#TGW: Rounding Third and Heading Home
Georgia Tech baseball players fighting through as Summer Leagues wind down
By Jon Cooper
The Good Word
There are only a couple of weeks remaining until classes resume at Georgia Tech.
That’s a time of mixed emotions for Yellow Jackets Baseball. On one hand it means it’s time to start winding up their summer leagues and think about heading back to Atlanta (a move some Jackets have already made). On the other that signals that it’s time to start thinking about the start of fall classes and preparing for fall practice.
But before they leave, they are determined to leave on as good a note as possible -- or at least go down swinging (or firing).
Here is a look at the how the Yellow Jackets and their teams fared last week in their various 2015 Summer Leagues. (Games of July 12-19)
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: Brandon had a nice bounce-back week in response to an 0-for-12 stretch, getting hits in back-to-back games in tight victories over Cotuit, then scoring the first run in a five-run third inning on Saturday in a Brewster win over Bourne. In that win over the Braves, he played at first and was part of a pair of double plays in the 7-4 win. Gold is hitting .241, with 13 hits, including a double, and five RBIs this summer. He did not pitch during the week. His summer ERA remains at 5.68, although opposing hitters are hitting only .190 against him.
Kel Johnson: Kel played his first four games in the Cape Cod Baseball League this week. He debuted by reaching base three times (1-for-2 with a pair of walks) against Chatham on Tuesday, getting a single in his first CCBL at-bat. He’d add his first multi-hit game, record his first RBI, and score twice three days later at Orleans. Johnson, who DH’ed in all four games, finished the week hitting .200 (3-for-15), with a .492 OPS, the two runs scored and the RBI. Not everything came up roses, however, as he struck out six times, twice in each of the last two games.
Ryan Peurifoy: Ryan went 2-for-12 in four games and heads into Sunday looking to shake an 0-for-7, but he continued to do the little things and be central to Whitecaps rallies. He laid down an important sacrifice bunt that would plate an insurance run in the 2-0 win over Cotuit last Sunday, a game in which he recorded seven putouts in right field, had an RBI infield hit and scored in a three-run eighth in the 6-0 win over Chatham on Tuesday, and walked and scored as part of a five-run third in the 7-4 win over Bourne on Saturday. Peurifoy is hitting .189 but leads the team with two triples, is second with 12 walks, is fourth in runs (12) and is tied for fourth with nine RBIs.
Zac Ryan: Zac had a mixed week in two appearances. He recorded his second win of the summer on Wednesday in the 2-1 win over Cotuit, but had a rough outing two days later at Orleans, in something of a mop-up role in the 10-6 win. On Wednesday, Ryan entered the game in the top of the ninth with Brewster trailing 1-0. He held the Kettleers -- retiring the side in order, allowing a walk but then getting an inning-ending strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play -- then earned the win when Brewster rallied to plate two in the bottom half of the inning. Three days later at Orleans, Ryan entered the game in the sixth, with the Whitecaps leading 10-2, but struggled. He allowed three runs on three hits, with a walk and a strikeout, throwing 13 of his 21 pitches for strikes. While the outing was the second time in three that he’d been scored upon, it was something of an outlier, as it was only the third appearance all summer in which he’d allowed a run. The other two came in appearances of 4 ⅔ and 6.0 innings. That pushed his ERA to 3.97 ERA (20 ER in 22 ⅔ innings). He’s allowed 20 hits, striking out 19 while walking 12 and holding opposing hitters to a .253 batting average.
Keenan Innis: Keenan did not play. He finished the summer batting .200 in eight games (5-for-25), with three walks and a stolen base. Defensively, he was perfect in the field.
Jonathan King: Jonathan had a tough go in his lone start, taking the ‘L’ in Cotuit’s 5-2 loss to Falmouth. The lefty was charged with three runs (all earned) in 3.0 innings, his shortest start of the summer. He allowed five hits, including his first home run of the summer (two-run shot in the second), a walk and hit a batter. He threw 26 of his 47 pitches for strikes. The loss evened his record at 1-1, but raised his ERA to 3.33 (10 earned runs in 27.0 innings). Opponents are batting .296 off him but he’s made big pitches, striking out 23, while walking only seven.
Matt Gonzalez: Matt continued to make progress in digging out of the deep hole he dug himself in June, going 3-for-15 (.200), including putting up his third multi-hit game of the summer. The two-hit effort, with a run scored, came on Wednesday, but wasn’t enough to help the Mariners, who fell at Orleans, 12-3. Two days later he reached twice (a single and a walk) in the bounce-back 6-1 win at Hyannis. “Gonzo” has hit in seven of 11 July games and is batting .278 in the month (10-for-36). Defensively, he made one error in seven chances in left field.
