Full Mettle Jackets

June 22, 2015


By Jon Cooper
The Good Word

Summer Baseball Leagues have started picking up, and Georgia Tech's players are making a difference.

While a most of these leagues were off for one reason or another on Sunday -- The Cape Cod League was washed out by inclement weather, while the Sunbelt scheduled no games for Father's Day -- the week still saw plenty of action involving the Jackets.

One game, the Friday, June 17 Cape Cod Baseball League game between the Cotuit Kettleers and Brewster Whitecaps at times closely resembled the White-Gold World Series. The first five innings saw a pitching duel between Yellow Jackets hurlers, Zac Ryan (Brewster) and Jonathan King (Cotuit). Among the position players were Brewster right fielder Ryan Peurifoy and Cotuit left fielder Keenan Innis, both of whom patrol the outfield at Russ Chandler Stadium for King and Ryan. Spoiler alert: Neither Jacket got a decision, although both pitched well enough to do so. They were especially good against their teammates. Peurifoy went 1-for-3 against King, managing a first-inning single, while Innis was 0-for-3 vs. Ryan. The Kettleers would laugh last, however, as Innis scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth, following a leadoff walk.

Here is a look at the how all the Yellow Jackets and their teams fared last week in their various 2015 Summer Leagues. (Through games of June 21)

CAPE COD LEAGUE 
Brandon Gold, Brewster Whitecaps (@WhitecapsCCBL)
Kel Johnson, Brewster Whitecaps (@WhitecapsCCBL)
Ryan Peurifoy, Brewster Whitecaps (@WhitecapsCCBL)
Zac Ryan, Brewster Whitecaps (@WhitecapsCCBL)
Keenan Innis, Cotuit Kettleers (@CotuitKettleers)
Jonathan King, Cotuit Kettleers (@CotuitKettleers)
Matt Gonzalez, Harwich Mariners (@HarwichMariners)
Connor Justus, Harwich Mariners (@HarwichMariners)
Arden Pabst, Hyannis Harbor Hawks (@HarborHawks)
Ben Parr, Wareham Gatemen (@WarehamGatemen)

Brandon Gold: Gold cooled a little last week at the plate, hitting .250 (4-for-20), with an RBI. Brewster cooled as well, suffering through a five-game losing streak, which it snapped on Friday. Gold played a big role in the hexbreaker, a 4-3, 10-inning win over Yarmouth-Dennis, delivering a game-tying RBI single in the third, then, in the 10th, advancing what proved to be the winning run. Gold, who is still hitting .286, with eight hits (tied for second on the team), and four RBIs (tied for fourth), picked up as the week ended, getting two hits in Thursday's 1-0 loss to Chatham. He made his second start of the summer on Saturday, but struggled, allowing four runs on two hits, in 2 ⅓ innings, in the 16-4 win over Cotuit. He hurt himself by walking four batters. The outing pushed his ERA to 5.69, although opposing hitters are hitting only .190 against him.

Kel Johnson: Did not play. He is expected to join the Whitecaps in a few weeks.

Ryan Peurifoy: Despite getting King once, Peurifoy had his difficulties at the plate, hitting .200 (4-for-20), driving in three runs. He drove in both runs in the Whitecaps' 9-2 loss to Hyannis June 14 and was central to the seven-run, third-inning outburst that blew open Saturday's 16-6 win over Cotuit, driving in the first run with an RBI single and scoring later in the inning. Peurifoy is hitting .226 but is tied for the team lead in walks (5), is second in runs (7) and is tied for second in RBI (5).

Zac Ryan: Ryan did not earn a decision in his lone appearance, a 4-3 loss at Cotuit, despite a quality start, going six innings, allowing three runs (all earned), on six hits, striking out four and walking one. He threw 62 of his 94 pitches for strikes but also had some control issues, as he hit three batters, including the first two of the game, and uncorked three wild pitches. Ryan, who left trailing 3-2 -- Brewster tied the game in the eighth before allowing the winning run in the bottom half -- limited Cotuit to 3-for-14 in at-bats with runners in scoring position. He boasts a 2.79 ERA (3 ER in 9 ⅔ innings), and has a 5:1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, with a .273 opposing batting average.

Keenan Innis: Innis was 1-for-9 for the week and scored only one run, but it was a big one. It came in the eighth inning against Brewster, with the score tied 3-3. He walked leading off the inning, was sacrificed to second then came around to score on a single. Innis is batting .200 thus far in eight games (5-for-25), with three walks and a stolen base. Defensively, he is perfect in the field.

