#STINGDAILY: Summer Baseball Update

July 16, 2012

Georgia Tech’s boys of summer were plenty busy during the past week, as the summer leagues were in full swing.

Here is a look around at how the Yellow Jackets did in their various leagues in games from Monday, July 9, through Sunday, July 15.

Cape Cod Baseball League

Sam Dove, OF/3B, Harwich Mariners – Dove struggled at the plate hitting .188 in four games (2-for-15), with an uncharacteristic seven strikeouts. He did have a key at-bat in the Mariner’s lone win of the week, as his ninth-inning sacrifice bunt resulted in a run-scoring error and began the scoring in a five-run ninth in the Mariners’ come-from-behind 9-6 win at Wareham.

Zane Evans, C/RHP, Harwich Mariners – Evans had a mixed week, as he registered a save but also endured a blown save. On Tuesday, at Wareham, Evans had his typical 1-2-3 ninth in the 9-6 win over Wareham. He struck out two Gatemen, including Tech teammate Mott Hyde to end the game. Two nights later, however, Evans couldn’t get the final out, suffering a blown save, as the Mariners fell, 4-3, at Brewster. He allowed four earned runs on three hits, two walks and a hit-batsman. The outing raised his ERA to 4.66 for the summer. His strikeouts-to-walks ratio is still nearly 3:1, as he’s whiffed 14 while walking five. Evans was 1-for-4 at the plate against the Whitecaps, contributing to the eighth-inning rally that extended the lead to 3-0. He’s hitting .238 for the summer.

Mott Hyde, SS, Wareham Gatemen – Hyde had the power this week, as in five games he blasted three homers and drove in seven runs (both team highs). He added a double to give him a .789 slugging average for the week (second on the team). The highlight of the week came Saturday at Orleans, when he drove in five runs, including an eighth-inning, game-winning grand slam. Hyde is hitting .302 for the summer, with a .469 slugging percentage, third on the team.

Dusty Isaacs, RHP, Cotuit Kettleers – Isaacs made only one appearance, but it was a good one, earning the win in Cotuit’s 5-3 win Saturday night at Brewster. Dusty entered the game in the fifth inning with the Kettleers down, 3-0, but threw three perfect frames, retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced (the only hitter to reach got on by an error). He then was the beneficiary of a four-run eighth inning. Isaacs lowered his ERA to 2.20, and has struck out 16 in 16 1/3 innings.

Daniel Palka, 1B/LHP/OF, Wareham Gatemen – Palka proved human, having a rare down week, batting .167 (3-for 18), with a homer and three RBIs. He’s still hitting .280, is tied for the team- and West Division-lead in homers (7), and is second on Wareham in slugging (.538, eighth in the West) and OPS (.893).

Cole Pitts, RHP, Harwich Mariners – Pitts made one relief appearance, pitching a third of an inning, allowing three runs on three hits in Saturday’s 12-7 loss at Yarmouth-Dennis. Entering the game in the bottom of the fifth, Pitts allowed a single to the first hitter, then after getting the inning’s first out, allowed a pair of run-scoring singles.

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 went 4-1 and leads the West with its 15-11 record, one game ahead of Falmouth, while Wareham, went 1-4, getting outscored 27-11 in its four losses, and sits in third, four games off the pace at 11-15.

Valley League

Alex Cruz, RHP, Harrisonburg Turks – Cruz had a very effective Saturday in the doubleheader against Rockbridge. He got a game-ending 4-6-3 double play to seal the Turks’ 3-1 win in the opener and earn his first save. Then, in the nightcap, he threw 2 2/3 shutout innings, allowing only one hit, striking out one and walking two. For the summer, Cruz is now pitching to 4.65 ERA, with 17 strikeouts vs. eight walks.

A.J. Murray, C, Harrisonburg Turks – The freshman catcher just missed hitting .300 for the week, going 3-for-11, and belted his third homer of the summer on Wednesday in the 8-2 rout of Luray. Murray raised his average seven points for the week and is now hitting .234.

Charles Sheffield, OF/1B, Harrisonburg Turks – Sheffield had a tough week at the plate, hitting .200 (2-for-10), with five strikeouts. One of his hits, however, drove in a run against Luray, his 14th RBI of the summer. Sheffield is hitting .286.

Thomas Smith, 2B, Harrisonburg Turks – Smith had a tremendous week, hitting .429 (6-for-14), with seven runs scored and four RBIs. He also drew seven walks for the week, including three in Saturday’s win over Covington. Smith scored a run in five of the Turks’ six games. Among his two multi-hit games was a 2-4 effort in the 4-1 win over Winchester on Friday, when he drove in three runs.

NOTE: Harrisonburg went 5-1 and ended the week at 24-12, in second place, by one game behind the 23-11 Waynesboro Generals in the South Division.

