WJXT: FSCJ’s run to JUCO World Series fueled by simple strategy: ‘Laugh, smile and play hard’

Link to article: https://www.news4jax.com/sports/2022/05/18/fscjs-run-to-juco-world-series-fueled-by-simple-strategy-laugh-smile-and-play-hard/

Blue Wave reach first Junior College World Series since 2000

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida State College at Jacksonville baseball is going to the National Junior College Division II World Series, its first trip there since 2000.

For the Blue Wave, the key to their success this season has been something simple.

Fun.

“So many people have said that we are not the most talented team, but we just keep proving them wrong it is a lot of fun,” said outfielder Barry Eiseman, who homered and drove in four runs in the decisive 10-6, Game 3 win over Catawba Valley to clinch the South Atlantic district championship last Sunday.

FSCJ (30-19), stacked with local players on its roster, has had fun proving its doubters wrong and turning that into just the fourth World Series appearance in program history. The Blue Wave have 18 local players on their roster — athletes from Clay, Duval, Glynn, Nassau and St. Johns — to give it a distinctly local dash of talent.

Pitcher Daniel Gaviria said the key in the Junior College World Series is simple.

“Have fun when we play,” he said. “Laugh, smile and play hard.”

Blue Wave Coach Brad Frick said this team has made his job easier. He just gets to sit back and watch them enjoy the game. And there’s no worries about FSCJ forgetting to have fun while it plays on a bigger stage.

“If you saw how they were in their final game, dancing in the dugout,” Frick said. “I think they are going to be OK on that side of it.”

The Junior College World Series will hit the field in Enid, Oklahoma on May 28. The Blue Wave is guaranteeing one thing when they’re up there — having fun.

“Coach Frick always says we play our best when we are loose and just having fun,” Eiseman said.

Eiseman leads the Blue Wave in batting (.415), followed by Evan Wickeri (.319, 8 HR, 42 RBI), Garrett Chun (.315. 29 RBI) and Cam Wademan (.303).

Chun is a Clay High product, while Wickeri played at Ridgeview in high school.

Gaviria (7-2, 3.16 ERA) and Fletcher graduate Brian Veniard (6-2, 4.30 ERA) headline the FSCJ pitching staff.

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