Jonathan King: King walked through the raindrops in his lone start of the week, going five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and five hits over five in Cotuit's 4-3 win over Brewster. King left up 3-2, but the eighth-inning run that earned Ryan a no-decision cost King the win. The lefty got himself into jams with walks, issuing three free passes while striking out four and made a costly throwing error, but he also made pitches. He threw 45 of his 73 pitches for strikes and handcuffed Brewster in RISP at-bats, as the Whitecaps were 0-for-8. King has no record in his two summer starts, despite having allowed only three runs in his two starts, covering 9 ⅓ innings (a 2.89 ERA) and allowing opponents a .289 BA.

Matt Gonzalez: Gonzalez's uncharacteristically slow start continued, as he went 1-for-10 for the week, with seven strikeouts over his last three games. His hit was big, however, as it came in the seventh inning of Harwich's 6-2 win over Bourne and sparked a three-run inning. Gonzalez scored the second run of the inning. Gonzo is hitting .133 with nine K's thus far this summer. Defensively, he has been playing in left field and has one error in eight chances.

Connor Justus: Justus was on base regularly, hitting.286 (4-for-14), with three walks (a .412 on-base percentage), with two runs batted in, two runs scored, and and two stolen bases in four attempts. He is hitting .233, fourth on the Mariners, and is tied for second on the team in runs (5) and third in hits (7) and on-base percentage (.343).

Arden Pabst: Pabst went 1-for-11 at the plate for the Harbor Hawks, with a run scored. He's batting .250, with a .641 OPS. Defensively, he has nine assists and a .966 fielding percentage.

Ben Parr: Parr threw a scoreless inning in his one relief appearance last Sunday at Orleans. He allowed one hit but then erased the runner by inducing a 4-6-3 double play in the Gatemen's 6-2 loss to the Firebirds. Parr hasn't allowed a run in two appearances covering 1 ⅓ innings.

The Whitecaps lost five straight but finished the week on a two-game winning streak. They are 5-6, fourth in the East Division. Cotuit: Cotuit was 1-5, four times scoring three-or-fewer runs (they were 0-4 in those games). At 4-7, the Kettleers are last in the West but only one game out of second Harwich: The Mariners went 3-2-1, but head into the week on a two-game losing streak. They are 5-5-1, third in the East. Hyannis: The Harbor Hawks went 4-2 for the week, outscoring opponents, 33-16. They are 8-3, first in the West, one game off the best record in the CCBL. Wareham: The Gatemen went 3-4 and are 5-6, tied for second in the West.

VALLEY LEAGUE
Wade Bailey, Harrisonburg Turks (@HbgTurksVBL)
Jared Datoc, Harrisonburg Turks (@HbgTurksVBL)
Patrick Wiseman, Harrisonburg Turks (@HbgTurksVBL)
Tanner Shelton, Harrisonburg Turks (@HbgTurksVBL)

Wade Bailey: Bailey was 1-for-7 in the three games in which he appeared last week. He was 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter on June 14 at Waynesboro, in the 7-2 win, was 1-for-3 in the 11-3 loss on June 18 against the Covington Lumberjacks and finished the week going 0-for-3 at Waynesboro, although he did drive in a run, reaching via error to bring in the final, and game-winning, run of a five-run first in the 6-4 win. Bailey excelled in the field against Covington, flawlessly handling all seven chances and helping turn three double plays. He is hitting .185 thus far with a double and an RBI, while, defensively, he is perfect in 41 chances (13 putouts, 28 assists).

Jared Datoc: Datoc allowed his first runs of the summer but none of them were earned run in his two appearances last week. He allowed one hit and struck out one in the eighth inning of the Turks' 7-2 win at Waynesboro, following Jackets teammate Patrick Wiseman, then finished the week by going a season-high three innings in the Turks' 6-4 win at Waynesboro. Datoc was charged with two runs in the seventh, when he allowed a hit and a walk, but both runs were unearned, as the Turks committed two errors behind him. He has not allowed an earned run and only six hits in his four appearances covering seven innings and opponents are batting .240 off him.

Patrick Wiseman: Wiseman pitched three scoreless innings in his three appearances to lower his summer ERA to 1.28 and earned his first win and first save in back-to-back outings. He allowed one hit but then retired the side in the seventh inning of the Aug. 16 win at Waynesboro, striking out two Generals. He followed that on Friday, throwing a 1-2-3 12th inning and getting the win as the Turks walked off with a homer in the bottom half. Wiseman finished the week throwing a 1-2-3 ninth to close a 6-4 win at Waynesboro -- following a stellar three-inning appearance by Jackets teammate Jared Datoc. Wiseman, who begins this week having retired the last eight batters he's faced, has allowed one earned run and two hits in his six appearances, covering seven innings, and is holding opponents to a .087 batting average and a .160 on-base percentage.

