Anthony Vega is back with the Ducks for the playoff run, but with one catch . . . he has to bring his homework with him.
The 26-year-old Patchogue native left the Ducks in mid-August to complete his computer engineering degree at the University of Arizona. Thanks to some understanding professors, he was allowed to take his work on the road with him as he helps the Ducks in their quest for a fourth Atlantic League championship.
“I just got permission from my teachers, and as long as I’m able to stay on top of the work, which I assured them that I would be, then I’d be able to miss the classes,” Vega said.
He went 1-for-4 with an RBI Wednesday night in the Ducks’ 7-1 loss to the Somerset Patriots in the opener of the Liberty Division championship series at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip. “I had one exam that I have to take, and I had to move some stuff around with a couple labs that I had. It’s not going to be easy, this week or for however long I’m here for the playoffs. But I think I can make it work.”
Vega did not start in Game 2 Thursday night.
Should the Ducks advance to their second consecutive league championship series, Vega would have to fly back to Arizona Monday or Tuesday to take a test in his advanced engineering and mathematics class. He will have to take an exam for another class online this weekend.
“I plan to do much of my schoolwork before I come to the field,” Vega said. “I’ll come here, do everything I need to do before the game, and then in the down time between batting practice and the game, I’ll see if I can do some work. When it’s game time, it’s game time, and after I’ll see how much time I have before I go to sleep and do some schoolwork.”
Vega hit .245 with three home runs, 19 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 57 games with the Ducks before departing for academia.
“He’s a spark plug,” Ducks manager Kevin Baez said. “He’s an outstanding runner. He plays very good defense, can swing the bat and give us that added depth in the outfield.”