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The City Journals

Bruins baseball traces path of success for players

May 18, 2017 02:32PM ● By Tori LaRue

The Bruins pitching staff has a collective 4.75 earned run average and had 200 strikeouts in 216 innings. (Steve Speckman/SLCC Athletics)

By Greg James |  [email protected]

The Salt Lake Community college men's baseball team is a place many local players transition from high school standouts to four-year degrees or professional careers.

“We spend a lot of time working with the players on their athleticism,” Bruins head coach DG Nelson said. “We do weight-training and work on speed. We do our best to teach the game and help them to play as a team and yet showcase their own abilities at the same time.”

Nelson has coached the Bruins for 14 years. In that time, 124 players have moved on to compete and study at four-year institutions. He has had 27 join the professional ranks and one (Chris Shelton) go on to play in a World Series.

“My coaches have taught me a lot about baseball,” freshman Braden DeLaMare said. “They have helped me with my pitching techniques and helped me to get better. They have also helped me with my baseball IQ,”

In 2016, three players went on to play at universities: Trevor Peterson went to Utah Valley University; Miquel Robinson went to Ottawa University; and Cameron Sepede went to UNLV. Joe Barlow was drafted in the 11th round by the Texas Rangers.

The Bruins recruit well inside the state of Utah. This season, 24 of its 35 players are from Utah. This includes Taylorsville’s Chase Huff.

“Utah as a whole has started to raise the talent level,” Nelson said. “We want to get the best Utah kid we can first. I think Salt Lake Community College is  the biggest gem in the state of Utah. Out-of-state kids see a lot of small schools, and they are nowhere near to what we have here. They come in and see the campus and feel like it is a division one school.”

The Bruins have started their 2017 season with a 17-17 record and are 10-6 in conference play.

“I think our record is a little deceiving,” Nelson said. “We have had some returning pitchers that are two of the best in junior college baseball. They have had some injuries; some of our young guys have had to be thrown in the fire.”

Mason Abrath and Jayden Hartl have only pitched in six games this year. Their combined earned run average is an unheralded 0.96 in 28 innings.

“They are as good as anybody at any level. They are good,” Nelson said in regards to his top pitchers.

Freshman Nick Seginowich from Victoria, Canada, has been named Region 18 player of the week twice. His four home runs and 25 runs batted in lead the team.

“Our offense has been up and down,” Nelson said. “We have a great lineup with a lot of speed, and they are getting more consistent. Mitch (Berryhill) has Deion Sanders-type speed and is signed at Fullerton for next year. He is getting it going and we are getting better each week.”

The Bruins are scheduled to close out their regular season May 5 and 6 with double-headers against Colorado Northwestern Community College.