Connor Justus: Connor went 2-for-9 for the week, including his second home run of the summer, and hit in two of the three games in which he played. Both of his hits were for extra bases. Justus blasted the roundtripper in the sixth inning on Saturday off Yarmouth-Dennis’ Ricky Thomas (Fresno State), the first homer the sophomore lefty has allowed (opposing batters are hitting .137 against him). It accounted for all the Mariners’ scoring in their 4-1 loss to the Red Sox. On Tuesday, Justus hit a two-out double and scored, also against the Sox, also in the sixth inning. That run would pull Harwich to within 5-3, but they would get no closer. Connor, who is hitting .181, is third on the team in runs (12), and is tied for third in stolen bases (six, in nine tries). Defensively, he cleanly fielded 10 of 11 chances at second and short and has a .962 fielding percentage for the summer.
Arden Pabst: Arden went 2-for-8 at the plate in two games for the Harbor Hawks, but those two hits came in Tuesday’s 5-2 win at Falmouth. It was Pabst’s second multi-hit game of the summer, his first since his first game, June 9, coincidentally also at Falmouth, and gave him a summer-high three-game hitting streak. Arden’s eighth-inning single helped tack on a run in the win. The streak ended two nights later, however, when he went 0-for-4 against Harwich. He’s batting .211, with a .520 OPS. Defensively, he has 23 assists and a .974 fielding percentage (four errors in 146 chances).
Ben Parr: Ben saw his summer of zeroes end in his lone appearance Tuesday in Wareham’s 8-2 loss to Orleans. The sophomore righty was reached for five runs (three earned) on three hits in an inning plus against the Firebirds. Parr entered the game in the seventh with one on, nobody out and the Gatemen trailing 2-1. After retiring the first hitter on a sacrifice, he allowed an RBI single. An error was followed by a wild pitch, an intentional walk, a sac-fly and then a passed ball to allow another run to score. Parr got out of the inning by getting a fly out and a ground out, but would struggle again in the eighth. The first three hitters reached on a pair of singles and a walk, before he was lifted. All three runners would come around to score on a pair of singles and a double play grounder. The outing raised Parr’s ERA to 2.89 (3 ER in 9 ⅓ innings) and raised his opponents’ batting average to .286 from .241. He’s allowed 10 hits and has nearly a strikeout per inning (nine, vs. six walks).
Brewster: The Whitecaps headed into Sunday 5-0 on the week. They are 18-14, tied with Chatham for second in the East Division (36 points), but still 10 points back of division-leader Orleans. Cotuit: Cotuit was 2-3, but come in to Sunday off an eight-run outburst against Falmouth -- they’d scored 10 runs in their previous six games. At 12-20 (24 points), the Kettleers are fifth in the West, but only six points out of second and 10 out of first. Harwich: The Mariners were 1-4 heading into Sunday, scoring three-or-fewer runs in all four losses. They are 13-18-1 (27 points), fifth in the East, seven points away from fourth-place Yarmouth-Dennis and 19 out of first. Hyannis: The Harbor Hawks were 1-4 for the week and had lost three straight, scoring four runs total in the three games, but, at 17-15 (34 points), they still lead the West by four points and are the only team over .500. Wareham: The Gatemen went 1-4 and hadn’t scored more than two runs in a game all week, but go into Sunday looking to make it two straight wins, following a 2-1 win over first-place Hyannis on Saturday. At 13-18-1 (27 points), they are third in the West, seven points back but only three out of second.
Wade Bailey, Harrisonburg Turks (@HbgTurksVBL)
Jared Datoc, Harrisonburg Turks (@HbgTurksVBL)
Patrick Wiseman, Harrisonburg Turks (@HbgTurksVBL)
Tanner Shelton, Harrisonburg Turks (@HbgTurksVBL)
Wade Bailey: Wade did not play. He finished the summer hitting .185 (5-for-27 in 10 games) with a double and an RBI, while, defensively, he was perfect in 41 chances (13 putouts, 28 assists).
Jared Datoc: Jared proved human last week, allowing his first earned runs of the summer and getting scored upon in back-to-back appearances for the first time. He allowed four runs (two earned in each of his two appearances), covering 2 ⅓ innings. His first outing came Wednesday in an 8-0 loss to Covington and actually started well. Entering with two out and a runner at second, he retired the first hitter, to end the inning. But with one out in the sixth, things fell apart, as a single, a double and a pair of wild pitches resulted in two runs. On Friday, Datoc came in in the seventh with Harrisonburg holding a 7-3 lead. He issued a pair of walks, then allowed a pair of RBI singles. The Turks would hold on, winning, 7-6. Even with those two outings, his summer ERA stands at 1.82 (5 ER in 24 ⅔ innings), he’s allowed only 19 hits, has struck out 20 vs. 11 walks and is holding opposing hitters to a .207 batting average.
