Sports

Lakewood graduate to play baseball in Division 1 school

Jacob Bruns, a 2005 graduate of Lakewood High School, poses while playing for the Alexandria Beetles in the summer of 2006. -
Jacob Bruns, a 2005 graduate of Lakewood High School, poses while playing for the Alexandria Beetles in the summer of 2006.
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A 2005 graduate of Lakewood High School and two-time first team all-conference outfielder has signed to play on scholarship at San Jose State University.
Jacob Bruns is currently the right fielder at Shasta College in Redding, California and recently signed a letter of intent to continue his playing career at SJSU beginning in the spring of 2008.
Raymond Bruns, Jacobs father, said his son used to be one of the smallest guys on both the football and baseball teams, but has since grown 13 inches and gained more than 70 pounds.
He has always been very energetic and a hardworking kid, Raymond said.
He never gives up and enjoys life. As a little boy we didnt know what hand he threw with so I bought him both a right hand and left-handed glove. He would come out and switch gloves every inning.
Jacob helped propel the Cougars to back-to-back 2A state runner-up finishes the last two years at LHS, and said despite falling short considers the 2005 loss as one of the most lasting memories.
I remember we all went in a back room and talked, he said. That really stands out. I realized it was the last time I would be with that group of guys. We had a strong bond and had been playing together for all four years. It was hard to let go of.
After high-school graduation he followed Americas pastime south to Shasta College, and said he has Northwest Baseball Academy director and coach Mark Potoshnik to thank, in addition to other influences.
Bruns said Potoshnik was his summer coach for two years and referred him to Shasta College after being teammates with current coach Brad Rupert years ago.
We actually stopped by there (Redding) on the way down to a tournament in Reno, Nev. and got to wander the field, Jacob said.
In addition to Potoshnik, Bruns said his baseball career would not have been possible without the tireless support of his father, LHS teacher Jeremiah Wohlgemuth and Cougar head baseball coach Larry Delaney.
My dad always pushed me to be the best on the team, he said. If it wasnt for my dad I probably wouldnt be thinking about playing baseball at a four-year college.
Bruns has carried his high school success from both the football (voted all-state senior year) and baseball fields (two-time all-conference and two-time all-state outfielder) onto the collegiate scene, and hopes to help SJSU return to Omaha, Neb. for the College World Series.
SJSU was last there in 2006 and Bruns thinks they have what it takes to return.
Last summer, he had the opportunity to play in the Alexandria League in Minnesota with select Division 1 players, and represented the Alexandria Beetles.
According to Bruns, the league is one of top three in the nation for collegiate baseball players, and featured Major League Baseball scouts toting radar guns behind home plate.
The Shasta College season begins Saturday, Jan. 27, as they embark on a schedule of nearly 40 games.

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