#STINGDAILY: Summer League Update

June 24, 2012

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Summer league baseball got into full swing nationwide this week and Georgia Tech players were making things happen in their various leagues.

Here is a look around at how they did in games from Monday, June 18, through Saturday, June 24.

Cape Cod Baseball League

Sam Dove, OF/3B, Harwich Mariners – Dove was a major reason the Mariners went 5-0 this week. He hit .350 (7-20), with a homer, three RBIs, and five runs scored. He book-ended the week with multi-hit games, going 2-for-2 on Monday against Wareham then 3-for-5 at Cotuit. He also was 2-for-3 in stolen base attempts. Dove was nearly flawless in the field, playing four of his five games at second base — he played third on Saturday.

Zane Evans, C/RHP, Harwich Mariners – It was a mixed week for Evans, who was superb on the mound but struggled at the plate. First, the bad news. Evans had a tough week going 0-for-9, which dropped his average to .100 for the summer. The good news, as a pitcher he was almost perfect, allowing one hit in two shutout innings of work, striking out three and walking none, and facing one batter over the minimum. He threw 33 pitches in his two appearances, 23 for strikes. Evans earned the save on Tuesday in Harwich’s 2-0 win at Hyannis. In three innings of work this summer, he has yet to allow a run, and has surrendered but one hit. Evans has retired nine of the 11 batters he’s faced — one batter reached on an error — and has held opponents to a .091 batting average.

Mott Hyde, SS, Wareham Gatemen – Hyde had a super-productive week hitting .300 (6-for-20), with a pair of multi-hit games, and drove in a team-high five runs (tied with teammate Daniel Palka). The highlight of the week came on Friday, when he went 3-for-6, with a run scored and two RBIs at Falmouth in the Gatemen’s wild 12-10, 11-inning win. Hyde drove in a run with an RBI double as part of a five-run sixth (he scored the final run of the inning) then, in the 11th, drove in what proved to be the winning run with an infield hit. On Monday, he had two hits and drove in three runs, but Wareham dropped a 6-5 decision to Harwich. He accounted for three of Wareham’s first four runs, scoring teammate Daniel Palka with a second-inning fielder’s choice, then added RBI singles in the fourth, and fifth. Hyde is hitting .273, and has nine hits in his first nine games.

Dusty Isaacs, RHP, Cotuit Kettleers – Isaacs made his second appearance of the summer, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless frames on Thursday against East-leading Orleans, but the Kettleers fell, 8-6. Isaacs allowed one hit, but it was one he’d like to have back, as it came to the first batter he faced in the bottom of the sixth with runners on second and third and two out. The hit scored two runs, to give Orleans a 7-1 lead, although the final out of the inning was recorded on the play. Over the next two innings, the sophomore righty shut out the Firebirds, holding them hitless. He walked two, but neither runner advanced past first, with Dusty inducing a double-play in the eighth. In two appearances this summer, Isaacs is pitching to a 2.25 ERA, having allowed five hits and three walks, but has averaged a strikeout an inning, punching out four batters.

Daniel Palka, 1B/LHP/OF, Wareham Gatemen – Palka hit .333 (7-for-21) on the week. He tied teammate Matthew Walsh with seven hits and tied Yellow Jacket teammate Mott Hyde with five RBIs. Included in the week was a 4-for-5 game at Falmouth on Friday, as Wareham overcame an 8-1 deficit after five innings to win, 12-10 in 11. Coming into the game with one hit in his previous nine at-bats, Palka broke out against the Commodores. He got the Gatemen on the board, blasting his first home run of the summer on a 3-2 pitch in the second inning, He added RBI singles in the fourth, and sixth, scoring on a passed ball in the sixth, and singled in the ninth

Cole Pitts, RHP, Harwich Mariners – Pitts shut opponents down cold in two outings this week, throwing 2 2/3 scoreless, hitless innings. Only one opposing batter reached (a hit-batsman in the 6th inning on Tuesday at Hyannis, and only one other even put the ball in play (Clemson shortstop Steve Wilkerson, who grounded out to second to end that sixth inning). On Saturday, at Cotuit, Pitts overmatched the Kettleers, striking out all five batters he faced. He entered the game in the sixth with the bases loaded and one out and masterfully pitched out of the jam. In the seventh, under a little less duress, Pitts struck out the side. He has lowered his ERA to 2.46 and his opposing batting average to .214.

