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They're Bad...They're Nationwide

June 19, 2011

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

It could be said that the sun never sets on Georgia Tech Baseball, as the Yellow Jackets are well-represented in collegiate baseball leagues all over the country.

Here’s a look at how the Jackets are doing thus far and where they’re doing it.

Alaska Baseball League
Conner Kendrick: The freshman lefty has made two appearances in eight games for the Anchorage Bucs. He’s allowed one earned run in 3 2/3 innings (a 2.45 ERA), striking out seven and walking six. Kendrick is holding batters to a .182 batting average.The Bucs are third in the league, at 4-8.

Cal Ripken Baseball League
Brad Markey: The sophomore right-hander split two starts with Youses Maryland Orioles. He has allowed three earned runs and 15 hits in 12 2/3 innings, striking out nine while walking three. Markey, who is 2-3 with a 2.89 ERA overall, also has seen action at third base, where he’s hitting .167 (1-for-6, a double). Youses started play Saturday 7-4, in third place.

Cape Cod League
Luke Bard: The sophomore righty had a rough first start for the Brewster Whitecaps, allowing six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in his Cape Cod League debut (an 11.57 ERA). Bard allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked three. Brewster is 4-3, third in the East Division.

Chase Butler: The Freshman third baseman has gotten off to a tough start, as have his fellow Falmouth Commodores, who are last in the West Division, having begun the season 0-7. In six games, Butler is hitting .125 (2-for-16), with a double.

Matthew Grimes: Tech’s 2011 mid-week starter as a freshman was dazzling in his Cape Cod League debut, allowing one earned run in six innings (a 1.50 ERA). He allowed only six hits and struck out five without walking a batter, but did not get a decision in Wareham’s 5-4 loss to Cotuit. He left with a 3-1 lead, but a four-run ninth cost him a win. Grimes is one of five Yellow Jackets on the Gatemen, who are currently 4-3, second in the West.

Mott Hyde: The freshman second baseman is hitting .250 (3-for-12), with two runs scored, a double and a triple, but his average belies a .357 on-base percentage and a team-high-tying .857 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging average). As important, Hyde has been perfect defensively at shortstop.

Daniel Palka: The freshman slugger is looking for his first extra-base hit in five games, but is hitting a solid .278 (5-for-18) and has only three strikeouts in 18 at-bats. LIke Hyde, Palka has been perfect defensively at first base.

Brandon Thomas: The sophomore outfielder is hitting a sizzling .391 (fifth in the League) with nine hits (fifth), including two doubles, a .478 slugging average and a .901 OPS (10th), all team-highs. He’s had two multi-hit games, including a 4-for-6 effort with two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases in Wareham’s 6-3 win over the Chatham Anglers.

DeAndre Smelter: The freshman pitcher took a loss in his first Cape Cod League appearance, allowing one earned run and two hits in a third of an inning, the ninth inning of Falmouth’s 4-3 loss to the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. Falmouth is off to a 1-7 start. A bright side to Smelter’s appearance was that he threw seven of his eight pitches for strikes.

Kyle Wren: The freshman centerfielder is wielding the same hot bat for the Cotuit Kettleers that he did for the Yellow Jackets. Wren is hitting .435 (third in the League), with a .481 on-base percentage (11th in the league) and has a league-high-tying 10 hits. He’s stolen a league-best six bases (in eight attempts) and is second in the league with six runs scored. His four RBIs rank fifth in the league. Cotuit is 3-3-1 in seven games, third in the West Division. In a Georgia Tech showdown, Kyle went 1-for-3 against Matt Grimes and drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in Cotuit’s four-run ninth-inning rally to beat Wareham, 5-4.

Coastal Plains League
Jonathan Roberts: The freshman right-hander is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four appearances for the Peninsula Pilots. Roberts is holding opposing hitters to a .133 average. The Pilots are 10-7, second in the league’s North Division.

Devin Stanton: Fellow freshman and Peninsula Pilot teammate, lefty Devin Stanton, has not been involved in any decisions but is pitching to a 2.57 ERA (two earned runs in seven innings), allowing six hits over five appearances. He’s struck out six and walked four and opponents are batting .231 against him.

Florida Collegiate Summer League
Zane Evans: The freshman catcher played his first two games this week for the Leesburg Lightening. He got off to a fast start, batting .333 (2-for-6), with three runs scored and three RBIs. The Lightening are 9-1 and in first place.

Alex Cruz: Freshman infielder Alex Cruz has hit safely in all seven games played for the Winter Park Diamong Dawgs. Cruz is third on the team with a .345 batting average, adding a home run and five RBI in 29 at-bats. He has multiple hits in three of the seven games.

Great Lakes Summer League
Dusty Isaacs: The freshman righty is pitching to a 1.35 ERA for the Hamilton Joes. He’s pitched in two games (one start), allowing one earned run in 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two. Opponents are batting .130 against Isaacs, and likely won’t be digging in too much, as he has hit three batters. Hamilton is 3-3, third in the South Division.

New England Collegiate Baseball League
Paul Kronenfeld: The freshman outfielder/1B is off to a torrid start for the first-place Sanford Mariners. Through five games, he’s batting .375 (6-for-15), with three doubles and five RBIs, tied for third in the league. He’s also 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts.

Valley Baseball League
Sam Dove: The sophomore outfielder has made six starts for the Harrisonburg Turks. He’s only hitting .259, with seven hits in 27 at-bats, but has two doubles, three RBIs and is 2-for-2 in the stolen base department. Harrisonburg is 10-3 and leading the Central Division.

Chris Triplett: The freshman shortstop has helped spark the Front Royal Cardinals to a 9-3 start, the best in the North Division. Triplett is hitting .238, but has a .377 on-base percentage and is tied for second on the team with 10 hits, including a double and a home run and is 5-for-6 in stolen base attempts. Triplett was 2-for-3 (he also drew two walks), with an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base in Front Royal’s 11-2 win over Harrisonburg. Dove did not play in the game.

Sunbelt Baseball League
Stats were unavailable for the Sunbelt Baseball League but stay tuned for updates on Clay Dalton (So. RHP), Mitch Earnest (Fr. C), Cameron Gibson (OF/RHP), Evan Martin (Jr. OF/IF), and Colby Wren (Fr., 1B) once they are.

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