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July 10, 2011

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

The Fourth of July may have passed but Georgia Tech Baseball created plenty of fireworks in the week gone by in its summer leagues.

In the week past, several Yellow Jackets flexed their muscles offensively and put together solid pitching performances, while others struggled some. Basically, it was another unpredictable, but entertaining week.

Here’s a look at how the Jackets are faring through games of July 9th.

Alaska Baseball League
Conner Kendrick: The freshman lefty continued his effective work, adding two scoreless appearances. Kendrick allowed a total of two hits in 3 2/3 total innings. He was not involved in any decisions and remains 2-0, but lowered his ERA to 1.08 in nine appearances (2 ER in 16 2/3 innings). The Bucs are 10-8, in third place, 1 1/2 games back.

Cal Ripken Baseball League
Bradley Markey: The sophomore played only one game but made it a good one, recording his second multi-hit game of the summer, going two-for- three at the plate (both doubles) and scoring a run. But Youses fell to Southern Maryland, 4-1. Markey had two of the Orioles’ three hits against the Nationals. He has now scored a run in three straight games and has his first hitting streak of the summer. He’s hitting .214 overall. Youses is 17-11, in third place, 6 1/2 out of first, 2 1/2 behind second-place Southern Maryland.

Cape Cod League
Luke Bard: The sophomore righty went a season-high seven innings and allowed a season-low two runs, but got no decision as Brewster and Yarmouth-Dennis played to a 4-4 tie on Saturday. Bard allowed six hits, and struck out two, but walked four batters, uncorked a wild pitch and hit a batter — the latter coming home to roost. He lowered his ERA to 3.86 with the effort and is pitching to a 2.47 ERA (5 ER in 18 2/3 innings) over his last three starts.. Brewster is in 12-9-3, in second place in the East, behind the Harwich Mariners.

Jake Davies: The slugger went 2-for-12, with two RBIs on the week, but East-leading Harwich won two of three, topping Yarmouth-Dennis and splitting with Orleans. Davies’ highlight of the week came Wednesday, against Yarmouth-Dennis, when he capped a three-run fifth inning with a two-out, two-run single that put the Mariners ahead for good in their 9-5 victory. Davies will see a familiar face twice this week, as Harwich will twice travel to Chatham to play Buck Farmer and the Anglers. Sting Daily will talk with both Davies and Farmer and their comments will run in the coming week.

Matthew Grimes: The freshman got a no-decision, his third in four starts, on Wednesday against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, but had a solid outing, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs and eight hits.The 5 1/3 innings is his second-longest outing of the summer for Grimes, who has allowed three earned runs or fewer in three of four starts and is pitching to a 4.91 ERA. The Gatemen are 11-13, fourth in the Western Division.

Daniel Palka: The freshman slugger had two hits in nine trips to the plate, with both hits (a single and a double) coming in Wareham’s 5-3 loss to Hyannis. The multi-hit game was the third for Palka in a six- game stretch (June 28 through July 6) that saw him hit .350 (7- for-20). He also made his pitching debut in a mop-up role in Wareham’s 15-6 loss to Falmouth. Palka went one inning, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits. He walked two, but also recorded an inning- ending strike out of centerfielder Kyle VonGungeln of TCU.

Brandon Thomas: The sophomore outfielder had his first tough stretch of the summer, going 2-for-16, including his first back-to-back hitless games. But he finished the week with hits in back-to-back games and rides that streak into the coming week. Thomas also managed to get on base at least once in each of the four games. Even with the off-week, Thomas is still seventh in the league, batting .312.

Buck Farmer: The sophomore righty took a loss in his one start, a 7-2 loss to Brewster on Wednesday. Farmer went four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits. He struck out six and walked only one. In two starts, he 0-1 record with a 10.13 ERA, but he has an outstanding 11 strikeouts vs. one walk. Chatham has struggled, as they are 6-16, at the bottom of the Eastern Division.

DeAndre Smelter: Smelter did not pitch this week. He’ll carry his five- inning scoreless streak into this week. The freshman has allowed one hit in his last four appearances, holding opposing hitters to a .111 batting average and is pitching to a 1.69 ERA. He’s retired eight of the last 11 batters he’s faced, striking out two and walking two. Falmouth is 11-12, third in the Western Division.

Mott Hyde: The shortstop’s struggles at the plate continue, as he was hitless in 12 at-bats on the week, reaching once via walk. His average is at .115. Defensively, Hyde has a .931 fielding percentage, but has been among the busiest shortstops in the CCBL, as his 53 assists and 28 putouts both rank third in the league.

Kyle Wren: The freshman centerfielder was 2-for-15 on the week, with two runs scored and an RBI, as the Cotuit Kettleers went 2-0-1. He also was 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts, adding to his league-leading 13 swipes. Wren was superb on Tuesday, when he went 2-for-4, with an RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases as the Kettleers, who are 9-13, at the bottom of the Western Division, routed the Bourne Braves, 11-2.

