The College World Series champion will be decided in the next few days.
Tunkhannock grad Mike Papi is part of the University of Virginia team and was also drafted No. 38 overall by the Indians earlier this month in the MLB Amateur Draft.
Rob Refsnyder, second baseman for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders knows a thing or two about the eight-team tournament held at TD Ameritrade in Omaha, Nebraska.
The 23-year-old not only helped the University of Arizona win the College World Series title in 2012 he also won the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player as the Wildcats upended two-time defending champ South Carolina that year. Refsnyder scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth of the clinching game.
“College World Series is definitely one of my best baseball experiences,” he said. “There’s so much on the line, national championship. The environment is just great and they do a great job hosting it. They’re just gonna have a ball, and whoever wins it is going to remember it for the rest of their lives.”
Refsnyder led Arizona to a 10-0 postseason in 2012 and the team never trailed in five games in Omaha. Overall that season, he batted .364 with a team-high eight home runs before getting drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round of the draft.
“Being drafted by the New York Yankees is a dream come true, honestly,” Refsnyder said. “They’ve treated me with the utmost respect. I’ve made a lot of great friendships, relationships. I couldn’t be happier being a part of the Yankee organization.”
He has sustained his success from college as a pro. No matter where he’s played in the New York organization he’s put together good numbers. After being drafted, he went to Charleston and picked up 39 hits and 11 stolen bases in just 46 games.
In 2013, he was red-hot for Charleston batting .370 before a promotion to High-A Tampa. He spent the rest of last season with the T-Yanks piling up a .408 on base percentage.
This season, he started out at Double-A Trenton. After a slow start with the Thunder, where he was hitting just .154 after the first 12 games, he went on a tear. He batted .345 in 30 May games then .517 in seven games this month before getting the promotion.
“I didn’t start the greatest,” Refsnyder said. “It’s just getting adjusted to some of the pitches I was seeing. (Trenton hitting coach) Marcus (Thames) and I were working hard and I made some good adjustments and I think that’s what baseball is, making adjustments and going from there.
“I definitely put in the work and the success is something that I hope after a lot of hard work, is in the future plans. I definitely got on a hot streak, the hits were falling. It was fun, but now I’m here and got a clean slate.”
Refsnyder has began his Triple-A career in a similar way to his Double-A stint. He had a nice debut going 2 for 4 against Toledo, and is batting a modest .243 (9 for 37) in 10 games for the RailRiders.
“I’m just going to try to help the team win,” he said in regards to goals with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. “The more you think about getting a hit, it won’t help. …Really, just go out, compete and see if I can better.”