Patrick Wiseman: Patrick struggled -- at least for him -- as he allowed walks in back-to-back outings and also was scored on in back-to-back appearances for the first time this summer. He allowed three runs overall (only one earned) in 4.0 innings in two games. Wiseman saw his scoreless appearances string end at five, on Tuesday, as a walk, a single, a wild pitch and an error resulted in two runs in the sixth inning of a 7-2 loss at the Front Royal Cardinals. On Friday, he allowed his first earned run in six appearances, in the seventh inning of what would be a 5-1 win over Charlottesville. Again, walks played a part. After a leadoff walk was erased by a 9-3 double play, a second walk led to a stolen base and an RBI single before Wiseman recorded a strikeout to end the inning. He’d recover from giving up an ER just fine, however, retiring the side in order in both the eighth and ninth innings to record his second save of the summer. Wiseman heads into Sunday with six shutout appearances out of eight, sporting a 1.58 ERA and holding opponents to a .139 batting average and a .209 on-base percentage. He boasts a better than 4:1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio (21Ks vs. 5 BBs).
Tanner Shelton: Tanner had his most dominant appearance of the summer in his one appearance, on Tuesday in the Turks’ 7-2 loss at Front Royal. Entering the game to start the seventh, he retired all six hitters he faced, striking out three of them. Shelton, who threw 15 of his 22 pitches for strikes, lowered his ERA to 2.79 (three earned runs out of his seven allowedd are earned, in 9 ⅔ innings) and opposing batting average to .282.
Harrisonburg: The Turks went 3-2, having won three straight, after dropping the week’s first two games by a combined 15-2 margin. They began play Sunday in first place in the South at 26-10, four games up on Staunton.
Daniel Gooden: Daniel did not pitch. He has an 0-2 record with an 18.00 ERA (18 ER in 9.0 innings).
Matt Phillips: Matt made two appearances, walking the tightrope both times, and, unfortunately, falling off the second time. In the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 11-2 loss to Florence, he allowed a hit and a walk and hit a batter, but wriggled out of first-and-second, one-out and bases-loaded, two-out jams. On Saturday at Forest City, he wouldn’t be as lucky. Phillips faced three hitters in the fifth, allowing a pair of walks and a hit before being lifted. All three runners came in on a sac fly and a pair of errors. Phillips heads into Sunday 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA (seven earned runs in 9.0 innings) and has lowered his opponents batting average to .286.
Peninsula: The Pilots went 1-3, heading into Sunday on a three-game losing streak. They’re 5-9 in the second half, seventh in the East, 5 ½ games off the pace.
Lexington County: The Blowfish went into Sunday 2-4, losers of two straight, allowing 11 runs in each games and in three of their four losses on the week (they gave up seven in the other). At 5-8 in the second half, they’re sixth in the West, 5 ½ games off the pace.
GREAT LAKES SUMMER COLLEGIATE LEAGUE
Grant Wruble, Southern Ohio Copperheads (@Copperheads)
Grant Wruble: Grant completed his summer and is headed back to Atlanta (for more on his summer, click here). He finished a tremendous summer is batting .305 (tied for second on the team), with an .801 OPS (third). He led or was tied for the team lead in hits (29), was tied for second in homers (2), was third in runs batted in (15), tied for third in doubles (5) and was tied for fifth on the team in runs (15) and walks (11).
Southern Ohio: The Copperheads were 2-4 last week, but headed into Sunday looking to ride the momentum of Saturday’s 17-1 win over the Lorain County Ironmen. They began play 18-16, in sixth place, 5 ½ games back.
Trevor Craport, Brookhaven Bucks
Trevor Craport: Trevor went into the Sunbelt League’s all-star break on a 2-for-9, with his best game coming Monday, a multi-hit game in an 8-3 win over Alpharetta. After singling and stealing his first of two bases on the night in the first inning (he’s now 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts on the summer), Craport ignited a three-run third with a double. Trevor leads the Bucks in batting average (minimum 20 ABs) at .420 (29-for-69), on-base percentage (.474), hits (29), is second or tied for second in runs (19), OPS (1.039), and slugging percentage (.565), and is tied for or is third in RBIs (11) and doubles (7). He also made another appearance on the mound on Thursday against the Phenix City Crawdads. Craport pitched the third and fourth innings, allowing one run (earned) and two hits with a walk and a strikeout. The only run he allowed came in the fourth on a walk, a single then a double steal. He threw 15 of his 20 pitches for strikes. Craport, who is pitching to a 6.00 ERA, sports an outstanding strikeouts-to-walks ratio approaching 7:1 (20 K’s vs. 3 BB’s).
In the Sunbelt League All-Star Game, Trevor started behind the plate and went 0-for-2 for the victorious East Squad and, this past weekend, took part in the Southeast Collegiate Prospect Showcase at Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium.
Brookhaven: The Bucks went 1-3 last week, dropping their last three games, all three by two-run margins. They finished at 15-12, third in the East 4 ½ games back, but good enough to earn a wildcard berth in the Sunbelt League playoffs. They’ll play the Gwinnett Tides in the Eastern Division Wild Card Game one-game playoff on Tuesday. The winner gets the Eastern Division Champion Atlanta Crackers in a best-of-three series.