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I'm Just Saying with ... Huntley grad, Louisville baseball's Colin Lyman

Published: Saturday, June 28, 2014 8:10 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, June 28, 2014 8:13 p.m. CDT

The transition from the Fox Valley Conference to Division I college baseball for Colin Lyman went, all things considered, rather smoothly. The Huntley High graduate and former Red Raiders center fielder started 31 games, helping to fuel Louisville’s run to the College World Series – the Cardinals’ third trip to Omaha in the past eight years. In 55 games this spring, the freshman hit .263 at the plate to go along with 21 runs and 16 RBIs. But it was in a College World Series games against Texas where Lyman made perhaps his most notable – and acrobatic – play of the season with his glove on a diving catch. The highlight play landed on the nightly SportsCenter top-10 list. Currently, he is playing in the New England Collegiate Baseball League for the summer as a member of the Vermont Mountaineers.

It was a really exciting experience [to play in the College World Series]. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get in because I kind of had my slump toward the end of the season there. I understand I couldn’t stay in the lineup when I had my slump there. But it was nice to get in down there and get a little time on the field. 

[On the SportsCenter featured catch:] It was a deep ball in the right-center gap. It kind of hung up and I just laid out there in the gap to make the third out of the inning. … I didn’t even know it was on there. All my friends texted me and told me. It wasn’t a specific text or anything, but just all the people. It was really nice hearing from them and that they cared and were watching me play.

Behind winning a national championship, you have to take the first step in getting to Omaha. Just getting there was awesome. Playing there was awesome. It was really surreal. It went by so quick that, next year, we’re hoping to stay a little longer.

I was pretty happy with how I did for the majority of the year. I started about half the games, and I didn’t know if I was going to start one game. So, it was really nice for my freshman year. Obviously, it was a tough end to the year for me personally, but it just helps for looking forward to next year, working harder and stuff.

They can’t guarantee a starting spot for anyone, even a top recruit. They say you have a really good chance to start or play your freshman year. Coming in, I was hoping to play, but there are a lot talented outfielders on the team, so it was up in the air.

Compared to high school, the pitching was night and day. You’re at least seeing guys who throw mid-to-upper 80s. Most of the time, guys who are throwing around 90. So it’s a little bit of an adjustment. The fall scrimmages helped a lot.

You got to be on time for the fastball. It’s not really changing anything except your timing. You pretty much just have to swing earlier. It doesn’t seem as simple as it is, but it is. It’s that simple. 

I’m definitely working on getting more weight. It’s not a problem, but it’s something I can work on. Just overall, improving my game in terms of hitting and fielding.

I’m hoping to start next year somewhere in the outfield, preferably in center. It gives you more plays to make. I like making plays in the gap, diving, stuff like that. It’s more fun to me – playing a position where you have to cover more ground.

I’m Just Saying is a regular Sunday feature. If there’s someone you’d like to see featured, write to me at jkaufman@shawmedia.com or send me a message on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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