Kansas Baseball: Summer League Wrap-Up
LAWRENCE, Kan. – As August disappears, summer baseball has come to an end and Kansas players will return to Lawrence to begin classes and fall workouts. Many Jayhawks hope to use their summer experience to learn from and improve their play for the 2015 season.
Michael Tinsley had a great summer with the Duluth Huskies. Tinsley started hot, blasting two homers and driving in seven runs in his fifth game, earning the Northwoods League Hitter of the Night award for June 10. He kept that momentum the duration of the summer where he hit for a .317 average, amassing 63 hits in 54 games while knocking in 33 runs. Tinsley earned a trip to the Northwoods League postseason Big League Dreams showcase where he started in centerfield in the second game of the evening for the South squad. The catcher displayed his versatility for the Huskies and earned playing time in the outfield as well as behind the dish this summer.
Stephen Villines, who joined Tinsley in Duluth, put together an impressive summer as well. The right-hander tossed a total of 30 and two-thirds innings in 23 games. Villines pitched his way to a 4-1 record and accumulated eight saves. The eight saves was the second-best mark in the North Division, just one shy of the lead. The pitcher struck out 25 batters and only gave up nine earned runs on the season.
Joven Afenir had an exceptional season with the San Diego Waves of the Western Baseball Association. Afenir batted .324 (47-for-145), which was the third highest average on the team. Of his 45 hits, 15 were extra-base knocks (10 doubles, three triples and two home runs).
Afenir’s fellow Jayhawk and Wave teammate John Remick saw action in 20 games, going 12-for-57 with nine RBIs and six runs. The Waves finished fifth in the 80th annual National Baseball Congress World Series that is held in Wichita, Kansas.
Another Jayhawk who enjoyed a successful summer campaign is outfielder Joe Moroney. Moroney batted .281 (47-for-167) for the East Texas Pump Jacks and drove in 19 runs. Moroney showed great plate discipline for the Pump Jacks, accumulating 39 walks. That mark led the Texas Collegiate League, and was 15 better than the next highest on his team.
Connor McKay joined the Lakeshore Chinooks in mid-June and played in 38 games. He collected 27 hits and knocked in 14 RBIs and hit four bombs during his short summer stint as the Chinooks went on to win the Northwoods League Championship.
Right-hander Sean Rackoski threw more innings on the mound this summer than any other Jayhawk pitcher playing summer ball. Rackoski tossed 43 innings through seven games averaging just over six innings per appearance for the Watertown Rams, striking out 30 batters along the way.
Some of the other Jayhawks that played summer baseball include: Justin Protacio, who racked up 28 hits, 27 walks and scored 20 runs with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots; Colby Wright, who had a .235 batting average for the Newport Gulls; Steven Goldstein, who hit .250 for the Waterloo Bucks including five doubles and a triple and Colin Toalson, who struck out 20 batters in eight appearances on the hill for the Topeka Golden Giants including converting all three of his save opportunities.
Follow @KUBaseball on Twitter, like Kansas Baseball on Facebook or check back in at KUAthletics.com/Baseball for updates on everything Kansas Baseball.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.