Kelly Larkin spends the week watching Oregon State win the College World Series

Reynolds High School baseball coach Kelly Larkin gobbled up a steady diet of his favorite sport last week, while attending the College Baseball World Series in Omaha, Neb.

The trip marked Larkin's first trip to the tournament, as he watched Oregon State win the championship. Larkin played shortstop for the Beavers during his freshman year in college (1973) before finishing his career at Western Oregon.

He joined a former college roommate whose son played for Fullerton State, giving the duo a pair of teams to cheer on.

'That event has really taken off. You have people that go every year, and now I'm thinking about doing the same,' Larkin said. 'I took some of my players to spring training in Arizona a few years ago, but if I could do something like that again I'd bring them to the College World Series.'

Larkin was able to watch six of Oregon State's eight games, missing the Beavers first and last contests. He viewed the championship game on television.

'My wife was leaving for Europe, so we had an agreement that I needed to be back by Monday,' Larkin said. 'I really didn't expect Oregon State to be playing all the way to the final day. They have a lot of local players, so it was nice to see them winning games.'

People watching from home may have seen Larkin on the television, as well. He filmed a commercial for DeMarini baseball and softball equipment, while coaching a summer all-star team two years ago. The commercial ran regularly between innings on ESPN.

Larkin is seen in the dugout for his line 'Hey, Hey, it's a DeMarini.' He earned $400 for his part in the two-hour shoot.

Larkin returned in time to resume coaching the Raiders' AAA American Legion team, which will play in the eight-team Lakeridge Firecracker tournament during Fourth of July weekend.

Reynolds opens the tournament against Mount Hood foe Sandy at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 1.

'We're starting to tune-up for the district tournament,' Larkin said. 'These tournaments give our kids practice at playing game after game after game.'

Barlow and Centennial will spend the holiday weekend at an Oregon City tournament, while the East County Knights will be in Corvallis.

The semi-pro Aloha Knights offer the only local games, taking on Kelowna at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 1-2, at Mt. Hood Community College.

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