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19 trending getting drafted, it remains a long shot. Only about 10 percent of all minor-leaguers ever make it to the Show. Sharks players have already overcome significant odds just to make it to college ball. An organization called High School Baseball Web says only one high school player in every 10 has a chance to play in college. So they don’t dwell on the numbers game that seems to be stacked against them. “I don’t think about that,” says Sharks third baseman Alec Bohm. “All I can do is just play the game and see what happens.” Encouragement comes from their coach, Scott Wingo. He was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2011 draft after a stellar career at the University of South Carolina, capped by a national championship and the Most Outstanding Player award at the 2011 College World Series. He was in the Dodgers’ minor-league system for three years, and clearly remembers motivational talks delivered each season by former big-league man-ager Tommy Lasorda. “The biggest thing I took “The percentages from Tommy was when he say not a lot of would say, ‘There’s nobody in this room who knows guys are going who’s going to make the to make it, but big leagues,’” Wingo says. “Not a lot of guys are going you know what? to make it. But if you put Somebody’s yourself in a position to be going to make successful, that’s all you can ask for. It all comes down to it. That’s my hard work. The percentages outlook on it.” say not a lot of guys are going to make it, but you know what? Somebody’s going to make it. That’s my outlook on it.” Grant Koch, a catcher who will be returning to the University of Arkansas as a sophomore in the fall, buys into the coach’s pep talk about hard work. “The odds are not something I worry about,” he says. “I try to be more focused on what I can do to get better. You have to work even harder to get to the next level. Success would be having the right attitude every day, having a positive attitude, and not taking a day off. It would be me getting better, and improving as a player all-around.” As college players the Sharks are amateurs, which means no paycheck. The only reward is “two bats, two uniforms, a place to live, and we guarantee them a really good meal when the game’s over,” Hutchins says. This summer, instead of taking a break after their collegiate seasons, the Sharks players will endure long bus rides and swel-tering heat to cram a lot of games into a short period of time. www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com WBM


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