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Emmons' summer all about baseball

Former Falcons ace stops in Cape Cod before returning to Corvallis Knights for second summer in a row to work on on his improving game

July 06, 2010|By Charles Rich,

In order to continue his acceleration at becoming a more complete pitcher, Dustin Emmons has spent the first part of the summer crossing the country.

Shuffling through busy airports and fighting jet lag, it's been a worthwhile process for the former Crescenta Valley High pitcher. Emmons' goal is simple — keep working on perfecting all of his pitches so that he's in line to achieve additional success that might coincide with a professional career.

"It's worth it," said Emmons, a senior-to-be on the UC Riverside baseball team if he chooses to play his final season, as he was selected by the Florida Marlins with the 1,217th overall pick in the 40th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Players Draft on June 9. "Every year you learn and you want to never stop.


"I have to keep being open-minded and keep going out there and showing all kinds of progress."

Emmons recently returned from Massachusetts, where he spent two weeks competing in the talented Cape Cod Baseball League on a temporary contract. The right-hander made three appearances for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, going 0-1 with one save and a 3.68 earned-run average. He struck out four and allowed seven hits in 7 1/3 innings with the Red Sox.

In a short amount of time, Emmons faced some of the best collegiate hitters and found out what he needs to work on leading up to a possible final season with Riverside or a decision to head to the professional ranks.

"I think it's an awesome experience," said Emmons, who left for Cape Cod on June 15 before seeing his contract expire June 27. "I got to start and face plenty of legitimate competition.

"It's the best and you really can't get any better. You are out there facing the toughest hitters. While my time there was brief, I learned so many things that I can take into next year."

While Emmons wouldn't have minded continuing to pitch and take in the small-town character of Cape Cod, he realized there were still plenty of alternatives for him to attack. One of them was returning to the Corvallis Knights, a West Coast League summer collegiate team.

Emmons rejoined the team Tuesday. He made his debut with the Knights on Wednesday, allowing one run on three hits in two innings in Corvallis' 14-2 home victory against the Wenatchee Apple Sox. He struck out two.

Corvallis proved to be a place where Emmons could thrive a summer ago.

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