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#STINGDAILY: Summer Catch-Up

July 9, 2013

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

There were fireworks aplenty around the summer leagues and Georgia Tech players produced their share of them. Of course, Jackets pitchers also put the kibosh on some potential celebrations.

Here’s a look at how they did in their various summer leagues.

Coastal Plain League
Josh Heddinger, Peninsula Pilots – The sophomore right-hander represented the East Division in Monday’s CPL All-Star Game. Heddinger should be well-rested as he made just one appearance in the week leading up to it, however, allowing two earned runs on two hits, while walking three and striking out one in two-plus innings last Monday in the Peninsula’s 4-3 win against Edenton. Heddinger goes into the ASG 1-0, although his ERA took a bit of a hit in the appearance, going up to 5.40. In 16 2/3 innings, he’s allowed 10 runs (all earned) on 18 hits, and continues to have a positive strikeouts-to-walks ratio (15-to-9). Josh has allowed four home runs and has throw four wild pitches, both team highs.

Joe Wiseman, Wilmington Sharks – The freshman righty cut his ERA in half since our last update, lowering it to 11.25 (5 ER in 4.0 IP), and helped himself last week, as he pitched a perfect 1-2-3 ninth on Thursday against Edenton. He was one of the bright spots in the Sharks’ 4-0 loss. Wiseman has not allowed an earned run in four of his five appearances this summer.

Jonathan King, Asheboro Copperheads – The freshman lefty suffered his first loss of the summer in his lone start last Monday, a 7-3 defeat at Forest City. King never found a groove, and lasted just one inning. He saw his ERA jump from 0.81 (1 earned run in 11 innings) to 4.50 (6 ER in 12.0), but he is still holding hitters to a superb .214 batting average.

Jared Jillson, Asheboro Copperheads – The freshman righty continues to put up zeroes, throwing a 1-2-3 inning, with a strikeout, in his lone appearance on Saturday against Martinsville. Jillson lowered his ERA to 1.80 (1 ER in 5.0 IP), and lowered his opposing batting average to .222 (four hits in 18 at-bats).

The Coastal Plain League finished the first half, with Asheville winning the West with a 20-9, record,. It’s the Copperheads’ fourth straight trip to postseason play but only the second time in franchise history they’ve won a first- or second-half Division title. Peninsula finished 19-13, good for second in the East, while Wilmington went 15-16, finishing fifth in the East.

Thus far in the second half, Peninsula leads the East, jumping out to a 5-0 start, Wilmington is fifth in the East at 1-3, and Asheboro is 2-1, in third place in the West.

Cape Cod League
Matt Gonzalez, Bourne Braves – “Gonzo” had a rather light week as far as Cape Cod League action — he played on Saturday and went 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-4 loss at Brewster — but had a big week in Omaha, where he participated in the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby. Gonzalez, who hit three home runs during his entire freshman year, blasted six in the first round and 16 overall to finish second to Rice’s Michael Aquino. He was edged 6-5 in the final round. Gonzalez will try to take that momentum and his power stroke — although sans Wally Crancer’s pitching — back to the Cape, where he has yet to go deep in 11 CCL games. He begins the week batting .250, looking to shake an 0-for-11 stretch.

A.J. Murray, Chatham Anglers – The sophomore first baseman, who was on a temporary contract with the Anglers, is no longer with the team and is looking for another team/league in which to play. He finished his stay at Cape Cod batting .130 (3-for-23) in eight games with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored.

Bourne, which was 2-3 for the week, is 9-11, in fourth place in the Western Division, eight points back, and looks to snap a two-game losing streak.

New England Collegiate League
Daniel Spingola, Danbury Westerners – Spingola continues to sizzle at the plate, hitting .311 with a .378 on-base percentage, and he leads the team with 23 hits, while tying for the team lead with six stolen bases — he’s only been caught once. His nine RBIs are second on the team, while his 10 runs rank third. Only July 4th, he posted his sixth multi-hit game of the summer, a two-hit, two-walk night during a 6-4 win at Holyoke. He also was featured on the NECBL site. Here is the story.

Alex Cruz, Danbury Westerners – Cruz continues to swing a hot bat as the team’s starting shortstop. He went 4-for-14 (.286) for the week, ending the week with his sixth multi-hit game in 11 games and blasting his second homer of the summer, a two-run blast that gave the Westerners a 3-0 lead in what would be a 6-4 win at Holyoke. Cruz leads the team with a .395 batting average, a .632 slugging percentage, a .452 on-base percentage and, obviously, OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging), with a 1.082. Defensively, he’s pickin’ ’em at a .950 clip, having made only two errors in 38 chances.

Danbury has struggled over the last couple of weeks, going 2-8 over their last 10 games, but finished the week 2-3 (they had one game cancelled). The Westerners ended a six-game losing streak on Thursday and ended the week with a win on Sunday. They began this week at 8-13, fifth in the Western Division, 6 1/2 games back.

Hamptons Collegiate League
Kyle Leach, Westhampton Aviators – The freshman right-hander didn’t register a decision but was instrumental in two of the Aviators’ four wins, throwing 2 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run and four hits, striking out two and not walking a batter. Leach pitched a scoreless ninth to nail down the 9-5 win at Southhampton on Thursday then, on Sunday, he got the final five outs at Riverhead in the 7-5 victory. Leach has lowered his ERA to 2.53. The run on Sunday in the seventh at Riverhead ended a string of five scoreless appearances covering 4 2/3 innings.

Cole Miller, Westhampton Aviators – The sophomore infielder is hitting .265 (18-for-68), fourth on the team heading into this week. Miller, also is tied for second on the team with 13 RBIs and is second with seven stolen bases (in nine attempts). He’s third with a .381 on-base percentage and fifth in slugging at .368. Miller had a superb week, hitting .313 (5-for-16), with a .435 on-base percentage, with four runs scored, and two RBIs. He had a pair of multi-hit games, doubling his total for the summer.

