When Riley Reynolds was 10 years old, his Mac-N-Seitz Indians baseball team played in a tournament in Omaha, Neb., where they got to witness the College World Series.

When Riley Reynolds was 10 years old, his Mac-N-Seitz Indians baseball team played in a tournament in Omaha, Neb., where they got to witness the College World Series.

“I remember sitting in the outfield seats, watching the players, and they all seemed so big – just like major leaguers,” said Reynolds, a Blue Springs South High School graduate who is now one of those College World Series participants as the starting second baseman for Vanderbilt University.

“I thought when I was 10 that playing in the College World Series would be the coolest thing ever – and now that I’m getting to do it,” Reynolds added on the phone from Omaha Thursday night. “It really is cool. It’s unbelievable – like playing in the Rose Bowl in football or the Final Four in basketball.”

Reynolds said he and the Commodores were enjoying getting the star treatment.

“We get off the team bus and go into the hotel lobby and little kids are coming up and asking to sign a baseball or a cap. Me?” he said. “I remember wanting to ask the players for their autographs when I was a kid, so I sign everything. It’s really a lot of fun.”

Reynolds, a former three-sport standout at Blue Springs South, has his own cheering section in Omaha, as a number of friends, family members and former Jaguars baseball coach Richard Wood sported Reynolds No. 8 T-shirts to the first game.

“We had about 15 or 20 people wearing the shirts,” said Wood, who will return to Omaha today where the 54-11 Commodores (2-1 in the World Series) need a win over Florida in a 1 p.m. elimination game to continue their quest for a World Series title. “We were at the first game, which they won against North Carolina, so I think we brought them good luck. I get off work at 7 a.m. this morning (following a night shift at Ameristar Casino) and am heading up to Omaha.

“I wish I could tell you what it’s like to watch one of your former players play in the College World Series, but I can’t put it into words. We all knew that Riley was a special player – but you look out on the field and there’s Riley Reynolds hitting and playing second base in the College World Series.

“How on earth can you pass up the opportunity to watch that?”

Wood said he also felt a bit like a celebrity, because of his No. 8 Reynolds T-shirt.

“I got stopped by a cop who asked me if I was related to Riley,” said Wood, who explained that he was his high school coach. “The cop said, ‘You know, he’s (former Nebraska running back star) Bobby Reynolds’ grandson. We all remember Bobby.’

“It was just a cool experience. And yes, I’m wearing the shirt again on Friday.”

Reynolds, whose brother, Drew, was a golfer at Nebraska, said he tried to spot his special fan base during Wednesday night’s must-win 5-1 victory over North Carolina, which eliminated the Tar Heels from the World Series.

“They were in the upper deck, and I could see the shirts, but I couldn’t see my name or number,” said Reynolds, who is hitting .333 with 18 RBIs, 26 runs and four stolen bases along with a .995 fielding percentage entering today’s game. “I saw them at the hotel after the game. Pretty cool. You know, my mom and dad are driving up, then driving home after every game, and Coach Wood is making the trip.

“I’m even getting text messages from teachers who I didn’t even have for a class at South wishing me good luck. That means a lot to me.”

When asked if he might spend a sleepless Thursday night anticipating today’s must-win game against Florida, Reynolds just laughed.

“No way – I always get my sleep,” he said. “Baseball is a game. A game is supposed to be fun, and this is the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’m really savoring every minute. I may never get back here again, and I’m going to enjoy it.”