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Storm baseball player commits to USC

Mattkeating
Matt Keating
Benweber
Ben Weber
TylerMattingley
Tyler Mattingley

When Matt Keating came to Beatrice to play for Southeast Community College’s Storm baseball team in 2019, he had high hopes for a year or two of developing his game, both mentally and physically.

“I was a late bloomer in high school, and I felt like I needed another year or two to develop my skills,” said Keating. “I felt like going to a JUCO (junior college) was the best route for me. Southeast offered me an opportunity to get a good education and improve as a baseball player at the same time. It was a perfect fit for me.”

The Omaha Creighton Prep grad said he was impressed by the way brothers Dion and Tyson Parks ran the Storm program. However, no one could’ve predicted the onset of COVID-19, which subsequently halted his first collegiate baseball season soon after it started.

“I remember the team meeting we had the day we got sent home,” he recalled. “That was a very difficult day for all of the players and coaches. It was very sad to have to leave all my teammates and coaches who had become family to me.”

Instead of dwelling on it, he took it as an opportunity to work hard and improve on his own. In the long run, his hard work paid off. The pitcher/infielder recently committed to the University of Southern California Trojans for the 2021 season. The Trojans are one of the most successful programs in college baseball, capturing 12 national championships. Two schools, LSU and Texas, have six titles each.

“USC is an unbelievable school, and this is an incredible opportunity,” said Tyson Parks, who helped recruit Keating to SCC. “He has become one of the leaders on this team. His character cannot be questioned. He is a kid that loves to play every day.”

“It’s a dream come true to be part of the Trojans program,” Keating added. “It’s a great opportunity for both baseball and academics. I would love to help USC get back to Omaha to win another College World Series title.”

Keating will finish out the 2021 spring season and semester at SCC and leave for California in August. Until then, the 4.0 grade-point average student from Omaha won’t forget his experiences in Beatrice.

“I was very fortunate to be able to attend SCC,” he said. “I have made connections with teammates, coaches and teachers that will last a lifetime. No matter where I end up, SCC will always be home to me.”

Other SCC players who recently committed to Division I schools: Sophomore Ben Weber, a pitcher from Millard North, will play at Kansas State University; and sophomore Tyler Mattingley, a pitcher from Thornton, Colorado, will play at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

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Andrea Gallagher
Marketing Specialist
402-323-3395
agallagher@southeast.edu