Polk Alumnus Enjoys Second World Series

Polk Alumnus Enjoys Second World Series

In 2012, Kyle Chastain played in the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado with Polk, where the Eagles went 1-2.

The 21-year-old from Auburndale transferred to Embry Riddle University after two years at Polk State.

He recently competed in the Avista NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.

His 2013 Embry Riddle team reached the semifinals this time.

The experience has become addicting for Chastain.

"I want to make it back next year," Chastain said. "It was fun. It was almost like Grand Junction. There was not quite the same amount of fans. We still had about 1,500 people there per game. The town was nice. We had a good host who took care of us all week."

Playing the year before in Grand Junction made the hoopla a bit easier for Chastain to deal with in Idaho.

"When I was with Polk, I hadn't played in front of that many people," he said. "Here (in Idaho), I relaxed and let it all soak in. There was no pressure. I wasn't nervous. It was like — Oh, I'm back again."

The event has become a regular stop for the ERU Eagles. They were attending the NAIA World Series for the 12th time still without a title.

Chastain was hoping to change Embry Riddle's history, taking a hot bat into the tournament.

Instead his bat cooled off, along with many of the Eagles' bats.

"We had a lot of guys on base and we couldn't get the big hit," Chastain said.

The Eagles, seeded third, posted a 2-2 record in Idaho. Embry Riddle posted wins over York of Nebraska and Lee of Tennessee, 5-4.

They fell to No. 1-ranked Faulkner, which won the championship, 10-3.

Chastain's strongest performance came in  the 13-7 loss to Lewis and Clark in front of a stadium full of hostile fans.

Chastain rapped two hits, including a home run.

 "It was a fun experience," Chastain said. "Our coach told us not to hang our heads."

Chastain, who is majoring in Homeland Security, expects to work out, work in some baseball camps at Embry Riddle and attend summer school before fall baseball starts. 

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