#STINGDAILY: Georgia Tech Summer Baseball Update

July 10, 2012

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

July Fourth marks the midpoint of the Major League Baseball season. It’s also a significant time around the various summer leagues.

Here is a look around at how the Yellow Jackets did in their games from Monday, July 2, through Sunday, July 8.

Cape Cod Baseball League

Sam Dove, OF/3B, Harwich Mariners – Dove hit .111 for the week (2-for-18), but came on as the week was ending, getting hits on Friday and Sunday. The Mariners won both games. Dove’s slump dropped his average to .250, but he still boasts a sold .378 on-base percentage, having drawn four walks during the week, and a .412 slugging average. Dove saw some time at second base and was rock solid, contributing to a pair of double plays in Thursday night’s 4-0 win over Orleans.

Zane Evans, C/RHP, Harwich Mariners – After missing the beginning of the week, accompanying Daniel Palka to the TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby, Evans came back putting up zeroes. He threw an inning each on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, striking out six batters, two in each appearance, while walking just one and allowing only one run and three hits. Evans recorded his third save of the summer on Saturday against Chatham despite allowing a run and two hits. The run was his first of the summer in eight appearances (covering eight innings). Evans’ six K’s — he faced 13 hitters — give him 11 against only three walks and lowered his opposing batting average to .219. At the plate, Evans went 0-3 on Saturday against the Anglers.

Mott Hyde, SS, Wareham Gatemen – Hyde had another dynamic week, batting .364 (8-for-22), with a pair of doubles and an RBI. He finished with a flourish, batting 8-for-16 from Thursday through Sunday. Hyde had three multi-hit games, including his third three-hit game of the summer. Unfortunately, despite his going 5-for-7 on Saturday and Sunday, the Gatemen dropped a pair of 5-2 decisions, to Cotuit and at Brewster. Hyde is hitting .312 for the summer, with a .354 on-base percentage.

Dusty Isaacs, RHP, Cotuit Kettleers – Isaacs made a pair of relief appearances, but got no decisions, allowing a total of three earned runs in eight innings of work. He allowed two runs in 4 1/3 on Tuesday night in the 3-1 loss at Falmouth, then threw 3 2/3 innings of three-hit, one-run relief in the Kettleers’ 14-8 win over Hyannis. Isaacs struck out seven batters, including a summer-high five in the game at Falmouth and has now whiffed a dozen hitters in 13 1/3 innings. By allowing three earned runs over his last 11 2/3 innings, Isaacs has lowered his ERA to 2.70. He’d been at 5.40 after his initial outing on June 17th.

Daniel Palka, 1B/LHP/OF, Wareham Gatemen – Energized by his invite to Omaha for the TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby, Palka hit a team-high .467 (7-for-15) with two homers, five RBIs and three runs scored. He also led the team with a .579 on-base percentage and .867 slugging percentage. Palka was the Gatemen’s top threat, as his batting average was 103 points higher than his nearest teammate (Hyde), his on-base average was 129 points higher than the nearest Gateman and his slugging percentage was more than 317 points higher than the nearest teammate. For the summer, Palka is batting .307, with six homers (best in the West), and 19 RBIs (second).

Cole Pitts, RHP, Harwich Mariners – Pitts made one relief appearance, pitching a third of an inning in Friday night’s 5-3 loss to Chatham. Entering the game in the bottom of the seventh, Pitts hit the first batter he faced then allowed a single before striking out the third and final batter he faced. Pitts has an 8.10 ERA in six appearances but has an outstanding strikeouts-to-walks ratio of 11-1 and has not walked a batter in his last five appearances, covering 5 2/3 innings.

NOTE: The Harwich Mariners sit at 15-6 in first place in the East, after a 5-2 week, which began with a four-game winning streak. They lead the division by one game over Orleans.

In the West, Cotuit, which endured a five-game losing streak and a 1-6 week, sits in second place at 11-10, one game behind Falmouth, while Wareham, which went 3-3, is third two games off the pace and one game behind the Kettleers at 10-11.

Valley League

Alex Cruz, RHP, Harrisonburg Turks – Cruz made two stellar appearances, throwing 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits overall, while striking out eight and walking one. Against Haymarket on Monday, Cruz entered in the fifth, and allowed only one hit over the final 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one, in the 5-2 loss. Against Woodstock on Saturday, he allowed only two hits in 2 2/3 innings, striking out two more. For the summer, Cruz is now pitching to 5.20 ERA, with 16 strikeouts vs. six walks.

A.J. Murray, C, Harrisonburg Turks – The freshman catcher had a rough week at the plate, hitting .231 (3-for-13), but he finished with an encouraging 2-for-3 on Saturday in the 6-2 win over Woodstock. He’s hitting .227 for the summer.

Charles Sheffield, OF/1B, Harrisonburg Turks – Sheffield, was red hot’ at the plate during the week, hitting .375 (6-for-16), with a pair of multi-hit games and hits in four of the Turks’ five games. Sheff was cookin’ in the 9-3 win at Strasburg on Thursday, reaching all four times he came to the plate, going 2-for-2 (a pair of RBI doubles), as well as a pair of walks. He also stole a base, his first of the summer. Sheffield moved his batting average to .297, and boasts a .514 slugging percentage, second on the team.

