Summer Ball Report: Several Jayhawks on All-Star Rosters
LAWRENCE, Kan. – With the month of July half over and Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Midsummer Classic complete, many summer leagues across the country follow suit with all-star games of their own with several rosters sporting some Crimson and Blue.
Junior infielder Tommy Mirabelli, sophomore outfielder Joven Afenir, sophomore catcher John Remick and freshman infielder Matt McLaughlin each played their way to all-star selections in their respective leagues.
A Rocky River, Ohio native, Mirabelli earned his spot in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) All-Star Game (July 20 at Veterans Memorial Park in Little Falls, New York) after helping his squad, the Elmira Pioneers, to a 23-12 record through the first half of the season and a first-place sitting. The lefty bat sits with a .312 batting average and 27 runs scored. Of his 29 hits, nine are extra-base knocks (six doubles, two triples and one home run).
McLaughlin continues his prowess in the Northwoods League with a .328 batting average playing for the Duluth Huskies. His team-leading 28 runs scored, along with his two home runs, secured him a spot for the North Division in the 2015 Northwoods League All-Star Game taking place at Witter Field on July 21.
Afenir’s hot start to the summer hasn’t simmered yet as the sophomore standout is first on the Newport Gulls’ roster in batting average (.340), home runs (three), RBIs (16), stolen bases (eight), runs scored (20) and hits (35). Those numbers landed the Murrieta, California native a starting spot in the outfield for the South Division during the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) All-star Game, Sunday, July 19, at Historic Goodall Park in Sanford, Maine. Most recently, Afenir hit a two-run shot to lift the Gulls to a 2-1 win over the Ocean State Waves (July 9).
Remick, the lone Jayhawk to have already played in his midsummer classic, made an appearance in the inaugural Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas (MINK) League All-Star Game, hosted in St. Joseph, Missouri (July 9). Remick has seen action in 27 games so far this season for the Chillicothe Mudcats. In his most recent outing, he batted 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored in a 7-0 win over the Ozark Generals (July 13).
Outside of the all-star action, other Jayhawks continue strong summer seasons in preparation for the fall. Freshman catcher TJ Martin holds a .306 batting average for the Duluth Huskies with 26 hits on the season and 11 RBIs.
Sophomore righty Sean Rackoski won five-consecutive starts on the hill for the Mudcats and has fanned 28 batters in the 33 innings he has pitched for a 1.36 ERA. Freshman right-hander Ryan Ralston has also tossed five games for the Mudcats and holds a 2-1 record.
In the prestigious Cape Cod League, sophomore closer Stephen Villines and sophomore catcher Michael Tinsley helped pace the Falmouth Commodores to a season-best four-game win streak. Villines has three saves in his last four opportunities, bringing his season total to five, which ties him for third place in the Cape Cod League standings. In his most recent outing, the closer struck out the final batter to preserve a win against Harwich, 3-2 (July 10).
Tinsley has performed spectacularly in July, smashing bombs in back-to-back wins for the Commodores while plating three runners (July 8 & 10). Most recently, Tinsley batted 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in a 4-1 win over the Harwich Mariners (July 11).
Jeremy Kravetz, a relief pitcher for the Lake Erie Monarchs, is quietly having a great season out of the bullpen. The sophomore has appeared in 12 games for the Monarchs and has pitched 26 innings. Kravetz has amassed 21 strikeouts, positioning him second in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, while walking just eight batters. His 2.76 ERA is good for third in the league.
Redshirt-sophomore Marcus Wheeler is putting up good numbers in the Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League for the AZ Pro Grey squad. The Phoenix, Arizona native has appeared in 15 games, batting 13-for-36 at the plate for a .361 batting average, good for third on his team.
Tyler Davis continues strong efforts on the hill for the Rossville Rattlers of the Mid-Plains League. Davis has been effective on the mound all season, compiling a 1.30 ERA through the six games he has pitched. The sophomore starting pitcher has fanned 22 batters over his last three starts, bringing his total to 44 on the season. During that streak, Davis was 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA.
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