Tanner Shelton: Shelton had a tough-luck outing in his first appearance for the Turks. Entering the game in the fourth inning down 5-1 in what would be an 11-3 loss to the Covington Lumberjacks, Shelton pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing three runs -- none of them earned -- on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts. One of the strikeouts saw a dropped third strike that would have ended the inning but instead resulted in two runs scoring. Shelton threw 27 pitches, 13 for strikes.

Harrisonburg went 3-2, including winning a 12-inning thriller on Friday, three times overcoming two-run deficits, and facing must-score situations in the ninth and 12th. The Turks begin play Monday 8-5, in second place in the South, 2 ½ games behind Stauton.

COASTAL PLAIN LEAGUE
Daniel Gooden, Peninsula Pilots (@PeninsulaPilots)
Matt Phillips, Lexington County Blowfish (@ColaBlowfish)

Daniel Gooden: Gooden allowed one run in his two appearances, covering 2 ⅔ innings. He threw a scoreless ninth in a 6-3 Pilots' loss to first-place Edenton on June 15. The next day, he came in against Lexington County with one out in the top of the eighth and allowed an RBI double and wild pitched a run home, but got the side out in the ninth, ringing up two. The run against the Blowfish pushed his ERA back up to 12.60 ERA. He's now allowed seven earned runs in five innings. Opponents are hitting .368 against him.

Matt Phillips: Phillips struggled in his one appearance, on June 19 at Forest City. He started but only faced three hitters, walking all three. The Blowfish came back, still won the game, 5-4. In four appearances, all starts, he's allowed seven runs (five earned) on seven hits in six innings, striking out six but walking 12. Opponents are hitting .292 against him.

The Pilots went 2-3 but won their last two and are 14-6, second in the East, 2 ½ games behind Edenton. The Blowfish went 5-1 and ride on a three-game winning streak. They are 11-11, third in the West, 3 ½ games out.

GREAT LAKES SUMMER COLLEGIATE LEAGUE
Grant Wruble, Southern Ohio Copperheads (@Copperheads)

Grant Wruble: Wruble continued to sizzle at the plate. He batted .350 for the week (7-for-20), with a three multi-hit games, giving him seven in 11 games. He finished the week with a 2-for-5, three-RBI night against the Lorain County Ironmen, his first three-RBI game of the summer (his second multi-RBI game) and second-straight multi-hit game. He reached his first four plate appearances against the Ironmen -- twice in the seven-run third -- in three different ways (hit by pitch, an error and two singles, including an RBI knock in the third and a two-run hit in the fifth). His double in the sixth inning on June 15 ignited a four-run inning in a 4-3 win, while on June 19 vs. the Cincinnati Steam he drove in a run in the first then doubled and scored as part of a two-run third in their walk-off 6-5 win. Wruble's red hot-week raised his batting average to .413 for the summer. That leads the Copperheads and is ninth in the entire league. Wruble leads or is tied for the lead on Southern Ohio in runs (8), hits (19), doubles (4), homers (1) and walks (8), and he is second on the team in RBIs (10).

The Copperheads were 4-1 on the week and began the week 9-3 at the top of the league.

SUNBELT LEAGUE
Trevor Craport, Brookhaven Bucks

Trevor Craport: Craport continued to scald the ball, batting .429 (6-for-14) with a double and two RBIs, getting at least one hit in all four games, and putting up a pair of multi-hit games. He is hitting .438, tops on the team and fourth in the league, with a .594 slugging average and a 1.094 OPS. He had a pair of RBI singles in the Bucks' 7-5 loss on June 15, added an RBI knock in the four-run eighth on June 19 in the 9-5 win at the Atlanta Crackers, and doubled and scored one of two runs in the 3-2 loss to the Alpharetta Braves on June 18. Amongst Sunbelt leaders, Trevor is tied for third in hits (14), tied for second in doubles (5), and is fifth in slugging (.594), and on-base percentage (.500). He leads the Bucks in hits and doubles, is second in runs (7), is tied for third in RBIs (5), and average, and is second in OPS (1.094), slugging (.594) and on-base percentage (.500). He did not pitch this week.

The Bucks went 1-3 last week, dropping a pair of two-run games and a one-run game, but sit in second place in the East, at 7-5, one game back of the Gwinnett Tides.