July 17, 2013
By Jon Cooper
As summer leagues headed into the second week of July, the weather got hotter and so did several of the Georgia Tech players.
Here’s a look at how they did.
Coastal Plain League (4)
Josh Heddinger, Peninsula Pilots – The sophomore right-hander represented the East Division in Monday’s CPL All-Star Game. He pitched the eighth inning and allowed a run on a hit-batsman, a stolen base and a single. While he left with the East trailing, 2-1, they would come back and win in 10. Heddinger came back the next night and threw a masterful five innings, to get the ‘W’ in the Pilots’ 3-2 win over Petersburg. Heddinger allowed two runs, but none of them earned, and three hits, while striking out a summer-high seven and not walking a batter. The only runs he allowed were helped by a pair of errors (one of them his). He is 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA, having allowed 21 hits in 21 22/3 innings, striking out 22 while walking only nine.
Joe Wiseman, Wilmington Sharks – The freshman righty did not see any action this week for the Sharks. He stays at 0-1, with an 11.25 (5 ER in 4.0 IP), but has not allowed an earned run in four of his five appearances this summer.
Jared Jillson, Asheboro Copperheads – The freshman righty did not pitch last week. Jillson boasts a 1.80 ERA (1 ER in 5.0 IP), and an .222 opposing batting average (four hits in 18 at-bats).
The Coastal Plains 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 went 2-2 for the week and leads the East with a 7-2 record., Wilmington went 3-1 last week but remained in fifth in the East at 4-4, and Asheboro split four games and is tied for second in the West at 4-3, 1 1/2 games out of first.
Cape Cod League (1)
Matt Gonzalez, Bourne Braves – Gonzalez had a tough week, going 0-for-6 in two games at the plate. He began the week batting .220, in throes of a 2-for-21 stretch.
Bourne split its two games last week and began 11-12-1, in fourth place in the Western Division, eight points back of first place Hyannis.
New England Collegiate League (2)
Daniel Spingola, Danbury Westerners – Spingola was spectacular at the plate, recording an 11-hit week, with three three-hit games, including back-to-back three-hit performances over the weekend. The Westerners won all three of his three-hit games. He hit .458 for the week (11-for-24) while raising his batting average 36 points to .347, second on the team. He has 34 hits, tops on the team, 11 more than his nearest teammate. Spingola was thrown out attempting to steal for only the second time all summer on Saturday at Vermont, but avenged that by stealing three bases, without getting caught, on Sunday at Plymouth. He now has nine in 11 attempts, tied with teammate Riley Palmer, two steals behind team-leader Zachery Blanden.
Alex Cruz, Danbury Westerners – Cruz cooled off a little last week, batting .167, (4-for-24), but his hits were productive ones, as he drove in a team-high five runs. Cruz hit his third homer of the summer, a two-run blast in the third inning last Tuesday, scoring fellow-Jacket Daniel Spingola in front of him as part of his three-RBI barrage in the 6-4 win over Saratoga, then had a key two-run single in the eighth inning two nights later, but the Westerners came up short, losing 5-4, at Holyoke. Cruz is hitting a .306, third on the team, with a team-leading .500 slugging percentage, a .368 on-base percentage. His .868 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging), ranks second.
Both Spingola and Cruz will represent the Western Division in this Sunday’s NECL All-Star Game.
Danbury is 6-4 over its last 10 games and was 4-2 last week. They are tied for fifth in the Western Division, 5 games back, but are only one games out of third and two games out of second.
Hamptons Collegiate League (2)
Kyle Leach, Westhampton Aviators – The freshman right-hander made one appearance, but it was an interesting one. Leach allowed two hits and a walk in but threw a scoreless ninth inning against Sag Harbor in the 8-4 loss last Tuesday. He retired the first two hitters, then allowed the two hits and a walk then retired the side. Leach lowered his ERA to 2.31, with his sixth scoreless appearance in his last seven outings and his ninth in 11 this summer.
Cole Miller, Westhampton Aviators – The sophomore infielder had another strong week, as he raised his average 12 points to .277, going 5-for-17 for the week (.294). The highlight of the week came Thursday, when Miller blasted a pair of solo home runs, his second and third of the summer and first since June 22, in Thursday’s 4-1 win at Center Moriches.
