If there is one thing Danny Nolasco learned this summer on the ball field, it’s that baseball is an international language.
The Hall High School senior had the fortune of playing in the Colt League 16U World Series in LaFayette, Ind. this summer for the Ottawa Sun Devils. There, he encountered opponents from Seoul, South Korea; Paderborn, Germany and Santa Juanita Bayamon, Puerto Rico, whom he found while they spoke different languages, they all spoke the common language of baseball.
“It was a pretty neat experience with kids not talking English, but talking baseball techniques, I guess,” Nolasco said. “It was neat listening to them talk and how they still knew basically the same thing we did, it was just different language.”
The Sun Devils won the regional tournament in Joliet and punched their ticket to the World Series by winning the zone tournament in Kankakee.
At Loeb Stadium in LaFayette, Ind., the Sun Devils opened World Series play against the host team, falling 7-0. They came back in the elimination bracket to defeat Germany 5-3, Korea 10-8 and LaFayette 12-10 before falling to Puerto Rico 12-8 to finish in the Final Four.
Los Gatos, Calif. defeated Puerto Rico 13-3 for the championship.
Nolasco said the experience will only help him when he takes the field for his senior season at Hall.
“We played a lot of good competition,”he said. “There’s some kids who can hit, and I feel like I faced a lot of good pitching that I normally wouldn’t see around here, so I’m going to take that and have a good season.”
Nolasco believes the Red Devils will be in for a good season next spring with the influx of some juniors to their team.
“We have a lot of good juniors, that’ll be really good for us, because last year we were down on hitting, but there’s a lot of good hitters coming up and our defense should be solid,” he said.
But first, Nolasco and the Red Devils football team are looking to get their 2012 season untracked, knowing there’s no time like the present to notch their first win when the Amboy/LaMoille Clippers set sail into Nesti Stadium Friday.
“I feel after last game against Morrison, they were the No. 3 ranked team in state and we only lost by two touchdowns,” he said. “We’re changing some things on offense that should be good for us. Our offensive line is getting better, and if we play defense like we did at Morrison, it should be a pretty easy one for us Friday.”
Prayers for Lauren: I wanted to add another item for the good things in sports I wrote about last week. Former Bureau Valley Storm standout Lauren Hasbrook underwent a liver transplant recently in her continued battle with Wilson’s disease. She is not fighting the battle alone, however. Friends and family have rallied around her, creating a Facebook page, “We love you Lauren.” BV South hosted a barbecue dinner fundraiser and the BVS volleyball team held a bake sale to raise money for Lauren’s support.
There have been more than a thousand “likes to the we love you Lauren” FB page. Add yours to it and say a prayer for Lauren. She’s a bright young lady with a bright future ahead of her.
Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR sports editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org