Anchorage Bucs players win national title, seek ABL crown
Troy Claunch is playing the sport he loves, but, this summer in a place that's new to him.
"Just like the nature and everything around it, it's really beautiful," said the Anchorage Bucs catcher.
Claunch has company on his first trip to Alaska.
It's also Tyler Malone's first time here.
"I'm an outdoorsy guy, I love it here, we're going to get some fishing the next couple of days in, and enjoying some baseball while we can," said the Bucs infielder.
They have a lot in common, teammates in Alaska and in college. Both play for Oregon State University.
The two reported to the Bucs nearly halfway through the Alaska Baseball League season, but, you can't blame them for showing up late. They first had to take of business in Omaha, Nebraska.
That's where the Beavers won this year's College World Series, their third in school history.
"It's pretty awesome. I saw a stat that said we won the most national titles since 2000, we've won three since 2000," Claunch said.
But neither he nor Malone had much time to celebrate. Both arrived in Anchorage four days after they won the series.
Initially Alaska wasn't in the plan for either. They found themselves drafted by their coaches, and more or less given marching orders to the 49th state.
"They said, 'Hey, you guys are headed up to Alaska this summer,' so here we are," Claunch said.
The game is the same, but, with one big adjustment -- the midnight sun.
"The whole not-getting-dark thing is pretty neat," Claunch said.
"It's not really falling asleep for me, it's getting tired, because, when it's sunny all the time, when I think it's eight o'clock at night, it's hard for me to get tired, go to bed," Malone said.
The college title is the first for either player. Both want to return home to Oregon State with another championship: the Alaska Baseball League's.
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