Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

  • The Hornet and Inside Fullerton are on summer break and will return on August 26, 2024. Please send any tips or inquiries to Jessica Langlois at [email protected].

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

International baseball players come to FC

The Fullerton College baseball team welcomes four players from Puerto Rico with the hopes that they will become big contributors for this season and beyond.

Many junior college sports teams are compiled of players that went to high school in the general area of the school and are looking for a second chance to earn a scholarship to play at a university.

However, this year’s Fullerton College baseball team carries four players that are from nowhere near Fullerton. They aren’t even from the U.S.

Sophomores Christiannel Cosme and Ismael Sanchez and freshmen Axel Cruz and Oscar Heredia came from Puerto Rico to the FC baseball team with hopes of potentially being drafted to play in the major leagues.

“We do not have college baseball in Puerto Rico and we all came here for one goal,” Heredia said. “We want to get drafted to play baseball.”

Oscar Heredia, Christiannel Cosme, Axel Cruz and Ismael Sanchez (left to right) look to shine for the Hornets on the baseball diamond and get noticed by professional scouts.Photo credit: Mathew Flores

Making the journey all the way here comes with a risk. None of them will be guaranteed playing time and everything will have to be earned. As of now, Heredia is the starting third baseman, Sanchez is the starting first baseman and Cosme and Cruz both play roles out of the bullpen, but nothing is guaranteed.

“The one thing I told these guys is that I would guarantee them opportunity,” said Nick Fuscardo, FC baseball coach. “If they put in the work in practice and leave me with no reason to leave them off the field, then they will be the guys who get the playing time. It’s as simple as that.”

Maybe the biggest challenge that these four will face is how to financially support themselves this far away from home. The grueling schedule of being a student athlete in college does not leave much time for work. In one case, the family is making a huge sacrifice hoping that it will pay off in a big way.

“My dad has a 401k,” Cruz said. “We have been kind of having to use that and it is helping me a lot.”

They hope that one day Cruz will play professionally.

Now that these four have come to Fullerton College, there is the potential for more players coming from Puerto Rico, or possibly even other countries.

“That is often how it works,” Fuscardo said. “Not even just on the international level. If you look at our roster, you see that players can tend to travel in packs. We have a few guys from Yorba Linda High and if they keep having good experiences here, I figure they will keep feeding talent in.”

Once again, Fuscardo emphasized that there will always be opportunity on his team.

“All that matters to me is that I am putting the most competitive team as possible out there day in and day out,” said Fuscardo. “It does not matter to me where they came from.”

The ultimate goal is to make it to the MLB draft and these four have been put in a good position to do so. The Hornets were the state runner up last year and are off to a 3-1 start this season. They are also playing for a manager that has been at the helm of Fullerton College baseball for 27 years.

“I know skip has been here for like 25-30 years,” said Sanchez. “He knows what he is doing. He is good at talking to us and telling us what we need to do.”

As of now, it appears that all four will be seeing a good amount of playing time this year. Fuscardo even said that he thinks Cosme has potential to be the team’s closer down the stretch if he can iron some things out.

“I am just trying to put in the work and get better everyday,” said Cosme. “I do well here so that one day I can be drafted and go on to play in the pros.”

There is no telling what the future holds, but it appears that these four guys from Puerto Rico are well on their way.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Hornet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *