Several North Alabama athletes will be in action on the diamond in Omaha as the College World Series gets underway this weekend.
In total, five athletes were part of the World Series teams; Hazel Green’s Jordan Beck (Tennessee), Bob Jones’ Mitchell Daly (Texas) and Huntsville’s Javier Vaz (Vanderbilt), Christian MacLeod (Mississippi State) and Drew Talley (Mississippi State).
Talley did not make the Bulldogs’ travel roster and is not in Omaha.
All three of the Huntsville alumni played under David Sharp. Though he retired from coaching in 2018, Sharp said he remains very close to his former players. Speaking before the College World Series kicked off on Saturday, Sharp had nothing but praise for his former players.
“I’m not into a bunch of cliches that sound good, but I can tell you this, all three of those guys are very special to me and they’re very, very deserving,” Sharp said. “I’m very proud and I'm happy for them that they get to experience something they’re gonna get to experience this week.”
Though three of Sharp’s former players have a chance to be part of a national championship season, only two will be in action. Not trying to take sides, he said he would love to see a Mississippi State-Vanderbilt final, adding he would even make the trek out to Omaha to watch it.
“Javy and Christian are going to play integral roles for Vanderbilt and Mississippi State and it would be awesome if it comes down -- it’s Vandy versus Mississippi State in a best two out of three that I can go watch,” he said. “I don’t have to cheer for anybody. I can just sit back, relax and wish the best for both those guys.”
Only Vaz was in action Saturday. The left fielder went 1 for 5 with a walk and a run in the Commodores 12-inning walk-off win over Arizona. They advance to face NC State on Monday night.
Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi State will all be in action on Sunday.