Coastal Plains League
Jonathan Roberts: The freshman right-hander got a well-earned week off after throwing 7 2/3 innings over four games the previous week. He’d allowed six runs, (only two earned), and six hits, allowing seven walks while striking out two. Roberts allowed three earned runs on three hits and six walks in his final outing, a 3 2/3-inning stint. He is 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA for Peninsula, which is 2-2, second in the North Division.

Devin Stanton: Fellow freshman and Peninsula Pilot teammate, lefty Devin Stanton, made one appearance, going one inning, allowing two runs (both earned) on two hits, with one walk. Stanton has no record but has a 2.31 ERA in eight appearances.

Florida Collegiate Summer League
Zane Evans: The freshman catcher caught fire at the plate this week, hitting .333 (4-for-12), with a pair of doubles, five RBIs and a run scored. Evans had a .429 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage in helping Leesburg to a 2-1 week. He had a pair of doubles, a run scored and four RBIs in Tuesday’s 10-9 win over Winter Park. Evans’ second double, with two out in the eighth inning, capped a three-run inning and provided what proved to be the winning runs. He has four multi-hit games in his last six games and is hitting .455 over that stretch (10-for-22). The Lightning are 16-7, best in the FCSL.

Alex Cruz: Deuces were wild for the freshman infielder in his lone game last week. Cruz was 2-for-4, with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs in Winter Park’s 10-3 win over Sanford. He also stole a base in the victory. Cruz has hit in three of his last four games, hitting . 286 over that stretch (4-for-14) and has raised his summer average to . 269. The Diamond Dawgs are 14-6-1, a half-game behind Leesburg.

Great Lakes Summer League
Dusty Isaacs: The freshman righty pitched a gem in his one start this week. He threw 6 2/3 hitless innings and 8 2/3 innings of shutout ball, before allowing two runs in the ninth in Hamilton’s 12-2 win over Grand Lake. Isaacs struck out 16 and walked one, while allowing only five hits, (three of those in the ninth). He finally came out after throwing 125 pitches, 81 for strikes. Isaacs is 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA, this summer, having given up only 25 hits in 32 2/3 innings, while striking out 37.

New England Collegiate Baseball League
Paul Kronenfeld: The freshman outfielder/1B had a tough week at the plate, going hitless in 10 trips, with five strikeouts. Things may be starting to look up for Kronenfeld, who is hitless in his last seven games (0-for-21) and has seen his average fall to .210, as he drew two walks and stole two bases in his last game, an 8-7 loss to NorthShore. Samford, which was 2-1 on the week, is 11-10, a game behind NorthShore.

Chase Butler: The sophomore third baseman was 4-for-17 in five games for the Danbury Westerners, who were 3-2. Butler extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single at Keene on July 7, before going hitless in the week’s final two games. Butler had a .380 on-base percentage and reached base in all five games. He was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI in a 10-5 win over Mystic. Danbury is 13-7 in the Western Division, a half game out of first.

Sunbelt Baseball League
Clay Dalton: The junior righty took the loss in Berkeley Lake’s 9-5 loss to OTC on Friday. Dalton allowed three runs (one earned) in 1 2/3 innings, allowing only one hit, but walking three. Dalton hurt himself with an error in the second inning, which opened the door to a two-run inning. He did retire teammate Mitch Earnest on a 5-3 ground out in the second. Dalton is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts (four earned runs in four innings), having allowed six hits. Berkeley Lake leads the East at 10-7.

Mitch Earnest: The freshman catcher was 1-for-4, a double, with two runs scored in the win over Berkeley Lake. He now has hits in back-to- back games (both doubles) for the Bearcats, who are 8-5, second in the West Division.

The junior outfielder/infielder had another hot week for the Atlanta Crackers, hitting .333 (6-for-18), with a double and a triple, three runs scored and two RBIs. Martin had a .500 slugging percentage and a .368 OBP and is now hitting .362 for the Crackers, who scored 30 runs on the week and went 3-1. They lead the Central Division with an 8-7 record.

Valley Baseball League Sam Dove: The sophomore outfielder hit .286 (4-for-14), with a pair of doubles, three runs scored and an RBI. His best game came on Wednesday, when he had a pair of doubles and scored twice, but Harrisonburg fell, 5-2, to Haymarket. Dove leads the team with 12 doubles, is second on the team in batting average (.345), is third in hits (30), slugging (.483) and on-base percentage (.394), and is fourth in RBIs (15), and total bases (42). Harrisonburg, which has won seven of 10, has a 4 1/2-game lead on New Market in the Central Division.

Chris Triplett: The freshman shortstop had a mixed week. he was 2- for-4 with a three-run homer and two runs scored in Front Royal’s 6-5 loss to Luray, then went 0-for-4 in the Cardinals’ 4-0 loss to Winchester. Triplett is hitting .298, second on the team, with a team- leading 31 hits and raised his on-base percentage 24 points to .413. Front Royal’s current six-game losing streak has dropped them out of first place in the North Division, as their 16-14 record has them two games behind Winchester.

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