GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The Grants Pass Nuggets are loaded with quality players. “We have so much talent on this team, it’s crazy,” said Nuggets first baseman Jake Herklotz.
They won their American Legion Zone with solid pitching, smart defense and aggressive hitting. “It’s not just one or two guys who are good. It’s everyone,” said catcher Corey Wynant. It sure helps to have players like star outfielder Andrew Tracy.
“Andrew has hit with a lot of power for us. He’s anchored a defensive spot, played very well defensively for us,” said coach Mike Reese. Tracy was First Team All-State at Crater High in 2011 and hit .298 with 18 RBI’s in his first year at Shasta College. The stocky power hitter is one of the few Nuggets with college experience. This background can prove invaluable for Legion players. Reese said, “They know how to handle situations a little bit better. They’ve been away from home. That helps.”
“Pitching’s actually similar from here to junior college baseball. There’s a lot of good arms there. Especially around the Valley in our leagues. So you know, getting a feel for what 90 mph looks like at the college level has really helped me out this year,” said Tracy. College experience helps with hitting 90 mph fastballs, but also brings a certain level of personal growth. Reese said, “He brings some maturity here and then brings that back here to share.” That maturity has certainly worn off on his teammates helping the Nuggets to their best season in nearly 25 years, but this season isn’t over yet.
Tracy said, “We know our goal and our goal is to win this title.” That’s the team goal, but for Tracy personally… “Hopefully from community college ball, I go D-1 or D-2. If not, then I gave it all I could.”
Maximum effort on the field and in life.