The Collegiate League of the Palm Beaches would like to introduce Riley Carter, a San Diego native who now lives in Colorado. He is a first baseman on the Juno Beach Loggerheads, playing in the CLPB for the first time. Carter broke out in a big way Monday with a home run and 5 RBI in the Loggerheads’ 15-6 win over the Jupiter Wave.
The path for Carter to get to the CLPB has certainly been an adventure, and that’s why Dominic Stearn chose to shine the spotlight on him. Here’s their conversation:
Q: How much fun have you had playing in the Palm Beaches so far on the Juno Beach Loggerheads?
A: So far, it’s been an absolute blast. There’s nowhere I’d rather be right now than Florida. I’ve honestly met some of the best dudes so far, and we have a great time together. There’s nothing better than having a bunch of guys from different colleges, and you just click like you’ve been teammates for the past year. It’s such a special experience.
Q: Just watching some of your games, you guys have a lot of fun together. How did you guys gel so quickly?
A: We just chilled by talking to each other when we had our first practice at Gardens Park. We just tossed the ball around a little and chatted with each other and it just naturally happened. It’s a close friendship that we have now.
Q: You had a non-linear path to getting to the CLPB. You haven’t played competitive collegiate baseball since 2020. How has the adjustment process been for you?
A: Good question. It’s been easy to adapt knowing that I belong at this level. I feel like I fit in, but obviously the stats and my performance will come within my training. I’ve been going to Cressey and utilizing the cages over there. Just going from that path, I fell into some unlucky situations, but being back, it’s like I never left.
Q: I know how pumped you were to go play at Air Force and then eventually represent our country. Unfortunately, things didn’t all work out. How were you able to rebound from being taken out of the Air Force?
A: You know what, I just found my love is still in baseball. I had to keep going and turn the page because all you can do is just move on from it. There’s no rewind button. So when I did that, I tried to go to West Georgia and that’s when COVID happened and I went back to California. I haven’t really been playing, but I was training. I still got my hitting coaches and was utilizing training facilities.
Q: What did you learn about yourself and your time between playing at the University of West Georgia before you came out here to Palm Beach while you were in Colorado?
A: I realized how much I missed the game and how much I wanted to compete. That was the biggest thing. I wanted to be on the field so bad. I learned that if I really do want this opportunity, I have to train and I have to keep training like a division one athlete. Just by doing that, I stayed in shape and was blessed I got another opportunity recently at Bushnell University in Oregon.
Q: How excited are you to go play baseball at Bushnell?
A: I’m stoked, man. I’m super stoked. It’s an opportunity I was waiting to have and I had to earn it through blood, sweat, and tears. My family helped me out a ton, as well as my friends. They’re super supportive, and I think it’s the right choice for me.
Q: What are you most excited about playing at Bushnell?
A: I’m actually super excited to play for coach Tommy Richards and with our hitting coach, coach Womack. They really have a solid mind on the vision of the program, and we just got a new facility and field. They also have a brand new locker room, clubhouse, and they got TrackMan and Rapsodo. They like to get in the lab and work. Coach Richards has a great goal. He wants us to come here as men and he wants to have a program of faith. He’s really looking forward to running a new program and doing it the right way and opening a history book and writing on page one.
Q: How excited are you for the challenge to help start up a new program?
A: I think that’s honestly what really sold me as well. I just think it’s one of the coolest things to be a brand new team with no expectations, right? So going forward, whatever happens is gonna be the expectation of the program going forward. I wanna make sure we start off as best we can and, and doing that’s gonna take a lot of adversity and a lot of grit, which is good.
Q: You made a DJ party mix that was over an hour long and it got over a couple million listens. What inspired you to make that?
A: That was over COVID. I just wanted to learn how to DJ because I couldn’t really go outside. I was just kind of tweaking around with it and kinda messing with the dials and started to learn how to DJ. I made a mix that I thought was fun, and I put it on TikTok. It got 40,000 views, then it got like a quarter million views. Someone told me to post it on SoundCloud, so I did. Now it’s up to 2.4 million listens as my only song.
Q: Do you have future aspirations to make another one,
A: I have thought about it. I have something I kind of worked on, but I need to focus on baseball first. Maybe I’ll complete it when I get home.
Q: You’re from San Diego. Are the Padres going to win the 2022 World Series?
A: Absolutely. No doubt in my mind.