Conlan shines on WBC stage with Philippines

Infielder joined by fellow Cal State Dominguez Hills standout Ramirez

Conlan shines on WBC stage with Philippines

SYDNEY -- The great thing about the World Baseball Classic is the number of stories that make up the competing countries' rosters.
 
One such tale is how a Division II college in the shadows of the StubHub Center just south of Los Angeles put two players on Team Philippines.

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Philippines eliminated by New Zealand

Though Brady Conlan and Devon Bryce Ramirez did not know one another when Conlan stepped foot on the Cal State Dominguez Hills campus a few years back, something caught his eye on the back of the former Toro Ramirez.
 
"He left before I came into Dominguez," Conlan said of Ramirez. "My first year at Dominguez, I saw him come back decked out in Philippines gear, and I was like, 'Dude, let me get on that team. I'm Filipino.' That kind of set the table for me."
 
Conlan continued to inquire. Former Philippines manager Jimmy Ramos, who has spent three decades at conference rival Cal Poly Pomona and coached the team at the last Qualifier, was Conlan's way in.
 
"When I heard about it, I kept asking, 'Who do I have to talk to? I really want to play for them. I would love to represent the Philippines,'" said Conlan. "It was a blessing. It got through and approved by the NCAA. I was really happy."

Conlan impressed current Philippines manager Tim Hulett, especially following an early two-run homer against New Zealand in Friday's 17-7 loss that eliminated the Philippines from the Qualifier at Blacktown International Sportspark.
 
"He's really swung the bat the whole series," said Hulett.
 
Conlan has also benefited from former Major Leaguers Clay Rapada and Chris Aguila on the Team Philippines roster. 
 
"I was just picking their brains, talking to them as much as I could, and it is a rare opportunity," said Conlan. "It was an absolute honor. Both games were a dog fight, and we were really in it and stuck together. It is tough toward the end of the games, but it was a great experience."

SYDNEY QUALIFIER SCHEDULE/RESULTS

Thursday

South Africa 7, New Zealand 1
Australia 11, Philippines 1

Friday

New Zealand 17, Philippines 7
Australia 4, South Africa 1

Saturday

New Zealand (1-1) vs. South Africa (1-1)
6:30 p.m. local, 2:30 a.m. ET
Watch: Live on MLB Network, MLB.com and WorldBaseballClassic.com
ESPN Pac-Rim delayed to 12:30 p.m. local

Sunday

Australia vs. Winner of NZL-RSA
2 p.m. local, 10 p.m. ET on Saturday
Watch: Live on MLB Network, MLB.com and WorldBaseballClassic.com
ESPN Pac-Rim delayed to 11 p.m. local

Niall Adler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.