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Casey flying with Eagles

Former GCC player and son of current Vaqueros assistant begins play in NAIA World Series with Concordia, Irvine.

May 26, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

GLENDALE — Understandably, Chris Casey becomes flooded with fond memories when talking about his son Danny's baseball career.

Chris has coached Danny through just about every level at which he has played the game — from Little League to high school and on to Glendale Community College — and has seen him develop into quite a solid all-around player, collecting an assortment of all-league and all-conference accolades at each stop along the way.

This season, things have been a little different for the Casey family, as Chris, when he can squeeze it in between his duties as a Vaqueros assistant baseball coach, now watches Danny's games from the bleachers rather than the dugout or coach's box.

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Danny and his Concordia University team are currently enjoying a run to the Avista-National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics World Series, which will commence at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Lewiston, Idaho, when the ninth-seeded Eagles take on eighth-seeded Faulkner University.

"At the Casey household, we're extremely excited and we're glad that I had the opportunity to not have a conflict in the championship series with Glendale and the [NAIA] World Series," said Chris, whose postseason run with the Vaqueros ended on Saturday, one win shy of the California Community College Athletic Assn. championship game. "The whole entire family is excited about it."

Danny's parents will make the trip to Lewiston today, one day after the Eagles departed on their quest to further extend a postseason in which they have gone 7-0 while advancing through the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament and NAIA National Championship opening round at Cal Baptist University in Riverside.

"We had a goal in the beginning of the season — it's pretty much everyone's goal — to get to the World Series," said Danny, who graduated from Concordia on May 13, the same day his team beat Cal Baptist, 4-3, in a playoff game. "We just took it one game at a time, one pitch at time and everything just kind of worked out. We started out kind of slow, then we started finding our identity and we just kind of went from there.

"Our coaches said that it wasn't really [a matter of us getting] hot at the right time, we're just starting to play to our potential. That's what we've been doing."

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