Orange Park Native Back in Florida to Play FSU

Article excerpt

Byline: Brent Beaird

One of the promising young players in Atlantic Coast Conference baseball this season is an Orange Park native.

Matt Bergquist, who played high school baseball at Eagle's View Academy in Jacksonville, is the starting shortstop for the North Carolina State Wolfpack. Bergquist, who was born and raised in Orange Park, is batting .308 with 41 hits and 23 RBI and a 91 percent fielding average for the Wolfpack (31-18, 11-13).

Bergquist is more excited than usual this weekend because he gets to come back to his home state as the Wolfpack travels to Tallahassee to face No. 5 Florida State (36-12, 16-8).

Today's game starts at 6:30 p.m., Sunday's game begins at 1 p.m.

"I like to face teams from back home," Bergquist said. "Most of my buddies on the Eagle's View team are coming out this Sunday."

He will also be facing acquaintances Scott Sitz from Fletcher High School and Hunter Scantling from Episcopal High, both FSU pitchers.

Bergquist, who was a first team all-state selection at Eagle's View, said his biggest transition from high school to college has been the speed of the game.

"I'm getting used to being on the field with competition that I haven't been faced with before," he said.

Bergquist said he is hoping to play pro baseball after his N.C. State career is over.

"That's the dream and hopefully, it will come through," he said. "That's why I'm here and hopefully I'll get my education in case it doesn't come through."

Bergquist said he chose N.C. State for several reasons. He cited the school's hometown, Raleigh; the educational experience there; and an opportunity to start at shortstop in a competitive league such as the ACC.

The Wolfpack is battling North Carolina and Clemson for an opportunity to play in the ACC tournament.

DEMETRE BAKER UPDATE

Demetre Baker, a senior at Orange Park High School and a University of Georgia football signee, won the shot put and discus finals at the recent Florida High School Athletic Association Track Championships in Winter Park. …