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PRC alum Hayden Dunhurst is living the dream after being drafted by the Royals out of Ole Miss

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One of the biggest moments in a college baseball player’s life that he can only dream of is winning the College World Series in Omaha and hearing his name in the MLB First Year Player Draft.

Today, Pearl River Central alum Hayden Dunhurst is leaving for Kansas City after trying out both in less than a month for Ole Miss Rebels.

“After winning it I kind of passed out for a while. We went to our dog pile and I was at the bottom of it. I definitely remember that part. It was one of the most excruciating pains I’ve been through. But it felt really cool to make other people feel proud of us. It made my heart Really feels comfortable.”

As a catcher, being the first dog on the mound is just part of the territory, but Hayden Donhurst seems to find himself at the bottom more than most, not only catching the final game of baseball’s first-ever national championship at Ole Miss in 2022, but also the first All-time state title at Pearl River Central in 2017. “Winning our first-ever high school championship and then winning our first-ever national championship, both from Mississippi sounds really cool. Hopefully that’s something I can remember one day.” But it would be a blessing, man.”

(So, the only thing left is the World Championship then, right?) Sure. Let’s get the third one, huh?

Perhaps the unsung hero in the Rebels’ run to immortality, Dunhurst was a mainstay of a pitching staff that allowed just 25 catches in 11 NCAA Tournament games.

The former Blue Devil also knocked out 39 percent of base stealers during his time at Oxford to go along with a career home run of 18.

Less than three weeks after winning the College World Series, the Kansas City Royals drafted a future catcher in the sixth round with the 175th overall pick. “I saw that Derrick Diamond had been selected by me, so I had just taken a video of him, and I was I had just sat on my phone, and then I heard my name being called, and I was next to my mom and dad and a couple of my friends, and we just celebrated. We just hugged. We jumped up and down together, and we just said it was time to go to work now.”

The Carriere kid never went to a Royals game, but as fate would have it, Kauffman Stadium is the first major league park his dad ever went to as a kid.

That memory carried over to Dunhurst, who grew up with a painting of that very field in his room. “Definitely different. I never thought about it, and then my mom showed me pictures of my kid’s doors and the stuff in there with the paintings and everything and my grandmother being in there, so it was kind of emotional for me a little bit getting to that point.”

Dunhurst is already showing the tools in rookie ball with a . 429 batting average and a pair of doubles across three games.

Next stop after KC is Arizona for junior spring training where the rest of his life begins and dreams come true. “Honestly, getting out of the National Championship I still honestly feel like it didn’t hurt you sometimes, going from the National Championship to being drafted are two of the biggest things I’ve dreamed of since I was four years old – I’ve done it before, so I don’t feel like I’ve done it.” Really, but it looks cool.”

Royals catcher Salvador Perez is only one year off from hitting 48 home runs, the most ever by a catcher in a single season. Danhorst says he’s looking forward to picking his brain.

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