The Aviators took over first place in the HCBL following a 3-2 week. They began the a half-game ahead of Sag Harbor at 17-12.
Valley League (1)
Thomas Smith, Harrisonburg Turks – Smith earned Valley League Player of the Week after a blistering week at the plate during which he hit .381 (8-for-21), blasted his first two homers of the year, drove in runs and scored three more. He hit in all six games, raising his average 16 points to .320 and his slugging percentage 68 points to .360. Unfortunately, the Turks lost both games in which Smith homered.
The Turks finished 2-4 for the week, with three of the losses coming by one run, the other by two. The Turks still have the most wins in the League (24) but, at 24-11, are a game behind the New Market Rebels (23-10), who have played fewer games.
Northwoods League (1)
Sam Clay, Mankato MoonDogs – The freshman lefty had a nice week, earning his second win of the season while throwing 4 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, allowing only two hits. Clay pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two in Mankato’s 18-5 win at Rochester Tuesday, then, on Saturday, hurled 3 2/3 scoreless innings, from the fifth in the seventh, in the MoonDogs’ 15-6 win over Duluth. He struck out six while walking four in earning the win. The goose-eggs helped Clay lower his ERA to 2.70 and his opposing batting average to .136.
Mankato was 6-1 last week, three times scoring in double-figures, and began the week 8-4, tied for second in the North Division, 3 1/2 games back.
Florida League (1)
Grant Wruble, Leesburg Lightning – The freshman catcher had a tremendous week. He began Tuesday, playing for the North in the FCSL All-Star Game. Entering the game in the sixth inning, Wruble went 1-for-2, singling in the ninth inning. The good feelings carried over to the week, as he hitting .272 (3-for-13), getting hits in two of the Lightning’s three games, capping the weekend with a 2-for-3 day, with a double, an RBI and two runs scored in a 10-7 win at Sanford. He walked and scored in the game-winning three-run seventh-inning rally. He comes into the week batting .222, with four RBIs and with hits in four of his last five games and six of the last ten games (including the All-Star Game).
Leesburg began the week tied for second at 15-11, 2 1/2 games behind first-place Winter Park.
Alaska League (1)
Devin Stanton, Chugiak Chinooks – The junior lefty had a rough week, allowing six runs (all earned) in three innings of work. Making only his second start of the season, Stanton took the loss on Thursday, a 5-1 loss at the Alaska Goldpanners, surrendering all five runs in two innings of work. He allowed six hits, including a homer and three doubles. On Sunday, he pitched the seventh inning, allowing only one hit, but it was a home run, in the 5-4 loss to the Matsu Minors. The two outings pushed Stanton’s ERA to 4.05 and his opposing batting average to .283.
Chugiak had a rough week in general, going 0-5 and scoring only 12 runs. The Chinooks sits in fifth place at 5-22, 12 1/2 games out of first.
Sunbelt League (2)
Mitch Earnest, OTC Bearcats – The junior catcher, who is hitting .179 and was riding his second hitting streak of the season did not play this week.
Dylan Dore, Douglasville Bulls – The freshman outfielder, who 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 and had a .364 slugging percentage is fifth on the team — did not play this week.
Douglasville comes off a 4-1 week and began the week 14-5, tied for the most wins in the league. They hold a two-game lead over the Home Plate Chukars, who they beat twice. Also in the West, OTC continues to struggle, as they went 2-3 last week — although one win did come over the Bulls — and sat 4-15, 10 games back.
Cal Ripken League (1)
Will Young, Herndon Braves – The sophomore infielder had a bit of a tough week, hitting .214 (3-for-14), but carried a three-game hitting streak into the week. Young is batting .300, second on the team, with team-highs in hits (24), and stolen bases (6, without being caught). He’s also amongst team leaders in RBIs, slugging, and OPS, and on-base percentage.
Herndon ended the week 3-3 but sits at the bottom of the 12-team league, with a 7-23 mark, 16 games back.
South Florida Collegiate League (1)
Greg Feinberg, Boca Raton Lightning – The freshman was 0-for-2, with a strikeout in the one game he played this week, dropping his average to .111. The game ended in a scoreless tie, keeping alive his perfect 2-0 record in one-run games behind the plate. The Lightning were 1-3 in such games prior to his arrival.
The Lightning began the week 12-11, in third place, in the North Division but struck big last week, going 7-3.