Successful Summer

Dalton Dulin, an Ole Miss commitment, got a chance to play where the big-leaguers play when he participated in the UnderArmour All-America Game at Chicago's Wrigley Field a week ago.

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Dulin said it was a memorable experience in more ways than one. Obviously the ballpark itself was special. But that wasn't all.

"They treated us like big leaguers," said Dulin, a middle infielder from Memphis University School. "We stayed at The W on Lakeshore Drive. Our hotel was looking out over Lake Michigan. It was pretty cool."

The opportunity was also a chance to perform before the scouts. Every player there wanted to have his best days of the summer. Dulin said he believes things went well.

"We worked out the first day and also had a youth camp," said Dulin, who will sign with the Rebels in November. "It was a good experience, having all the younger guys there and teaching them certain things.

"The second day was scout day, and that's when all the scouts came and some general managers," he continued. "MLB network had their video tape rolling. After that we had media day and we had to do all that for MLB Network, do interviews, sign like 500 cards Topps had done for us, and all that kind of stuff."

And it was the chance to be around and learn from former major leaguers, while also getting to experience playing in a major league ballpark.

"I was just fortunate to get the opportunity to go up there and play," Dulin said. "Larry Bowa was there. Billy Ripken was my manager. We got a lot of work done at second base. Just to be around those former big leaguers was huge and just to learn from them."

Dulin with the ivy-covered outfield wall in the background
File Photo

Only 19 players were selected for each team for the game. Dulin's road to Wrigley was made throughout the summer.

"I found out I was going to Wrigley right before I went to East Coast Showcase in Syracuse, N.Y.," he said. "We had played 11 games in Atlanta. They also saw me at the Tournament of Stars in Cary, N.C. They saw me a couple of other places."

It was all part of a busy summer for the 5-foot-9, 165-pounder.

"At the East Coast Showcase, there was a bunch of scouts there and I ran pretty well," Dulin said. "I think I ran a 6.5 (seconds in the 60) there. I went straight from there to L.A. to the Area Code Games I went to last year. There were some guys who did both, but not a lot.

"We got to L.A. (Long Beach State) and I felt kind of rejuvenated. We just wanted to get out there and have fun. Me and (Ole Miss pitcher commitment) Cheyne Bickel were the veterans there, and they treated us pretty well."

In addition to having fun, Dulin played well.

"The first couple of games I was like 3-for-4, 3-for-4, squaring up everything," said Dulin, who made the All-Area Code team. "There were twice as many scouts there this year as there was last year. I ended up going 8-for-16 in Area Codes. I swung the bat well and I ended up getting offensive player of the day for two days in a row."

Dulin then headed for Chicago and the UnderArmour Game. He had some success in the actual game in Chicago and played the fifth through ninth innings.

Dalton Dulin
File Photo

"My first at-bat I got to 1-2 and battled. I hit a ground ball in the four hole and I beat it out. My second at-bat I hit a first-pitch fast ball. It was one of the hardest balls I hit all summer. The guy made a good play to his left at second and got me out.

"We turned a pretty good double play (on defense), and that was about it."

Now Dulin plans to spend his senior year at MUS doing what he's done for years, and that's improving in every way.

"Training, getting bigger and stronger, switch-hitting, focusing on the right side of the plate," he said. "Really staying on the grind of the past four or five years and what I've been doing up to this point in my career."

Dulin's outlook keeps him focused and steady on both the present and his future.

"You have to approach every year as if you haven't accomplished anything," he said. "That always keeps me motivated. If you aren't hustling, you're getting hustled. You have to go out there and do what you do."

This summer and especially in Chicago, Dulin got to do exactly what he does and that's play baseball at a high level.

"I knew I had to execute my plan going into the summer," he said. "Now that summer's over, I feel I executed it well. I got done what I wanted to get done.

"I was real fortunate to have that opportunity. It was a great experience."

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