One of the keys behind Sunshine’s blistering start to the Baseball Victoria summer league division 1 season has been the form of shortstop Jordan Young.
Young has been growing in confidence in the batters box, while maintaining his typically high standard defensively in the in-field, which has seen Eagles coach Stuart Clayton label him as the best shortstop in the league.
Young’s impressive start to the season was recognised at higher levels when he was recently called up to play for a short-handed Auckland Tuatara in the Australian Baseball League.
The 26-year-old had long aspired to play in the ABL, but never thought the opportunity would come with anyone other than the hometown Melbourne Aces.
It was a nice surprise for Young when he was called up for the Tuatara to play against none other than the Aces.
“They gave me a call early in the week saying they needed a local player, so I was able to make the time and go down,” Young said.
“It’s something I wasn’t expecting, but very exciting at the same time.”
Young relished the experience playing with Auckland.
Welcomed to the Tuatara fold by the players and coaches, he felt comfortable from the moment he stepped into the clubhouse.
“They were really good people all round,” Young said. “They all welcomed me in and enjoyed having me there.
“It was very positive.”
Young showed he was not there to merely make up the numbers, producing a number of quality, though luckless at-bats, before getting his first ABL hit.
He was not as nervous as he envisaged he might be, which is probably to do with the fact he was coming face to face with Aces players, who he has great knowledge of through his time with Sunshine.
“Playing against Melbourne, I know a lot of guys on that team, so it made it a bit easier,” Young said.
“I had a little bit of knowledge on the opposition that I could use to help me prepare.
“The nerves weren’t as bad as I thought it would be.”
While he is hopeful of another ABL call up in the not too distant future, the Eagles’ playing assistant coach is focused on taking his club side to premiership glory.
The Eagles remain top of the ladder, despite a narrow 3-2 loss to Sandringham on Sunday.
“We’ve got a really good team this year and our record shows that,” Young said.
“We’ve got to keep it going. “I think everyone is pretty eager to go as far as we can and try and win the championship this year.
“Last year we made it to the finals for the first time in quite a while in division one, so we’re keen and driven to go as far as we can.” Young will continue to play a key role for Sunshine.
“I’ve been pretty consistently getting on base throughout the whole season, but in terms of clean, safe, good quality hits, they’ve been starting to come in the last five or six games,” Young said.
Sunshine will play the third game of its three-game series with Sandringham at the Melbourne Ballpark tonight before turning its focus to Waverley Wildcats on Sunday