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July 5, 2011

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Georgia Tech baseball players have been busy in their summer leagues.

On the whole it was a good week for pitchers nationwide, but several Tech bats were or showed signs of coming alive.

Here’s a look at how the Jackets are faring through games of July 4th.

Alaska Baseball League
Conner Kendrick: The freshman lefty made three appearances over the last week-plus and was superb in all three. He pitched to a 1.50 ERA, allowing one earned run in six innings, and two hits. He struck out seven and walked only one. Kendrick really made only one bad pitch, as the run came on a homer by the Glacier Pilots’ Keenyn Walker, the first-round pick of the Chicago White Sox in the 2011 Draft. For the season, Kendrick is now 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in seven appearances. He’s allowed two earned runs and five hits in 13.0 innings overall.

Cal Ripken Baseball League
Bradley Markey: The sophomore right-hander was 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA, allowing only three earned runs (seven overall), and 10 hits in 14 innings. He struck out 10 and walked five, while holding hitters to a .189 average. Offensively, Markey was 1-for-6 in four games but scored three runs.

Read more on Markey’s solid outing here

Cape Cod League
Luke Bard: The sophomore righty was 1-0 with a no-decision in two starts. He beat Chatham on June 27, throwing six shutout innings, allowing only two hits. Bard was effectively wild, walking five and hitting a batter, but striking out eight. He threw 92 pitches, with 47 for strikes. In his next start, Bard got a no decision, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits, striking out three and walking two. He threw 87 pitches, with 51 for strikes. He is now 1-1 with a 4.21 ERA, with 19 strikeouts and 10 walks.

Jake Davies: The slugger is starting to come around after a poor start, as he raised his average 63 points to .188 over the week. Davies had six hits, including his first homer of the summer, and drove in four runs, including an RBI single off Tech teammate Luke Bard in Harwich’s 2-1 loss to Brewster. He’s now driven in a run in three straight games.

Matthew Grimes: Tech’s 2011 mid-week starter got a no decision in his lone start on June 29 for Wareham against Bourne. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (only one earned) on two hits. He struck out four and walked four. Grimes is 0-1 with a 4.85 ERA in three starts this summer for the Gatemen.

Daniel Palka: The freshman slugger had a nice week-plus, hitting .294 (5-for-17), with a pair of multi-hit games and his first two extra-base hits of the summer (both doubles), a run scored and an RBI. As important, Palka is putting the ball in play, striking out only twice, and not at all in four of the last five games.

Brandon Thomas: The sophomore outfielder continued his hot hitting, hitting .333 (6-for-18), with a .478 on-base percentage (5-for-16). Thomas scored two runs and added an RBI for Wareham, which went 3-2 on the week. Thomas is tied for the league lead with a .361 batting average (tied with TCU’s Jason Coats). He also stole four bases, with two of them coming against Falmouth. He was 0-1 as a pinch-hitter, flying out on July 1 against Cotuit, batting for Palka.

Buck Farmer: The sophomore righty made only one start, on June 28. He pitched four innings of two-hit, shutout ball, but Chatham’s game, with Brewster was postponed due to fog.

DeAndre Smelter: In two games, the freshman righty threw three scoreless innings, allowing one hit, while holding opposing hitters to a .111 batting average. Smelter lowered his ERA to 1.69, retiring eight of the 11 batters he faced, striking out two and walking two. On June 28th, he had mixed results against Tech teammates, as he walked Brandon Thomas, but retired Mott Hyde on a ground out.

Mott Hyde: The freshman second baseman’s struggles at the plate continued, as Hyde managed two hits in 17 at-bats, but scored two runs and stole three bases. He’s hitting .140 for the summer.

Kyle Wren: The freshman centerfielder continued the tough sledding for Yellow Jackets at the plate, as he is riding an 0-for-15 slump, with his last hit coming on June 29, a first-inning double. Wren is still hitting .301 and is tied for the league-lead with 11 stolen bases in 15 attempts (he’s tied with teammate Patrick Biondi of Michigan).

Coastal Plains League
Jonathan Roberts: The freshman right-hander was busy, throwing 7 2/3 innings over four games. He allowed six runs, but only two earned, and six hits. He also battled his control allowing seven walks while striking out two. Roberts may have been a little fatigued in his final outing, a 3 2/3-inning sting, which saw him allow three earned runs, three hits and six walks.

Devin Stanton: Fellow freshman and Peninsula Pilot teammate, lefty Devin Stanton, was a little less busy. He pitched 4 2/3 innings of shutout ball, allowing only one hit. He struck out six and walked only two.

Florida Collegiate Summer League
Zane Evans: The freshman catcher had a solid week-plus, going 5-for-10, with a .583 on-base percentage. Evans had a double, two walks, an RBI and two runs scored. He also made his first relief appearance of the summer, going 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run (unearned), and one hit, while striking out three. He threw 18 of his 26 pitches for strikes.

Alex Cruz: The freshman infielder struggled at the plate, going 2-for-13 for the Winter Park Diamond Dogs, but also drove in his first run of the summer, kicking off a four-run fourth inning on July 2 (that was the only inning they scored, falling at DeLand, 5-4). He stole his first base on June 26, also against DeLand, sparking a five-run second inning in their 6-2 win as well.

Great Lakes Summer League
Dusty Isaacs: The freshman righty split two starts. He suffered the loss on June 28, allowing three runs (all earned) and seven hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked three, surrendered a home run and hit a batter. He bounced back on Sunday, throwing seven innings, allowing one earned run (three total) on five hits. He struck out four and walked three, throwing 98 pitches, 61 for strikes. Isaacs is 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA, having struck out 21 batters in 24 2/3 innings.

New England Collegiate Baseball League
Paul Kronenfeld: The freshman outfielder/first baseman cooled off some, hitting only .167 (3-for-18), with a double, a run and an RBI, but still had a .423 on-base percentage, as he walked eight times, twice in four consecutive games. He’s hitting .250 but has a team-high OBP of .452 and he’s second on the team with a .779 OPS. HIs team, the Sanford Mainers managed only one win in five tries.

Sunbelt Baseball League
Mitch Earnest: The freshman catcher played only one game last week but was 1-for-3 in it with a double. The South Atlanta Bearcats lost the game, 3-2, to the Douglasville Bulls but are still 6-5 in second place in the West Division.

Evan Martin: The junior outfielder/infielder had quite a week in one game for the Atlanta Crackers. Martin went 3-for-6 with a double, a run scored and a stolen base. He raised his average to .389 but the Crackers fell, 15-11, to the Douglasville Bulls. The Crackers are still in first, however, with a 5-5 record, best in the Central Division.

Valley Baseball League
Sam Dove: The sophomore outfielder snapped out of an 0-for-9 streak in a big way, having a pair of three-hit games in his last two games, going 6-for-8, with three runs scored and four RBIs. Three of those RBIs came in a fourth-inning, bases-clearing double that drove in the game-winning runs in an 8-1 win over New Market. Dove is hitting .377, second on the team, and his 10 doubles are second in the league.

Chris Triplett: The freshman shortstop extended his hitting streak to nine games on June 29, with two hits, but closed the week on a 2-for-15 skid. Even with the slump, Triplett is hitting .302, second on the team, with a team-leading 29 hits. He boasts a .389 on-base percentage and .396 slugging average, and has stolen eight bases in 11 tries.

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