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Dillan Shrum hopes to keep dream of playing baseball alive after college

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Dillan Shrum (Nevada Athletics)

Despite leading the nation in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS, Nevada first baseman Dillan Shrum wasn't named to Collegiate Baseball's All-American team Thursday. But don't go looking for incendiary quotes from Shrum on that snub. He's just happy the Wolf Pack is still playing baseball in June.

“I know it’s great to have those accolades and everything, but just having the things that I’ve had through the years has definitely humbled me," Shrum said on the eve of Nevada's NCAA Regional game against UC Irvine on Friday at 6 p.m. at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto, Calif. "I definitely came a far ways from where I was when I first started playing baseball. I never thought in a million years I’d still be playing college baseball and possibly having a future after this. Honestly, just every day I’m very grateful for where I’m at.”

Shrum has overcome a litany of injuries during his Wolf Pack career, including three surgeries during his time in college. Now in his fifth season at Nevada after last year was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, Shrum had his best season yet, hitting .479 and slugging .992. He smacked 15 homers and 15 doubles in 33 games and drove in 47 runs while scoring 35 times.

Despite not earning All-American honors Thursday, he was named the MW's Tony Gwynn Player of the Year.

“Honestly, I was in shock,” Shrum said of receiving that award. “I found out as we were coming off the bus, driving over to practice. I knew there was small glimpse I might have had a shot. I was just surprised to see that. I’m very thankful.”

Shrum also was the Wolf Pack's top male scholar-athlete in all sports this year and wants to be a surgeon in the future thanks to all of the injuries he's had to overcome. But his more immediate goal after college is to try and have a pro career, a dream that's more realistic after his breakout senior season.

“There’s always that glimpse of hope to keep playing and all that stuff," Shrum said. "Since I was four years old this is what I’ve always wanted to do. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t want to further my baseball going forward.”

Shrum said he plans to achieve that dream by sticking to the same formula that made him one of the nation's top hitters this season.

“Just hard work,” Shrum said. “As much as this is an individual award, it’s more of a team award to me because showing up every day and being around all the guys, having them push me to be the person I know I can be when you’re in your lowest of lows and highest of highs, it’s more of a team award than an individual award."

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