NOTE: The Harwich Mariners sit at 7-2, in second place in the East, following a 5-0 week.

In the West, Cotuit and Wareham are each 4-5, and one game off the pace. Cotuit went 3-2, outscoring its opponents 26-9 in its three wins, but managed only six runs in its losses. Wareham went 2-3 in an up-and-down week, that saw them lose two straight, win two straight then drop their Saturday game.

Valley League

Alex Cruz, RHP, Harrisonburg Turks – Cruz had plenty to build on during the week, despite numbers that are a little misleading. He made two appearances, one start, one in relief, allowing seven earned runs in 8 2/3 innings. On Tuesday, he came in to start the eighth inning, with the Turks up 4-3. After allowing a one-out walk and a stolen base, he retired the side. When Harrisonburg scored three in its half of the ninth, he went out attempting to get the two-inning save. He got two outs, but then allowed an RBI double and a two-run homer and did not finish the game. The Turks held on, 7-6. On Friday night, he started against Winchester and was charged with four runs (all earned) on six hits, but his line is misleading, as through seven, he’d allowed two runs on four hits. He tired in the eighth, allowing the first two batters to reach and leaving at 2-2 with runners at second and third. Both runners would score. The Turks got him off the hook, tying the game in its half of the eighth before allowing the winning runs in the ninth in the 6-4 loss. Cruz is 0-2, with a 7.36 ERA in four appearances (three starts)

A.J. Murray, C, Harrisonburg Turks – The freshman catcher hit .263 on the week but had a huge game on Wednesday at Haymarket, going 3-for-4, with two runs scored and an RBI and finishing a homer shy of hitting for the cycle in the 8-2 win. On Friday he had two-run double in the 6-4 loss to Winchester. Murray drove in four runs on the weekend and scored four runs.

Charles Sheffield, OF/1B, Harrisonburg Turks – Sheffield, playing primarily in right field, batted .176 on the week (3-for-17) but made his hits count, as all three were for extra bases. He had a two-hit game on Tuesday in the 7-6 win at Stauton, collecting a double and his first homer of the summer, then, on Wednesday, at Haymarket, he had another double.

Thomas Smith, 2B, Harrisonburg Turks – Smith tore up the Valley League, hitting .600 (12-for-20), with four multi-hit games, including a three- and a four-hit game. He scored eight runs, scoring at least once in all five games and drove in five runs, collecting RBIs in four of the five — the only game without an RBI was his four-hit game. On Tuesday, “Smitty” went 4-for-5, with a run scored. Then, after a 1-for-4 effort at Haymarket, finished hit 9-for-11 over the next three games, driving in at least one run in each game and hitting his first homer on Saturday, driving in what proved to be the winning run in the 7-2 win at Woodstock.

NOTE: Harrisonburg was 13-7, in second place, by one game behind the 12-6 Waynesboro Generals in the South Division following a 4-1 week. The Turks outscored their opponents 29-12 in the four wins, and 22-10 in three road games.

New England Collegiate Baseball League

Chase Butler, 3B, Danbury Westerners – Butler completed his first week of summer ball, batting .143 (2-for-14), but collected his first hit, his first extra-base hit and first RBI and hit in two of his last three games. His RBI single in the fourth inning on Wednesday against the Keene Swamp Bats ignited a rally of seven unanswered runs that turned an 8-2 deficit into a 9-8 win. Butler played third in four of the five games for the Westerners.

