The NM State baseball team was well represented during a couple of this year’s summer baseball leagues.
Brock Neil, a senior majoring in individualized studies at NM State, was named to the Horizon Air Summer Series All-Series 2011 Baseball Team as a second team first baseman, according to a press release by the California-based summer league.
“I feel pretty good about it,” said Neil about the honor. “I came into the summer wanting to get my swing in line and be ready to come out and make some noise this fall and that’s basically what I did. I played a lot, got a lot of time on the field, got a lot of at-bats and performed well, so I was really happy with it.”
Neil finished league play with a .326 batting average, two home runs and 33 RBIs. His team, the Marysville Gold Sox, won the league title and swept all league top honors including player, pitcher, manager and top prospect of the year, according to the league’s press release.
Neil, however, was not the only Aggie enjoying success this summer.
Tanner Rust, a sophomore from Lakeside, Calif., spent his summer in the “Land of the Midnight Sun” playing summer ball for the Kenai (Alaska) Peninsula Oilers of the Alaska Baseball League.
Rust, like Neil, also helped his team to a league title while hitting two home runs, 18 doubles and driving in 20 RBIs, according to the Oilers team Web site. Rust was also invited to participate in the league’s All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.
“There was some good competition up there,” Rust said. “It was a great experience to go up to Alaska for the whole summer.”
Rust, who last year was also part of the Aggie football team, said he enjoyed just concentrating on baseball this summer.
“I’m usually busy with football during the summer,” he said, “this was my first chance to be able to go out and get 150 or so at-bats during the summer and enjoy playing baseball.”
Both Neil and Rust have high expectations, not only for themselves, but for the entire NM State baseball team this spring.
“I want the team to be successful,” Neil said, “and I want to be part of that (success).”