Take 5: Aussie outfielder Nick Boys of the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds
Special to the Daily
Playoff update: SBD Moves to 2nd round
It’s playoff season for High Country baseball and the Mountain West Summer Collegiate Baseball League, home to the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds (SBD).
In the first round of playoff action on Monday, No. 4 SBD edged past No. 6 Eagle Valley Eagles, 6-5.
In the second round this Tuesday, the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds (SBD) lost to the top-seeded Glenwood/Carbondale Geckos, 5-3. The Geckos struck immediately with a homer in the first. In the fourth, Blake Butcher responded with a home run of his own. In the fifth, Glenwood added to their lead with a homer and a double to make the game 5-1. In the final inning, a string of hits brought the Diamonds within two runs, 5-3, until Tavin Thompson popped out for the loss.
Next up in the third round of the double-elimination tournament was Eagle Valley on Wednesday. SBD struck first with three runs through three innings. In the fourth, EV’s offense woke up and tied it 3-3. Eagle Valley then took their first lead off a three-run homer and a solo shot by Tyler Zupon. Tensions were high in the sixth, but a perfectly placed bunt from Trevor Rosenberg sealed the 9-7 win for SBD at home in Frisco.
The next game is against No. 3 Rocky Mountain Oysters in Grand Junction today at 4 p.m. For live game updates at the league tourney, check out @SumCoSports or @SummitEBD on Twitter. It’s a double-elimination tourney with all six teams in the league, ending July 16 with the championship game.
Editor’s note: Read on for an interview with Blake Butcher, Summit’s home-run leader and league All-Star MVP.
There’s a lot more to Nick Boys than meets the eye.
The 19-year-old outfielder with the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds grew up in the northwestern territory of Queensland, Australia, and moved to Iowa about a year ago to pursue his dream of playing baseball. He had a decent season with Iowa Central Community College this past spring and has continued to develop with Summit this summer, becoming one of the team’s most dependable hitters and outfielders.
Whether diving for a nearly impossible fly ball or cheering his team from the dugout with a thick Aussie bellow, Boys is guaranteed to grab your attention. Here’s what he had to say about the season, his birthplace of Brisbane and why he chose baseball over his hometown sports, cricket and rugby.
Summit Daily News: What’s it like in Australia where you’re from?
Nick Boys: I’m from the north, Brisbane, which is in Queensland. It’s just hot and humid kind of all year around. Even during the winter it can get up to the mid-eighties during the day and whatnot. It’s a beautiful country. I can’t wait to go home, but I’ve loved my time here.
SDN: What’s baseball like in Australia?
NB: The standard of baseball… It kind of depends. Once you kind of progress through the ranks and you get higher up, as far as playing for your state or playing for your country, the standing gets better, which I’d probably compare to this (Mountain West Summer College Baseball League) if you’re playing like a Queensland versus a New South Wales. It’s kind of like college baseball — we’re getting better.
I know a bunch of guys that are coming over as incoming freshman next year (and playing) at junior colleges across the nation. It’s definitely growing with the rebirth of the Australian Baseball League — it’s coming back slowly but surely. I’ve got a couple good mates who are in Class A (minor leagues) ball with the Orioles and the Twins, so it’s always nice to see a couple good friends making moves through the ranks.
SDN: How did you get into baseball? Sports like rugby and soccer seem to be more popular in Australia.
NB: I kind of played everything when I was a kid, but my dad played baseball so I kind of got into it through him. But, as a kid, I played cricket, soccer, and rugby — anything I could get my hands on.
SDN: What’s the biggest difference between playing ball in Australia and playing in America?
NB: Just the biggest difference is the amount of baseball. Like, I wasn’t used to (it). Back home, you go out on a Saturday afternoon, you play, and then you kind of wait to practice again, whereas (here) I rolled into the fall and I don’t think I had a day off for like four weeks. It’s just a bit of a culture shock to me, to be practicing every day on the field without a break. It took a little bit of time to get used to that — just the soreness — but, after a while, you get used to it.
SDN: Do you think you’ll ever move back to Australia?
NB: I don’t know. I’m headed back there after this just to see the family and whatnot before I head back to school in the fall. Who knows — I’m trying to get into sports journalism and I’d love to write about baseball for a living. So, I feel like if I want to make my mark for that I’ve got to hang around here. We’ll see what happens at the end of schooling and go from there.
SDN: Have you ever eaten kangaroo?
NB: I have — I do like it. It just tastes like steak. It’s kind of nice. You can get kangaroo steak, kangaroo sausages. It’s good, it’s tasty.
SDN: You’ve been with SBD for the entire summer season. How’s your Summit County experience been?
NB: Love it, love it — definitely different with the mountains around. That’s definitely different, just everywhere you look (said while gazing around the Frisco Peninsula). The weather’s a little indecisive but I’ve had a great time here, just loved every minute. I love going hiking and whatnot. (The) new experiences have been great.
SDN: Are you going back to Iowa in the fall for another year playing junior college ball?
NB: Yep, back to Iowa Central for my sophomore year. Hopefully I can go back and put together a good year, and then get recruited by a university somewhere and keep playing ball. That would mean a lot.
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