Carter takes a swing at another world series title

dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.comMay 24, 2014 

When Kyle Carter transferred to Miami-Dade Junior College from the University of Georgia, he didn't know what to expect.

Would he be part of a winning program? Would he get another chance to prove himself on the field? Would he find the kind of success that made him a household name in the Bi-City baseball world as a Columbus High star?

While some of those things remain to be seen, his season and his team's success has provided some answers for the immediate future.

Miami-Dade will face Spartanburg Methodist tonight at 9:30 in the second round of the junior college world series in Grand Junction, Colo.

And the team owes a lot to Carter for helping it reach that level.

Miami-Dade defeated Polk State on May 14 in its conference championship game. Carter closed the game, throwing 2 2-3 scoreless innings of relief. He entered the game with a 3-2 lead and Miami-Dade went on to win 4-2. Of his eight outs, seven were strikeouts.

But Carter, who has been with the team for two seasons, didn't have anything to say about his performance. Instead, it was all about the team.

"None of us could have done it on our own," he said. "It took all of us to get out there. Not one guy was the superstar. That was meaningful for us."

It's a change, perhaps, for the player who has had his name in the news since helping lead Northern to a Little League World Series championship in 2006. It's a welcome change, though, as he is quietly continuing the same success outside the spotlight.

"I just play for the guy next to me," he said. "They sacrifice and do so much for me, so I have to do the same. If everyone does that, then things fall the way they should."

That means he isn't thinking about the Major League draft, which will take place on June 5-7 and could include his name.

Leading up to the biggest games of his college career, Carter spent time with a special-needs group alongside his teammates. A handful of teams present for the JUCO world series got to share the experience.

It was a moment of perspective for the intensely focused and competitive player.

"I have a lot to be thankful for. I've been blessed with second chances," he said.

"It reminds you it's not all about what you do on the field. It's about people on the outside, taking your opportunities to do things for them."

Carter won three baseball state championships while at Columbus High before he signed with Georgia. He left after being arrested twice.

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