This Week in Blue Raider Baseball

December 6, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MCKENRY, PETERSON RECEIVE TBCA HONORS: Former Blue Raider Michael McKenry and 20th-year head coach Steve Peterson will both be honored at the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association annual awards banquet and clinic on January 26-28 in Nashville. At the awards luncheon on Saturday, Peterson will be inducted into the TBCA Hall of Fame and McKenry will receive the Division I Player of the Year award. Peterson is 604-474-2 in 19 seasons at the helm of the Blue Raider program and 757-568-2 overall as a head coach, including six seasons at Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tenn. McKenry batted .390 with 13 home runs and 60 RBIs for Middle Tennessee in 2006, catching all but one game. He threw out 41 percent of potential base stealers and was a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award, given annually to the nation's best collegiate catcher. McKenry also garnered First Team All-America honors, just the second player in program history named to the first team.

BRAZELTON INKS WITH ROYALS: Former Middle Tennessee All-American Dewon Brazelton has inked a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals, announced December 5 by the Major League club. Brazelton will report to bug league training camp in mid-February with the Royals in Surprise, Ariz. Brazelton spent last season in the San Diego Padres organization, starting the year in the major leagues, going 0-2 in nine outings in 18 innings of work before being sent down. He posted a 5-7 record with a 4.53 ERA in 17 contests with AAA Portland (OR), tossing 91.1 innings with 53 strikeouts. Brazelton was originally drafted third overall by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2001 and pitched four years for Tampa Bay before being traded to San Diego last winter.

CARROLL COMPLETES AFL CAMPAIGN: Former Blue Raider Brett Carroll completed a successful venture in the prestigious Arizona Fall League on November 16 as a member of the Peoria Javelinas. Carroll batted .284 in 19 contests with six doubles, three home runs, 16 RBIs and just 10 strikeouts in 74 at-bats. The Knoxville, Tenn., native is a member of the Florida Marlins organization. Carroll played for both the Jupiter (FL) Hammerheads in Class A and the Carolina Mudcats in Class AA this past season. For Carolina, Carroll batted .231 in 74 games with 15 doubles, nine home runs, 30 RBIs and 18 walks while batting .241 in 59 contests with 12 doubles, eight home runs, 30 RBIs and 18 walks for Jupiter.

HORN INKS WITH THUNDERBOLTS: Former Middle Tennessee player Josh Horn has signed a contract for the 2007 season with the Windy City (IL) Thunderbolts in the independent Frontier League. Horn batted .330 in 55 games last season for the Blue Raiders in his only year as a starter, collecting 15 doubles with six home runs and 37 RBIs. He also added 21 walks and 41 runs scored. The Shelbyville, Tenn., native will play for former Blue Raider assistant coach Andy Haines, who was named the manager of the Thunderbolts in September.

SMEETS CONTINUES CAREER IN HOMELAND: Former Blue Raider and Amsterdam, Holland, native has continued his baseball career in his native country and as part of the national team. His current team, the Haarlem Kinheim, won the country's national championship in 2006 and Smeets has been nominated for the league MVP award, which will be announced December 9. He batted .349 during the season, third best in the league, with a league-leading 39 RBIs in 41 games and hit .429 in eight playoff games. As a member of the Dutch National Team, Smeets participated in the World Baseball Classic this past February-March and won the European Baseball Series against Italy. The Dutch also won a silver medal at the Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan, losing to Cuba in 11 innings.

GREATEST MOMENTS AT REESE SMITH FIELD SUBMISSION EXTENDED: The deadline to submit entries for the Greatest Moments at Reese Smith Field has been extended to December 15. GoBlueRaiders.com has launched a campaign to compile the greatest moments in the history of Reese Smith Field, with fans submitting their fondest memories of the location Blue Raider baseball has played for more than 50 years. Don't miss this opportunity to remember all of the great players and teams in Middle Tennessee baseball history. With the 2007 season the final campaign in the current stadium, we want fans to tell us about their fondest memories at the current location of the Middle Tennessee baseball field. The Blue Raiders have played at the current location just east of the football field since the 1950s with home plate in its current place since at least 1970. Give a brief synopsis of your greatest moment spent at Reese Smith Field. The submissions do NOT have to be about baseball or the Blue Raiders. They can be related to moments such as meeting your future wife, spending a day with a child or grandchild, watching future collegiate or major league stars in a showcase or tournament during high school or summer action. If you know the date, please submit it. Otherwise, if possible, please give a year. After the submissions are compiled, fans will then be able to vote for the Reese Smith Field Top 10 until January 15, 2007. The list of the Top 10 moments will be revealed leading into the 2007 season-opener in February. Relive those great Blue Raider moments as Middle Tennessee heads into a new stadium in 2008!

WINTER BASEBALL CAMP DATES SET: Middle Tennessee will host its annual Winter Camp on Friday-Saturday, December 29-30, at the Stephen B. Smith Clubhouse and Indoor Training Facility and Murphy Center. The camp is $100 per camper per session and includes lunch, with each day's activities running from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Ages 8-High School Senior may attend, with players grouped by age for each camp. Each session is limited to 75 campers. Friday, December 29 is a Hitting Camp, with Saturday December 30 for Pitchers and Catchers. Middle Tennessee players and coaches will serve as instructors. A brochure may be found at http://www.goblueraiders.com/content.cfm/id/21594 or interested parties may call 615/898-2961 for more information.

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