#STINGDAILY: Summer Baseball Leagues Update

July 23, 2012

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

As the summer leagues head into their stretch drives, Georgia Tech players were making their presence felt, be it in league all-star games or within their various leagues.

Here is a look around at how the Yellow Jackets did in their various leagues in games from Monday, July 16, through Sunday, July 22.

Cape Cod Baseball League

Sam Dove, OF/3B, Harwich Mariners – Dove struggled at the plate hitting .182 in four games (4-for-22), with six strikeouts, but hit in four of the Mariners’ six games, drew three walks, scored three runs and drove in four more. Two of those RBIs came on his third homer of the summer, a blast in the middle of the Mariners’ seven-run fourth inning Wednesday that sunk Falmouth, 7-5.

Zane Evans, C/RHP, Harwich Mariners – Evans neither pitched nor caught this week, DHing twice. Evans had a tough time, going 0-for-9, with six strikeouts (three in each game). He is hitting .128 for the summer.

Mott Hyde, SS, Wareham Gatemen – Pick your synonym for hot and it will describe Hyde. In four games, the shortstop batted .538 (7-for-13), with a .667 on-base percentage and six runs scored — all team highs. He scored in every game and finished the weekend on a streak of three straight multi-hit games, getting two each on Friday vs. Hyannis, and Sunday against Brewster, with a three-hit game at Falmouth in-between. Hyde also had a .769 slugging percentage, with three doubles. Hyde raised his batting average 28 points to .330, and pushed his slugging percentage up 36 points, to .505.

Dusty Isaacs, RHP, Cotuit Kettleers – Isaacs did not pitch this week. He headed into the this week with his ERA down to 2.20, and he’s struck out 16 in 16 1/3 innings, having allowed one run and three hits, while striking out six and walking one in his last two appearances, covering 6 2/3 innings. He’s been rewarded for his effectiveness with two wins. He is 2-0 on the summer.

Daniel Palka, 1B/LHP/OF, Wareham Gatemen – Palka was as hot as Hyde, hitting .357 for the week (5-for-14), while slugging a team-high .857, with a double, and two homers and six RBIs (his homers and RBIs led the team). He had a .500 on-base percentage, drawing four walks while striking out once. Palka, who scored four runs during the week, hit in all four games and rides a five-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .412 (7-for-17). He’s also driven in a run in each of those five games. He raised his average 10 points for the week, to .290, increased his slugging percentage 41 points to .579 and his OPS 62 points to .955.

Cole Pitts, RHP, Harwich Mariners – Pitts did not appear this week. He’ll try to bounce back from a rocky performance his last time out, when he allowed three earned runs on three hits in a third of an inning. He carries a 12:1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio into the week, although he’s struck out only one hitter in his last three appearances, covering 2.0 innings.

NOTE: Harwich is 20-12 and in first place in the East after a 4-2 week, which started and ended with losses but had a four-game winning streak in between. The Mariners lead the division by a half-game over Yarmouth-Dennis and by one game over Orleans.

In the West, Cotuit went 3-1 (two games were postponed), having won three in a row. They allowed one run in each of the wins, and lead the West with its 18-12 record, five games ahead of the sinking Falmouth Commodores. Wareham, went 2-2, also having two postponements, and sits in third, five games off the pace at 13-17.

Valley League

Alex Cruz, RHP, Harrisonburg Turks – Cruz didn’t appear until the ninth inning on Sunday against Rockbridge, but it was an inning that had a little bit of everything. He entered the game in the top of the ninth as a pinch-hitter and singled. Cruz would come around to score on a bases-loaded walk to Yellow Jackets teammate Charles Sheffield. He’d then start the bottom of the ninth inning at third. When the Rapids cut the lead to 12-8 and brought the tying run to the plate, Cruz came in to pitch and struck out the only batter he faced, recording his 18th strikeout of the summer and earning his second save.

A.J. Murray, C, Harrisonburg Turks – The freshman catcher was 1-for-7 but ended on a positive, as he pinch-hit and singled in the ninth inning Sunday in the 12-8 win at Lexington. Unfortunately, he was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double. Murray also drove in a run on Thursday, with a sixth-inning ground out (scoring Sheffield) at Staunton, to cut the Turks’ deficit to 5-2 — it preceded a 12-run frame by the Braves in the 19-3 loss. Murray is hitting .226 with three homers and 13 RBIs.

Charles Sheffield, OF/1B, Harrisonburg Turks – Sheffield batted .235 (4-for-17), but had hits in four of the team’s five games. He showed good plate discipline, as he walked five times, including three times on Sunday. He scored twice and drove in a run. Sheffield, who is hitting .276, also swiped his second base of the summer. He is 2-for-6 overall.

