Five Tiger Baseball Players Earn Summer League Championships
Aug. 22, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -Five players earning summer league championships highlight the success of Memphis baseball players around the summer leagues.
"It's very exciting to see the progress that all of our players made during summer ball," head coach Daron Schoenrock said. "Summer ball is not the key role in development of players, but it does play a large role. We were excited to have some many players out for summer ball and we are excited to have them coming back to make more progress."
Ethan Gross and the Wareham Gatemen closed the season strong to claim the Cape Cod League championship. Wareham won 10 of their last 11 games and rallied in the ninth and 10th innings for the win in game three of the championship series. Gross finished the season hitting .235 with two home runs, 19 RBI and 25 runs scored. Perhaps the highlight of his summer, Gross was 4-for-5 with two home runs, a double and six RBI on August 11 at Falmouth.
Four members of the U of M baseball team helped the La Crosse Loggers win their first-ever Northwoods League title. Jonathan Van Eaton and Alex Gunn played the full season at La Cross while Keaton Aldridge played the first half and Michael Wills played the latter half. Van Eaton had a 2.76 ERA in 29.1 innings of work and finished with 14 saves and 29 strikeouts. Van Eaton recorded the final three outs in the 8-1 win over Mankato in the championship finale.
"Championship experience is huge and four players gained that experience," Schoenrock said. "Those guys got to experience a title run and recharge the juices down the stretch. The grind that summer ball becomes is difficult, but those guys stuck it out."
Gunn made 13 starts for La Crosse and finished with a 6-4 record and a 4.35 ERA. Gunn had 52 strikeouts in 80.2 innings. Wills appeared in six games for the Loggers and compiled a 1-0 record with a 4.50 ERA in six innings on the mound. Aldridge played in 16 games and posted a .375 average with four doubles, five RBI and seven runs scored.
Sam Moll earned the Nolan Ryan award from the Brewster Whitecaps as he recorded 43 strikeouts to only two walks in 32.2 innings. Moll made five starts and appeared in nine games while compiling a 2.76 ERA. Erik Schoenrock was named the best teammate by the Whitecaps and he finished the summer with a 4.50 ERA in 18 innings of work. Derrick Thomas played in the first 12 games for Brewster and hit .333 with four doubles and five RBI.
A Great Lakes League All-Star, Tucker Tubbs hit .359 for the Hamilton Joes with four home runs, 23 RBI, nine doubles, two triples and 28 runs scored. Colton Simbeck hit three home runs and collected 13 RBI while hitting .218 for the Joes. Jacob Moody had three RBI and hit .174 with the Joes. Dylan Toscano made seven appearances, five starts, for Hamilton and recorded a 4.68 ERA in 32.2 innings. Memphis signee Conner Porter made six appearances for the Lima Locos and had a 7.71 ERA in 18.2 innings of work.
"Tucker showed signs last spring of being a very accomplished collegiate hitter and that continued this summer," Schoenrock said. "I know the folks at Hamilton were very happy with Tucker. We expect that to carry on and him becoming a vital part of the offense on our club."
Playing for the Gastonia Grizzlies of the Coastal Plains League, Bryce Beeler hit .280 with 12 RBI and 29 runs scored. Beeler played in 48 games and made 45 starts. Ford Wilson played for the Asheboro Copperheads and hit .191 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and 12 RBI. Zac Carter also played for Asheboro and hit .137 with two RBI.
Memphis signee Jon Reed played for the Alexandria Beetles of the Northwoods League and he compiled 5-1 record, a 4.79 ERA and 65 strikes to 18 walks in 67.2 innings pitched. Craig Caufield had a productive summer with the Dodge City A's of the Jayhawk League as he posted a 1.74 ERA and a 3-0 record in nine appearances and 10 inning of work. Zach Willis had a .301 average in 23 games for Dodge City and he hit one home run and collected 16 RBI.Nate Rupiper hit .287 with a .378 on-base percentage while Austin Hatfield hit .251 with a .390 on-base percentage for the Walnut Creek Crawdads of the Far West League.Schoenrock and the Tigers begin team practices during fall camp on September 30. A full fall camp schedule will be released at a later date.