-way starter for the Elk Grove junior varsity football team with a nice baseball future, too.
Carlson has stepped away from football coaching for a spell to observe his kids compete. He will head to North Carolina to watch son Dylan.
PHOTO: Elk Grove's Short stop Sean Nicholson backs up Third baseman Dom Nunez as he makes a catch in Elk Grove's game against Pioneer at the fourth annual Albie Swingin' for Life Breast Cancer Awareness Baseball showcase.
- By Joe Davidson
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