Paul Kronenfeld, OF/1B, Sanford Mariners – Kronenfeld had a tough week at the plate, batting .091 (1-for-11), with his lone hit coming Wednesday against the Newport Gulls in the Mainers, 4-2 loss. While he looks to get his swing back on track, his defense has been superb, as he had a spotless fielding record during the week and has made but one error thus far while patrolling in the outfield.

Daniel Spingola, OF, Danbury Westerners – Spingola hit .250 (6-for-24) for the week, but hit in three of the final four games and had a monster game on Thursday against North Adams, going 4-for-5, finishing a triple short of the cycle, with three runs scored, and an RBI. His first-inning double and second-inning single against the Steeple Cats jump-started the Westerners, who scored in six of the eight innings they batted. He added a two-run homer in the fifth. Even with his .250 week, Spingola is third on the team, hitting .333, is third on the team in on-base percentage, at .389 and is fourth in OPS at .904. He’s been almost flawless in the outfield, primarily center field, having committed one error.

NOTE: Danbury had a rough week, going 1-5 and dropping their final five games. The skid left the Westerners at 6-7, tied for third in the Western Division, four games off the pace.

Sanford went 2-1 on the week, raising its record to 4-7. The Mainers are fourth in the Eastern Division, but a game out of third, and only 3 1/2 out of first.

Coastal Plain League

Cameron Gibson, OF/RHP, Peninsula Pilots – The freshman outfielder just missed hitting .300 for the week, getting three hits in 11 trips to the plate. He had a multi-hit game on Monday, going 2-for-3 in the Pilot’s 6-0 whitewash of Florence then added an RBI single the next day in the 10-5 rout of Edenton.

Josh Heddinger, RHP, Peninsula Pilots – Josh did not see any action during the week. He’ll head into his next start with a 1-1 record and a 3.27 ERA, having allowed four earned runs and seven hits in 11 innings over two starts. He’s struck out eight and walked six.

Jonathan Roberts, RHP, Peninsula Pilots – Roberts had two very different appearances during the week. On Thursday, he didn’t retire a batter, allowing singles to the three hitters he faced against Edenton. Two nights later, against Wilmington, he pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit. He pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam, inducing a fly out and then getting an inning-ending strikeout. The next inning, he got a big strikeout after the first two hitters reached. Both would be stranded.

NOTE: Peninsula is 10-12-1, following a 3-2 week. That puts the Pilots in a tie for fourth in the East.

Northwoods League

Connor Lynch, C, Lakeshore Chinooks – Lynch hit .143 (1-for-7) in three games, but showed a good eye at the plate, drawing three walks and putting together a .333 on-base percentage.

NOTE: Lakeshore sits at 12-13, seven games back in the South Division, following a 4-2 week, but won four of its last five during the week and is 2 1/2 games out of third place and four games out of second.

Sunbelt Baseball League

Michael Hodorowski, OF, Douglasville Bulls – Hodorowski hit .200 for the week (2-for-10), but got hits on Monday and Thursday to extend his hitting streak to seven games before it was snapped Saturday. He drove in two runs in the 6-0 win over the Winward Braves on Monday, one with a second-inning groundout, the other with a ninth-inning double. The speedy centerfielder found ways to wreak havoc on the bases, stealing three in four attempts, going 2-for-2 on Saturday in the 8-4 win over the 6-4-3 Cougars.

DeAndre Smelter, P/OF, Douglasville Bulls – Smelter got off to a roaring start in his first two games, hitting .429 (3-for-7), including a monster 2-for-4 day, crashing a pair of homers, good for four RBIs in the 8-4 win over 6-4-3. That followed his 1-for-3 performance in his opening game, Thursday night, when he had a sixth-inning RBI double in the 5-4 win over Windward

NOTE: Douglasville split three games, winning two, and finds itself at 10-1, a game back of the Home Plate Chukars, who are 7-0.

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