Thomas Smith, 2B, Harrisonburg Turks – Smith had a difficult week, going 3-for-20. He snapped out of a 1-for-16 week by going 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBIs in Saturday’s 6-2 win over Woodstock. Even with tough week, Smith is still raking, hitting .321, with a .426 on-base percentage.

NOTE: Harrisonburg went 2-3 and ended the week at 19-11, in second place, by one game behind the 19-9 Waynesboro Generals in the South Division.

New England Collegiate Baseball League

Chase Butler, 3B, Danbury Westerners – Butler’s .250 average for the week (4-for-16) belies his consistency, as he hit in all four games and has hit in seven of Danbury’s last eight games. Butler finished the week, hitting his first homer of the summer, a two-run shot that sparked a game-tying three-run second inning in Friday’s 12-3 loss. Then, on Saturday, he scored in the first and third innings, as the Westerners jumped on Vermont early then held off the Mountaineers, 12-9. Butler is hitting .220 for the season, but has an impressive .396 on-base percentage and has 10 walks vs. 11 strikeouts.

Paul Kronenfeld, OF/1B, Sanford Mariners – Kronenfeld is showing signs of breaking out, as he hit in his final three games of the week, going 4-for-7 in that stretch. He had two hits, including a double, and scored the only run of the game in Sanford’s 1-0 win in the first game of Friday’s twin-bill at Mystic — The Mainers also took the nightcap, 2-0. Over the last three games, Kronenfeld reached base eight times (four hits and four walks) in 11 plate appearances, a .727 on-base percentage.

Daniel Spingola, OF, Danbury Westerners – The week didn’t end well for Spingola, who went 1 for his last 11, and hit .176 for the week. He began on fire, getting his second straight multi-hit game with a 2-for-6 effort in the 8-4 win at New Bedford, which gave him a 4-for-10 stretch (The game before he’d homered and doubled against Holyoke). For the season the centerfielder is hitting a solid .282, with 20 hits, seven of them for extra bases, giving him a .465 slugging percentage, and defensively, he’s sure-handed, having committed just one error.

NOTE: Danbury had a mixed week, going 2-2, starting well and finishing well but dropping the middle two games. The Westerners sit at 11-13, in third place in the Western Division, eight games off the pace.

Sanford went 1-3 on the week, raising its record to 7-13. The Mainers are fourth in the Eastern Division, a half-game out of third, but 9 1/2 out of first.

Coastal Plain League

Cameron Gibson, OF/RHP, Peninsula Pilots – The freshman outfielder had a superb week, batting .429 (3-for-7) in three games. Gibson came up especially big in Peninsula’s 13-5 win at Morehead City on Thursday, going 2-for-4 (he also reached via walk), scoring twice and driving in two runs with a big seventh-inning single. On Monday, he went 1-for-2 and stole a base. He’s now swiped four bases in five attempts this summer. Gibson enters the week with a .255 average, but a .322 on-base percentage. In 51 at-bats, he’s walked four times and been hit by pitches twice, while only striking out seven times. Defensively, he’s still perfect, having made all 25 chances and chalking up one assist.

Josh Heddinger, RHP, Peninsula Pilots – Josh made one start during the week, lasting 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs (all earned), while striking out two and walking three. He did not earn a decision in the Pilots’ 11-9, 10-inning loss. Heddinger heads into the coming week with a 1-2 record and a 6.23 ERA. He’s allowed 15 runs, but only 17 hits in 21 2/3 innings, while holding batters to a .213 average.

Jonathan Roberts, RHP, Peninsula Pilots – Roberts made two appearances, one in a starting role, the other as a reliever. He went three innings, allowing five runs (all earned) and seven hits in Peninsula’s 12-8 win Wednesday against Petersburg, then went 2 1/3 at Fayetteville on Saturday. He allowed two earned runs but only one hit. Control has been an issue for Roberts, who hit two batters and threw a wild pitch in his start, then hit another batter and walked three in the 8-1 loss against Fayetteville. He has struck out 13 while walking 12 in 12 2/3 innings this summer.

NOTE: Peninsula is 4-3 in the second half, following a 3-3 week. They’re in third place by a half-game and one game off the pace in the East.

Northwoods League

Connor Lynch, C, Lakeshore Chinooks – Lynch had a difficult week, going 1-for-12 (.083) at the plate, but his one hit was important, as he singled, and later scored in a five-run fifth inning on Wednesday in the Chinooks’ 12-4 win at Eau Claire.

NOTE: After finishing tied for third in the first half at 17-18, Lakeshore is 2-1 in the second half, tied for third, one game off the pace in the South Division. They were 2-4 last week.

Sunbelt Baseball League

Michael Hodorowski, OF, Douglasville Bulls – Hodorowski did not see any action last week. He’s batting .257, with a .357 on-base percentage and five stolen bases (second on the team, one off the lead) in six attempts.

DeAndre Smelter, P/OF, Douglasville Bulls – Smelter also did not play last week. He’ll head back into action with a .304 batting average, a .478 on-base percentage and a .696 slugging percentage (second on the team). His two home runs are tied for the lead with two home runs.

NOTE: Douglasville was rained out on Monday, then, in its only action of the week, dropped a pair of 1-0 decisions to the Berkeley Lake Tides on Friday. Even with its current three-game losing streak, the Bulls still hold a game-and-a-half lead over the Home Plate Chukars in the West.

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