Kansas Baseball Summer League Report No. 1

LAWRENCE, Kan. – As the summer continues to heat up, so do several baseball leagues that contain numerous Kansas Jayhawks on their rosters.
Sophomore Joven Afenir took his talents east this summer and wasted no time making his presence known with the Newport Gulls of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). The Murrieta, California native is first on the Gulls’ roster with a .426 batting average, and sits second in the league with the same title, through 17 games. Afenir also leads his team in hits (26) and stolen bases (8). The sophomore had a breakout game in an 8-0 win against the Keene Swamp Bats (June 10), going 5-for-5 at the plate with one double. The Gulls have an overall record of 11-6 on the season and are positioned second in the South division of the NECBL.
Freshmen Matt McLaughlin and TJ Martin traveled north to play for the Duluth Huskies in the Northwoods League this summer. The flashy infielder McLaughlin has 40 hits and nine RBI’s while plating 22 runs so far this summer.  McLaughlin went 1-for-3 at the plate with that hit being a home run in a 7-3 win against the Rochester Honkers on the same night that fellow Jayhawk and classmate Owen Taylor belted a homer for the Wisconsin Woodchucks (June 14), of the same league.  McLaughlin has appeared in 32 of the Huskies’ 35 games, and his batting average (.331) ranks first on the team.
Playing for the Falmouth Commodores of the prestigious Cape Cod League are sophomores Stephen Villines and Michael Tinsley. Villines, KU’s closer, has three saves in the seven games he has appeared in while holding a 2.45 ERA. In his most recent outing, the closer ended the game by striking out the side to save a win for the Commodores in a 1-0 victory over the Harwich Mariners (June 27). The versatile defensive player Tinsley has played in 15 games for the Commodores at both behind the plate and in the outfield.
The Chillicothe Mudcats of the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas (MINK) Collegiate Baseball League have a loaded pitching staff led by two promising Jayhawk pitchers in Sean Rackoski and Ryan Ralston. Sophomore Rackoski has started four games for Chillicothe and owns a 4-0 record with a 1.33 ERA, good for second place in the MINK League. Rackoski has fanned 24 batters and has one complete game under his belt. Ralston has started four games on the mound and possesses a 2-1 record with a 4.56 ERA and has thrown 21.2 innings.
 Joining the three pitchers on the Mudcats’ roster is fellow Jayhawk catcher John Remick. The San Diego, California native went 1-for-3 at the plate with one home run and three RBI’s on a night that the Mudcats crushed the Carroll Merchants (June 27), a non-league opponent,  13-4. The right-handed slugger is batting .325 over the last five games, while holding an average of .316 on the summer. The Mudcats are 14-10 on the season and are currently riding a three-game win streak, due in large part by the help of the four Jayhawks who are calling Chillicothe, Missouri home for the summer.
Outfielder MJ Farthing stuck close to the home this summer while playing for the Dodge City A’s of the Jayhawk Baseball League. Farthing went 3-for-4 from the plate while hitting his first home run of the summer (June 9). He collected two RBI’s in that 15-5 win over the Bethany Bulls. Four days later, the sophomore slugger belted his second home run of the season in a 2-3 loss to Haysville.
The Mid-Plains League claims sophomore starting pitcher Tyler Davis. Davis plays for the Rossville Rattlers and has tossed more innings on the mound than any other Jayhawk pitcher this summer. The right-hander has pitched a total of 28 innings and has equated a tremendous 0.92 ERA. On June 6, Davis turned in a phenomenal performance as he pitched a complete game giving up two earned runs and striking out 13 Midwest Atlantic batters. The Springville, California native holds a 3-1 record on the summer.
Junior infielder Tommy Mirabelli is playing in New York’s Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League for the Elmira Pioneers who currently sit in first place of its division with a 13-8 record. Mirabelli has produced four extra-base hits with two triples, landing him at second on the team in that category. On June 20, Mirabelli batted 3-for-5 at the plate while scoring one run and singling in another against the Adirondack Trail Blazers. Mirabelli is hitting .274 this summer and has stolen seven bags.
Check back throughout the summer to see how the Jayhawks fair in summer league action.

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