New England Collegiate Baseball League

Chase Butler, 3B, Danbury Westerners – Butler had a difficult week at the plate, going 2-for-14, but he made his hits count, as both were key RBI doubles. His sixth-inning two-bagger on Tuesday drove in the game-winning run in the 4-3 win over Holyoke. Two nights later, against Laconia, his RBI double capped a two-run eighth, closing a 7-4 lead to 7-6. The Westerners, who trailed by four runs on three occasions, would score two more in the ninth to win, 8-7. Butler is hitting .204 but is slugging .333, as five of his 11 hits this summer have been for extra bases. He also kept his on-base percentage high (.377), drawing three walks during the week. Butler has walked 13 times vs. 14 strikeouts.

Paul Kronenfeld, OF/1B, Sanford Mariners – Kronenfeld batted .250 (4-for-16) but was still productive, driving in three runs, second-most on the team, and carrying a four-game hitting streak into this week. He has hit in seven of his last eight games and eight of his last 10. Kronenfeld also improved to 3-for-3 in stolen bases, swiping second in the fifth inning of Friday’s 5-1 loss to Keene.

Daniel Spingola, OF, Danbury Westerners – Spingola had a great week, batting .350 (7-for-20), while slugging .700 and putting up a 1.109 OPS. He started the week going a combined 4-for-6 in a doubleheader sweep of Holyoke, scoring three times and driving in one. Spingola went 3-for-3 with two runs scored in the opener, then 1-for-2 in the nightcap, a 4-3 win, smashing his third homer of the summer. On Saturday he’d collect his third multi-hit game of the week a 2-for-4 effort in the 9-3 rout of Vermont. Included was his fourth homer of the summer, which capped off a seven-run fourth inning. Spingola is now hitting .297, and is fifth on the team in slugging (.516) and fourth in OPS (.856).

NOTE: Danbury went 5-1 last week, and is 7-3 in its last 10 games. At 16-14, the Westerners sit in third place in the Western Division behind the Keene Swamp Bats. Keene hasn’t helped Danbury’s cause, as they’re 8-2 in its last 10.

Sanford went 2-3 on the week, with one game suspended due to rain. The Mainers are in third place in the Eastern Division at 9-16, and are 11 1/2 games off the pace.

Coastal Plain League

Cameron Gibson, OF/RHP, Peninsula Pilots – The freshman outfielder struggled at the plate, batting .158 (3-for-19), lowering his summer average to .243, but he hit his second double of the summer at Petersburg on Friday, drove in his fifth run Saturday against Morehead City and carries a modest two-game hitting streak into this week. Defensively, Gibson is still flawless, having made all 35 chances and chalking up one assist.

Josh Heddinger, RHP, Peninsula Pilots – Josh had an outstanding week of work in two appearances — one start and one in relief. On Tuesday against Gastonia, Heddinger was masterful throwing a one-hitter over 7 1/3 innings and allowing only one unearned run. He struck out six and walked three. Unfortunately, he did not get a decision. On Saturday, he came in in relief of teammate Jonathan Roberts and struck out both Morehead City hitters he faced. Heddinger, 1-2, with a 4.55 ERA, lowered his opposing batting average to .170

Jonathan Roberts, RHP, Peninsula Pilots – It was the best of times and the worst of times for Roberts in his two appearances. On Wednesday night, he pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning at Edenton, getting three ground ball outs. On Saturday, however, it was a different story. He entered in the fifth inning with two on and none out, hit the first batter he faced, then gave up a grand slam. On the whole, he went a third of an inning, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits, including the home run and hit two batters. Roberts’ ERA jumped to 8.36 following the appearance.

NOTE: Peninsula is 5-8 in the second half, following a 3-3 week. They’re in a three-way tie for fourth place in the East.

Northwoods League

Connor Lynch, C, Lakeshore Chinooks – Lynch hit .211 at the plate in five games (3-for-17), but ended the week on a good note, going 2-for-3 in Sunday’s game against Eau Claire. He singled in the second inning then blasted his first homer of the summer in the seventh for Lakeshore’s final run in its 9-2. Lynch heads into this week having driven in a run in three of the Lakeshore’s last four games.

NOTE: After a 3-4 week, Lakeshore is 5-5 in the second half, good for for third place in the South Division, four games back of the first place Wisconsin Woodchucks.

Sunbelt Baseball League

DeAndre Smelter, P/OF, Douglasville Bulls – Smelter continued to rake this week, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. His three walks gave him a .750 on-base percentage. Smelter was active on the bases, stealing four bases, including second and third in the first inning Wednesday against the OTC Bearcats. He’s 5-for-5 on the year. DeAndre’s batting average rocketed up to .357, while he leads the team with a .679 slugging percentage and a 1.117 OPS. His two home runs are tied for the lead with two home runs.

NOTE: Douglasville was 1-0 in two games, with one game ending in a 5-5 tie and another postponed until today. The Bulls hold a 3 1/2 game lead over the Home Plate Chukars in the West.

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