Thomas Smith, 2B, Harrisonburg Turks – Smith had a tough week at the plate, hitting .176 (3-for-17) but hit his first triple of the summer, in the first inning of Tuesday’s game at Waynesboro. The hit gave the Turks a 1-0 lead, but would be the only run they’d score in the 5-1 loss. He also had an adventurous week on defense, as, in addition to playing his usual second base, Smith saw action at short on Thursday at Staunton and Sunday at Lexington, and played both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader with New Market and Sunday at third. Despite the juggling, he made just one error all week.

NOTE: Harrisonburg went 2-3 and lost two games in the standings on first place Waynesboro. The Turks ended the week at 26-15, still in second place but three games back of the Generals in the South Division.

New England Collegiate Baseball League

Chase Butler, 3B, Danbury Westerners – Butler was 0-for-3 with a walk as DH in Monday’s 4-2 loss to Holyoke. He is hitting .193 with a homer and eight RBIs.

Paul Kronenfeld, OF/1B, Sanford Mariners – Kronenfeld was one of the few Mainers to swing the bat well, hitting .308 for the week (4-for-13). He started the week on a roll, getting hits in four of his first five at-bats, including a three-hit effort on Monday in the 4-0 loss to New Bedford. It was his first three-hit game of the summer and third multi-hit game. He also extended his perfect base-stealing streak to four. His second-inning single against Laconia extended his hitting streak to six games, but that streak would end the next night in the 8-0 loss to the Muskrats. Although he trailed off over the weekend, carrying an 0-for-8 drought into the weekend, it’s only the third time all season he’s gone hitless in back-to-back games. He has yet to go hitless in three straight.

Daniel Spingola, OF, Danbury Westerners – Spingola had another outstanding week, batting .353 (6-for-16), with an .824 slugging percentage and a 1.274 OPS. He hit in four of Danbury’s five games with a pair of multi-hit games. Of his six hits, four of them were for extra bases, as he blasted a pair of homers (accounting for his two RBIs for the week) and had two doubles. He finished the week as one of the Westerner’s seven representatives at the All-Star Game. He went 0-for-2 in the game. He also scored six runs. Spingola raised his average nine points, to .306, increased his slugging 49 points to .565 (second on the team) raised his OPS 68 points to .924.

NOTE: Danbury went 3-1 and headed into the break on a three-game winning streak. The Westerners are 8-2 in their last 10 games and, at 19-15, are in second place in the Western Division, four games back of the Keene Swamp Bats.

Sanford went 2-2 on the week, with one game cancelled. The Mainers, who scored only six runs all week and were shutout in both losses, are in third place in the Eastern Division at 11-18. They are 11 games off the pace.

Coastal Plain League

Cameron Gibson, OF/RHP, Peninsula Pilots – The freshman outfielder had a rough week at the plate, batting .133 (2-for-15), with five strikeouts, he scored two runs, drove in a run and continued his flawless play not only in the outfield, but also at first base. Defensively, Gibson is still perfect, having made all 43 chances and chalking up two assists.

Josh Heddinger, RHP, Peninsula Pilots – Josh continued his outstanding work in his one start, allowing two runs (both earned) and four hits over 6 2/3 innings on Tuesday at Morehead City. Heddinger, who got no decision in the Pilots’ 4-3 loss, had bouts with his control, walking six, vs. two strikeouts, but saw his ERA drop to 4.21. His opposing batting average is .173.

Jonathan Roberts, RHP, Peninsula Pilots – Roberts did not see action in any of the five games this past week.

NOTE: Peninsula is 8-10 in the second half, following a 3-2 week. They’re tied for fourth place in the East, with the Wilson Tobs.

Northwoods League

Connor Lynch, C, Lakeshore Chinooks – Lynch had a solid week, batting .273 (3-for-11), with a double. He scored a run, drove in a run and even stole his first base of the summer on the back end of a double-steal in the seventh inning on Sunday against the Green Bay Bullfrogs. Earlier in the inning, his RBI single drove in what proved to be the winning run in the Chinooks’ 4-3 win.

NOTE: After a 4-3 week, Lakeshore is 9-8 in the second half and has dropped into a third-place tie with the La Crosse Loggers in the South Division, six games back of the first place Wisconsin Woodchucks.

Sunbelt Baseball League

DeAndre Smelter, P/OF, Douglasville Bulls – Following his playing in the Sunbelt Baseball League All-Star Game, Smelter had another solid week, hitting .313 (5-for-16), with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. He also drew four walks in compiling a .450 on-base percentage. DeAndre stole his sixth base in the sixth inning Thursday night against the Windward Braves but was caught stealing for the first time one batter later.

NOTE: Douglasville was 1-4 in a frustrating week that saw all four losses decided by one run.

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