Feeney takes long, winding road to Wilmington (Del.)
CARY, N.C. -- One of the most impressive things about Sean Feeney’s college baseball career might very well be that he can remember all the schools for which he's played.
Try to keep up here.
His first stop out of high school was at Fairleigh Dickinson, where a torn rotator cuff limited the outfielder to just six games as a redshirt freshman in 2010. The coach left, and when he hit the road, so did Feeney.
|2015 NCAA Division II Baseball Championship|
|Tampa 3, Catawba 1 Box Score Highlights|
|Houston: Tampa championship to last a limetime|
|Houston: Albertson finds home, success at Catawba|
|Houston: Tampa's Tindall enjoys life as family man|
|Houston: Cal Poly Pomona's Ponce relies on faith, family|
|Houston: Bat boy becomes heart of Catawba team|
|Houston: Mom's death not stopping Rams' Massengill|
|Houston: Reddie's Johnson thriving after career decision|
|Houston: Truman fights cutbacks to make World Series|
|Houston: Martinez makes most of time at Mercyhurst|
|Houston: Angelo St.'s Naemark gets second chance|
|Houston: Wilmington trio find bond in managing diabetes|
|Houston: Tampa looks to avoid another early exit|
|Houston: Feeney takes winding road to Wilimgton (Del.)|
|Houston: Outsiders buying in on Henderson State|
|Bracket: Printable Interactive|
From there, he headed to UNC Pembroke for his junior campaign. He made it into just eight games, going 1-for-7 at the plate with two runs scored. It was disappointing, and in the long run, the school “didn’t work out for me.”
“I think it was a combination of me being homesick and then also not playing too much,” said Feeney, a native of Ocean City, Delaware. “I didn’t really get many at-bats, so it was a combination of both.”
Wilmington head coach Brian August had recruited Feeney out of junior college, but when the player picked UNC Pembroke instead, the coach tried to remain in the game. If going south to North Carolina doesn’t work out, August told Feeney, make me your first call.
Turns out, that’s exactly what happened. After sitting out a year due to NCAA eligibility rules, Feeney blossomed this year in hitting .303 with nine doubles, two home runs and 21 RBIs. Oh yeah, and it came with a berth here in the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship to boot.
All those schools, and it all winds up in the DII World Series.
“It’s a dream come true,” Feeney said. “I know my teammates have been working so hard for four years to get to this point. I’ve been working very, very hard to get to this point. When I was with Pembroke, that was the goal … to get to Cary. Every Division II school’s dream is to get to the World Series. Once you get there, you never know what could happen.”
With all the moves he’s made, Feeney has also gained a certain amount of perspective on what it all means.
“I’ve gotten a lot smarter and grew up as a person, an individual and a baseball player,” he said. “My freshman year, I had a café in my dorm where I could have my food being made for me.
“Where I went for junior college, I didn’t have a dorm. I had to go out shopping and cook for myself. If I didn’t cook for myself, I didn’t eat. It made me realize what it was like to actually have to look out for yourself.”
The fact is, going to one school for four years might have been the easier road to take during his college career. Sure, he has probably amassed the mother of all college T-shirt, uniform and equipment collections. But what’s done is done, and Feeney insists that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s been a long, crazy but enjoyable ride,” Feeney said. “I’ve seen so many different people play. I’m just living the dream playing baseball every single year. It’s been awesome.
“I would love to have had one school and stay there four or five years. But, for me, I wouldn’t change a thing, honestly. I matured as a person. I learned different things about the game from different areas. I learned different points of view from coaches. I also made a lot of good friends along the way.”