In early June, Von Tungeln was still in school, playing with TCU in college baseball's Super Regionals Tournament. That's when he was drafted by the Rockies, and although he admitted it was hard at the time to block out thoughts of starting his professional career, he also knew the challenge would help lead him to bigger things.
The Tri-City outfielder only started thinking about his transition after TCU was eliminated, and it was then he knew he would forgo his senior year and join the Rockies organization.
"I love TCU, but I'm at a point in my life where I wanted to see how I could do in my professional career," Von Tungeln said. "If it ends up not working out, I'll always have school to go back to."
Faced with a quick transition to professional baseball, Von Tungeln has gotten off to a quick start. Just eight games in, he's hitting .385 (10-for-26) with five RBIs, five walks and eight runs scored. The Dust Devils are 6-2 with him in the lineup and have climbed to second place in the East Division. Now at 13-13, they were 7-11 before he joined the club.
Von Tungeln has had no trouble adjusting to playing baseball on a daily basis. In fact, it's a welcome change of pace for him, and may even be a bit less stressful than college, where he was pursuing a major in Communications and a minor in Criminal Justice.
"College baseball is a grind," he said. "You have academics and all that to go along with baseball."
Having played against some of the nation's top talent while in college, he hasn't felt much pressure adjusting to professional pitching, either. Thanks to a few summers he spent playing in the Cape Cod League, he even knew the nuances of swinging a wooden bat.
Tri-City's coaching staff allows Von Tungeln, a relatively new arrival to the Northwest League, to swing freely as they look for any tweaks they might need to make in his approach. His timing required an adjustment early, but since addressing that, his stat line has continually improved.
Adding to the pressure is the realization that all of his peers are aiming for the same dream he is. Rather than dwell on that, Von Tungeln makes daily and weekly goals for himself, and that keeps him focused.
"This is a great, great competitive sport," he said. "It's motivating to know there are other people out there looking to play better than you. I can only control what I can do to get better every day."
Through it all, his professional debut has yielded little nerves, which has surprised Von Tungeln himself. A trip to Coors Field, though, may actually yield a butterfly or two in his stomach.
"Now, you just go relax and play the game," he said. "I'm sure that if I were to play [at Coors Field], I'd have a lot of nerves."
Bronco Derby: The Boise Hawks are hosting the fifth-annual Boise State Football Summer Classic on July 21, in which the college football team's offense and defense square off against each other in a softball game. A Home Run Derby precedes the event, which costs $5 per ticket. All proceeds benefit First Tee of Idaho, which works to bring educational programs to youth through the game of golf.
Super baseball: The Eugene Emeralds are hosting Super Hero Night on July 20, and the first 1,000 fans 14-and-under will receive a superhero cape. The game will also feature cameos from popular super heroes.
Future Mariner? Third overall pick Mike Zunino will make his professional debut with the Everett AquaSox on Friday. The Mariners prospect completed his collegiate career with Florida in June in which he won the Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top amateur player.
He said it: "He got here [Tuesday] night and the first thing he did was send me a text that said, 'Hey, can I get some swings in the cage?'" AquaSox manager Rob Mummau to the Everett Herald about Zunino's eagerness to start playing.