Despite the league’s second-lowest batting average (.236) and third-lowest on-base percentage (.351), the Avaiators boast the third-lowest ERA (3.71) headed into Monday off a 4-1 week and a 7-3 stretch, having have won four straight games. They sit in second place at 14-11, two games off the pace in the HCBL.

Valley League
Thomas Smith, Harrisonburg Turks – Smith ended his week on a high, as he was part of the victorious South Team in the Valley League All-Star Game. He almost single-handedly manufactured a run in the eighth inning, drawing a walk then stealing second, moving to third on an infield out then scoring on an infield hit. Smith carried a .304 average (third on the team), into the week, with seven doubles (second on the team). Smitty, who is batting .279, with three doubles and two RBIs, preceded his Sunday All-Star heroics with his sixth multi-hit game of the summer in the second game of Saturday’s double header. He sparked a second-inning rally with a single then drew a walk that was part of the decisive five-run sixth. in the 9-6 win, the fourth straight for the Turks.

Coming off a blistering 9-1 week, the Turks are 22-7 and lead the South. Their lead is only two games, however, as second-place New Market went 8-2.

Northwoods League
Sam Clay, Mankato MoonDogs – The freshman lefty took a loss in his only start of the week a 9-8 defeat to Waterloo on Tuesday, allowing four runs (three earned) in four innings. He nearly got off the hook as the MoonDogs put up six in the bottom of the ninth, but fell just short. Clay has been solid, pitching to a 3.52 ERA, fifth on the team, and has allowed six earned runs on seven hits in his five appearances (three starts), covering 15 1/3 innings.

After finishing fifth in the North in the first half with a 17-18 record, Mankato is 2-2 to begin the second half, two games off the pace.

Florida League
Grant Wruble, Leesburg Lightning – The freshman catcher hit .231 for the week (3-for-13), but had his biggest game of the summer, on Wednesday. He got his first multi-hit game, a two-hit effort that included a clutch single in the top of the 10th that set up the game-winning run in a 3-2 victory at DeLand. He added a hit the next day, giving him a three-game hitting streak, his second-longest of the summer. He’ll try to get on a new streak after a weekend that saw him go 0-for-5 in two games.

Leesburg is tied for third at 13-13, but is percentage points out of second and only one game out of first.

Alaska League
Devin Stanton, Chugiak Chinooks – The junior lefty continues to be a bright spot for Chugiak. He had a busy week, making three appearances, pitching 7 2/3 innings, allowing only two runs and four hits, striking out 10 while walking three. He even got his first win of the summer on Sunday, but some of the gloss came off the win, as he was charged with a blown save after allowing two runs in the eighth, when he allowed two walks and a hit (an accompanying outfield error allowed the tying run to score). Stanton, who pitched three innings, was credited with the win, when the Chinooks regained the lead in the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the ninth, he stranded the tying run at second. Stanton leads the team with a 2.38 ERA, having allowed 11 runs — only six earned — and 21 hits in 23 2/3 innings and he has a better than 2:1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio (24-11).

Chugiak looks to bounce back from a 3-7 week and get on a winning streak, having won on Sunday. The Chinooks sit in fifth place at 4-17, 8 1/2 games out of first.

Sunbelt League
Mitch Earnest, OTC Bearcats – The junior catcher is hitting .179 but is riding his second hitting streak of the season and will try to extend it to a season-high three games. Earnest drove in his first two runs of the summer with a two-run knock in the fifth inning of the first game of last Tuesday’s double-header. Unfortunately for the Bearcats, they could not hold off the Braves, who rallied late for a 9-8 win. In the nightcap, Earnest added a sixth-inning single.

Dylan Dore, Douglasville Bulls – The freshman outfielder got off to a hot start, hitting .318 (7-for-22) over his first seven games, with a double and two RBIs. He’s also 2-for-2 in stolen bases. He hit in five of his first seven games and had a 3-for-4 night against Home Plate on June 22 in a 5-1 loss. Dore’s also shown some pop, as his .364 slugging percentage is fifth on the team. Defensively, he’s been flawless in center field.

Douglasville comes off a 6-4 week and is 10-4, the second-most wins in the league. Unfortunately for the Bulls, the team with the best record is the division-rival Home Plate Chukars, who are 12-4 and were 7-3 last week. Also in the West, OTC continues to struggle, as they went 1-9 last week and sit 9 1/2 games back.

Cal Ripken League
Will Young, Herndon Braves – The sophomore infielder had a down week, but he had a hit in three of the five games and still has gone hitless in back-to-back games only one time (June 22 and 23) this season. Young is batting .304, second on the team, with team-highs in hits (21), RBIs (9) and stolen bases (6, without being caught). He’s also second in slugging (.362) and OPS (.722) and is third in on-base percentage (.360).

Herndon ended a difficult 1-5 week with a win on Sunday (they’re 2-8 over their last 10), but sit at the bottom of the 12-team league, with a 4-18 mark, 13 games back.

South Florida Collegiate League
Greg Feinberg, Boca Raton Lightning – The freshman has only played two games and is 1-for-7 at the plate (.143), but made an impact in with his first hit. It came in his first game, last Wednesday, when he reached base twice in four plate appearances. His single sparked a three-run eighth-inning rally that turned a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 victory. The Lightning is 2-0 in one-run games with Feinberg behind the plate. They were 1-3 in such games prior to his arrival.

The Lightning are 9-10, in third place, 3 1/2 games back in the North Division but struck big last week, going 7-3.

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