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Patient Boyd coming on strong for Bulldogs

Logan Boyd waited patiently to get his shot with the College of San Mateo baseball team.

And, when that opportunity finally arose, the 2005 South Medford graduate pounced on it like a hanging curveball.

Boyd has flourished since taking over starting duties in right field 17 games into the season for the College of San Mateo Bulldogs. The left-hander is batting .307 with 34 RBIs and is tied for the team lead in home runs with eight, while hitting anywhere from the fourth to sixth spot in the order for the junior college in San Mateo, Calif.

In the 25 games since Boyd entered the starting lineup, the Bulldogs have gone 22-3, including a current 17-game winning streak, and wrapped up their fifth consecutive Coast Conference North championship.

Logan has a lot of enthusiasm and a great work ethic, says 12th-year San Mateo coach Doug Williams. He's a real positive young man and a great kid to have on the team.

— Boyd, who is roommates with another former Panther, Tyler Heil, initially struggled to adjust to the pace of the college game and his new, out-of-state surroundings.

I was shaky at first, says Boyd of his slow start. My confidence is way up there now.

I found that college (baseball) is a lot more mental than high school. In high school you can just go on ability. You can't do that in college.

The big breakout for Boyd came at the start of conference play.

The 6-foot, 205-pounder erupted for two home runs, including a grand slam, as the Bulldogs blew by Cabrillo College, 24-1, on March 24.

Boyd also capped the regular season in style with three hits, a home run and five RBIs in a 12-6 victory over Gavilian.

Logan has really matured as the season went along, says third-year assistant coach Brian Vogel, who works with the outfielders and is the hitting coach. He came in as a strong kid, but was kind of green and inexperienced.

He didn't get a lot of playing time at the start but he stayed with it and worked his butt off.

Heil, too, has excelled with the Bulldogs. The third baseman hit .313 with a home run and finished the regular season third in stolen bases with 12.

It's been great having him around, says Boyd of Heil. It was tough to adjust to at first, not having anyone tell you what to do. Tyler and I have helped each other out.

I figured my time would come, adds Boyd. I just had to be ready.

Boyd was a first-team all-Southern Oregon Conference outfielder last year with South Medford and starred for the Medford Mustangs American Legion AAA squad during the summer.

Baseball was still fresh in his mind when he began to look at colleges.

I knew I wanted to go somewhere and play, Boyd says. I was sure of that.

Heil, a longtime friend who moved from Medford to Reno, Nevada for his senior year, first informed Boyd of San Mateo.

The two then began inquiring with Williams about the team.

As a rule, San Mateo can't actively recruit outside a 50- to -60-mile radius around the Bay Area. Boyd, after speaking with Heil, initially found program information from the internet.

Tyler found us, says Williams, and he and Logan talked a little bit and initiated some contact with us.

We knew (Boyd) was very athletic and, when we did our checking on him, found nothing but high marks.

Both on and off the field, San Mateo has a history of promoting success for its players.

Over the last 11 years, 131 of 138 players in the program have transferred to a four-year school or signed a professional contract.

On the field, the Bulldogs, out of 93 California junior college teams, reached the Final Four in the postseason in 2003 and '04. San Mateo finished one game away from the Final Four last season.

I knew it was a very good program, Boyd says. It's really a great situation to be in.

The Bulldogs (31-9-2 overall), ranked fourth in Northern California, will look towards another deep run into the postseason when they host Game — of a best-of-three playoff series on May 13.

Boyd revels in his and the team's success.

I'm having a great time, he says. Baseball has always come natural to me. I just love being out there.

Now that his time has come, Boyd's not about to let it go.

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483 or e-mail Patient Boyd coming on strong for Bulldogs"kgoff@mailtribune.com.