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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Panther infielder awarded Golden Glove

Nik McClaughry (12), sophomore, sits in the dugout at Union Stadium at City College Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2019. Nik received the Golden Glove as a freshman. (Sara Nevis/[email protected])

On game days last season, Panther’s infielder Nik McClaughry recalls that he liked to arrive at the field early, hitting and taking ground balls to prepare himself to help the team win any way he could. 

However, walking into Union Stadium for his first game as a freshman last spring, McClaughry remembers he was nervous about playing on a bigger field, but later said it was super cool.

“I love the coaches, the culture here is great,” said McClaughry. “My teammates are awesome and everyone works hard. I love it here.”

Last season, the Panthers placed third in the state championship, and McClaughry played 39 overall games with a batting average of .252 and a fielding percentage of .978, making only three errors, according to the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association’s website (CCCBCA). 

Despite receiving the Big 8 Conference Golden Glove Award, which is given to players who have an outstanding year in fielding, McClaughry, now a sophomore, wants to keep improving to help ensure that the Panthers don’t fall short again next season. 

City College Nik McClaughry (12) celebrates after he helps make a double play in the top of the sixth inning against Ohlone College in game three of the NorCal Finals at Union Stadium at City College Monday, May 20, 2019. City College beat Ohlone College 6-2. (Sara Nevis/[email protected])
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“It was a great experience being there [state championship] but this year we want to win it all,” said McClaughry. “We don’t want to go back and come up short like we did last year.”

According to Head Coach Derek Sullivan, the last time a Panthers baseball player received the award was in 2010.

“This didn’t advance [McClaughry] to the Northern California, state or regional level, but it was still outstanding for us,” Sullivan said in an email.

McClaughry attributed his success to his infield coach, Lynn Black, who McCalughry said helped improve his defense and awareness.

“He [Black] would have us do drills so we could be better prepared for the unexpected,” said McClaughry. “He’d throw the ball to make it bounce in different directions, and he’d have us take ground balls and have objects next to help us from getting distracted during a game.”                                                                                                                                                                             

McCalughry said there’s stiff competition to make the cut to play baseball in college compared to high school baseball, and coming to City College gave him experience to play at a higher level. 

City College Nik McClaughry (12) attempts to pickoff Ohlone College Bradley Norton (8) in the top of the fourth inning against Ohlone College in game one of the NorCal Finals at Union Stadium at City College May 17, 2019. City College beat Ohlone College 7-6. (Sara Nevis/[email protected])

“Even on our team, everyone was one of the best players on their high school teams,” said McCalughry.

Fellow Panther infielder Joey Daini said that McClaughry is always positive and pushes his teammates and himself to improve. Daini recalled a memorable moment from last season was when McClaughry scored the game-winning hit in the final four games. 

“He’s [McCalughry] an all-around a great guy. You can tell he’s focused and on a mission,” said Daini. “He never makes excuses for anything, but he’s also really funny once you get to know him.”

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