Pro Dreams Continue for Former Cougars

Arthur Dowell, Web Editor

Many student athletes who play at the Division III level say good- bye to the sport after college, but two former baseball players are getting a shot at the pros.

Outfielder Kenny Durling and Catcher/DH Steven Sulcoski have signed with teams in the United League Baseball, an independent professional league that is not affiliated with Major League Baseball or its associates. MLB uses the independent league as a feeder for players recruiters might have missed out of high school and college or those took longer to develop their skills.

Durling is looking to play ball this summer with the San Angelo Colts while Sulcoski is expected to take his bat to the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings.

Durling was a four-year starter during his MU playing days. The local from Kingston, Pa. left with six school records and in the top ten for eight other playing categories.

“Every at-bat is a duel between you and the pitcher. Every game is a battle between teams who want to win and being able to go out there and show who is better.”

Sulcoski transferred from Shippensburg University to play baseball at MU for his senior year. He batted .377 and shared the RBI title with Durling last season with 54.

Sulcoski was not available to comment.

Though he has proven his worth during college, Durling hopes to contribute his talent and abilities with the Colts.

“I take pride out there in the outfield and don’t want any fly balls landing in the outfield. I try to do everything I can to make the outs to help our pitchers and the team.”

Coach Peter Egbert had no doubt about the two players’ talents.

“Both of the players go about their daily tasks professionally. Both went about their business their own way. Steven was quiet and did his thing. Kenny was very exciting.”

Much of the success Durling had over the four years is accredited to Egbert by helping him to refine hi skills. Egbert also helped by meeting with Durling and discussing this new playing opportunity to make sure it was everything Durling wanted.Durling never gave up. He makes sure he fits an hour of hitting, fifteen minutes of throwing, and a lift and cardio workout during every training session.

The future is both bright and uncertain for the two stars. Though they get to pursue their dreams of playing for a professional organization, they do not know for how long.

“It depends on how I play during the season,” says Durling. “I will talk with the coaches on whether or not I will be playing more somewhere else or coming back home for a little while.”

Egbert will not be their coach, but he stills has advice for the two former players.

“Just keep doing what they do. Both of them have tools to succeed and I have no doubt they can help both of their teams get better. I will be checking up on both players and what they accomplish in their new roles.”

The 90-plus game season is scheduled to take place May through August.

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