Living the dream

Huntington Beach High graduate Beau Amaral competes at College Baseball World Series with UCLA.

July 08, 2010|By Mike Sciacca,
  • Beau Amaral swings away in the 2010 College World Series in Omaha.
Beau Amaral swings away in the 2010 College World Series… (Brad Williams/UCLA )

He had heard a few stories of what it was like to be in Omaha, Neb., in late-June, but nothing could prepare Beau Amaral for what he was to about to experience.

Even when it was all over, two days removed from competing at the baseball College World Series, and on a campout July 1 with his family down in San Clemente, Amaral found it difficult to find the words to describe it all.

A year ago, he was playing in a CIF prep baseball final for Huntington Beach High.

For the past two weeks, at age 19, he had played on college baseball's ultimate stage, Rosenblatt Stadium, where he was a integral part of the UCLA Bruins' runner-up finish to the national title.

South Carolina won its first major national championship June 29 by rallying to edge the Bruins, 2-1, in 11 innings in the second game of the CWS Championship Series.


"The entire experience blew my mind," Amaral said of Omaha. "It is really hard to explain it all. I didn't know what to expect but everything went beyond my wildest expectations. It was the best two weeks of my life."

The police escorts from the airport and to-and-from the stadium, the VIP treatment from the citizens of Omaha, ESPN coverage, college baseball's best teams converging at Rosenblatt, all eying a national championship, left Amaral in awe. And he left his mark at the series, as well, by ripping it up at Rosenblatt.

A center-fielder, Amaral started the CWS red-hot, going six for seven in wins over No. 3 Florida (11-3) and TCU (6-3). He ended the series nine for 20 with three doubles, two RBI, two walks and twice was hit by pitch.

"I was super-excited when we started the tournament," he said. "There were 20,000-plus for those first two games and it was packed again for the finals. The fans are so great and supportive and they really get into the game, but they really didn't root for us. They have a history of adopting a team in the tournament each year and this year, it was TCU. Every time we played them, we felt like we were playing on the road."

Despite not being the chosen team, No. 6 UCLA won two of three games from TCU, to advance to the CWS finals.

For all his successes during the course of the season, Amaral said the start to the 2010 campaign was a "a far cry" from how it ended with him being named to the CWS all-tournament team..

Huntington Beach Independent Articles Huntington Beach Independent Articles