When the Palm Springs Power and Palm Springs Collegiate League take the field at Palm Springs Stadium this summer, there will be more local talent than ever.
“Growing up out here, it was like, oh you want to play for the Power when you’re in college cause it’s like, it’s cool, you know,” said Josh Hernandez, a former Palm Desert and College of the Desert baseball player.
Hernandez knows first-hand what the Palm Springs Power means to the community.
“The first year I played for Power, they heard ‘College of the Desert,’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s a local guy!’ You know, everyone’s super excited about it,” he said. “Your family grows in a sense from like 10 people to 5,000. It’s like, ‘oh, all these people want to see me play,’ and it gets you more excited. It makes it more fun for everyone.”
There are twice as many COD players in the Palm Springs Collegiate League compared to past years.
“Now they’re not cheering on one or two guys, they’re cheering on, basically the entire team, with that kind of energy,” Hernandez said.
All of those players in the Palm Springs Collegiate League will have the chance to play their way into the Power’s lineup on any given night under a new system this year.
“The majority of the Power players this year will actually be the best players out of that league, which will be cool. It’s kind of like having a true minor league system, where we’ll get to scout that league in the mornings and kind of choose the best players from that league to play with the Power in the evenings,” said Power manager Casey Dill.
COD’s baseball coach Sam DiMatteo is excited for the opportunity it gives his players.
“You know, it’s an opportunity to play with some, you know, little higher level baseball than some of them are used to,” he said.
After having their college season cancelled this spring because of the pandemic, DiMatteo’s players are just happy to be back out on the field.
“I think it’s a great opportunity. I’m really blessed to be a part of a team for the summer and, like, actually get my reps in, cause it’s going to be my first time in, like, a year and a half,” said Brandon McCray, a freshman on the COD baseball team who is playing in the Palm Springs Collegiate League this summer.
“Honestly, I’m just happy to play again… just going to enjoy it, cause you never know when our last will be,” said Spencer Dickinson, a sophomore at COD and graduate of Rancho Mirage who will also be playing for the PSCL this summer.
Opening Day for the Power is set for Friday, June 11.
Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 throughout the season for coverage of the team.