Kansas Baseball: Summer League Update No. 1

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Summer baseball leagues are off and running, and so are many Kansas Jayhawks looking to carry momentum from a successful 2014 campaign at KU.

Freshman catcher Michael Tinsley garnered the Northwoods League Hitter of the Night award (June 10), as he went 3-for-5 at the plate, with two home runs, seven RBIs and three runs for the Duluth Huskies. However, Tinsley’s efforts were not enough, as the Huskies lost in 11 innings to the Eau Claire Express, 16-12. The Menlo Park, California native is currently batting .341 for Duluth in 12 games, and has 10 RBIs off 15 hits this season. Joined by Tinsley on the Huskies’ roster are fellow classmates Jon Hander and KU’s record holder for saves as a freshman, Stephen Villines. Hander has appeared in only nine of Duluth’s 23 games, and has posted a .130 batting average in 23 at bats. Villines has pitched six and one-third innings in four relief appearances, and has given up 10 hits and five earned runs.

Outfielder Joven Afenir is quickly making his mark in the Western Baseball Association (WBA), where he is batting .355 in 31 at bats for the San Diego Waves. Afenir, a freshman from Murrieta, California, knocked in the game winning run for the Waves on June 12 to beat league foes, the San Diego Stars, 2-1. He is joined on the Waves’ roster by John Remick, a freshman catcher for KU. Remick has scored two runs in six games, and has four walks after 15 plate appearances. The Waves are in first place in the Southern Division of the WBA, with a record of 4-1 in league play.

Juniors Justin Protacio and Drew Morovick headed North for the Summer to display their talents for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots of the Alaska Baseball League (ABL). Protacio, an infielder, has played a big role in the Glacier Pilots’ 6-3 record. Protacio hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning against ABL opponent, the Matsu Miners (June 13). Protacio had two RBIs and three singles in the victory. The infielder also scored two runs on June 18, as Anchorage took down another ABL foe, the Chugiak Chinooks, 11-6. He is currently batting .350 through 20 at bats, while tallying three RBIs and six walks in the five games he has appeared. Morovick has started one game on the mound, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing two earned runs before finishing the night with a no-decision.

Junior outfielder Steven Goldstein joins Tinsley, Hander and Villines in the Northwoods League, playing for the Waterloo Bucks. Goldstein has played in 16 games, scored nine runs and walked six times so far this summer. The Bucks are 14-9 and currently on a five-game win streak. Waterloo and Duluth have faced off twice this summer, with the Bucks coming out on top in both games.

Joe Moroney is spending the summer in East Texas, playing for the Pump Jacks of the Texas Collegiate League. Moroney, a junior, has 10 hits and 10 walks in 15 games, including a three- hit night against the Woodlands Strykers in a 15-inning battle (June 4).

The Mid-Plains League claims three Jayhawks this summer: Jacob Boylan, Hayden Edwards, and Colin Toalson. Boylan is playing for the Midwest A’s based out of Peculiar, Missouri, while both Edwards and Toalson are playing in Topeka, Kansas. Edwards is pitching for the Topeka Senators where he has thrown eight innings for a 1-1 record and 0.00 ERA. Toalson, playing for the Topeka Golden Giants, has pitched three innings across two games, recording one save. The Midwest A’s and the Senators face off in a three-game series in Topeka starting with a doubleheader on Friday, June 20, with the third game scheduled for Saturday, June 21.

Freshmen Tyler Davis and Jeremy Kravetz are both playing for the Hutchinson Monarchs of the Walter Johnson League. Davis has an 0-1 record for the Monarchs, with a 3.00 ERA after nine innings pitched, while Kravetz has one win in four appearances. Kravetz’s one earned run allowed through nine and one-third innings pitched equates to a 0.96 ERA.

Sophomore infielder Tommy Mirabelli, playing for the Columbia Blowfish of the Coastal Plain League, is batting .273 in five games with two walks. In game one of a doubleheader with the Florence Redwolves (June 18), he went 2-for-3 with one RBI as Columbia beat Florence, 6-1.

Other Jayhawks playing summer baseball include Colby Wright, batting .250 with one home run for the Newport Gulls; MJ Farthing batting .200 with five RBIs and eight runs for the Marysville Gold Sox; Brian Poupore batting .174 for the Cowlitz Black Bears of the West Coast League; Blair Beck, who has yet to record a hit in four games for the Wareham Gatemen; and Sean Rackoski, who has a 7.20 ERA through five innings of work with the Watertown Rams.

Check back throughout the summer to see how the Jayhawks fair in summer league action.

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