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Twenty-three Players Take Part in Summer Baseball

August 24, 2004 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee had 23 current and former players involved in collegiate summer leagues, with three players reaching the postseason and one winning a league title.

Catcher Michael McKenry enjoyed his summer with the Bethesda (MD) Big Train, winning the Clark Griffith League title and representing the league in the All-American Amateur Baseball Association National Tournament in Johnstown, Pa. The Knoxville, Tenn., native batted .310 in 36 games, collecting six doubles, a team-high seven home runs, and 17 RBIs.

He also drew 19 walks and scored 19 runs, helping the Big Train post a 32-14 CGBL record and a 3-1 championship series win over the Herndon Braves. McKenry belted another home run in the AAABA Tournament, a solo shot in a 2-1 loss to New Orleans, and was rated the league's fourth best prospect by Baseball America.

The Farragut High School product was named co-MVP of the Joe Branzell CGBL All-Star Game and earned a spot on SEBaseball.com's All-Summer team. SEBaseball.com is a college baseball wesbite devoted to southern college baseball.

Shortstop Jeff Beachum also enjoyed a stellar summer for the Staunton (VA) Braves in the Valley League, earning First Team All-League honors. The Memphis, Tenn., native batted a team-best .333 with nine doubles, 22 RBIs and 19 runs scored. He also struck out just nine times in 159 at-bats and fielded at .961 after a tough college season in the field.

Second baseman Eric McNamee and pitcher Jimmy Kelly both played for the Rock Hill (SC) Sox in the Southern Collegiate League. McNamee batted .306 with 10 runs scored in 62 at-bats, drawing 20 walks, stealing five bases and posting a .476 on-base percentage. Kelly appeared in six games, five starts, striking out 17 in 23.0 innings of work. Batters hit just .171 against the lefthander.

Todd Martin, a transfer from the University of Tennessee who will join the club for the 2005 season, batted .381 in 26 games for the New Jersey Colts in the Atlantic Collegiate League. Martin had four doubles, seven home runs and 26 RBIs along with 20 runs scored, also earning a spot on SEBaseball.com's All-Summer team.

A trio of Blue Raiders played for former coach Andy Haines and the Waterloo (IA) Bucks in the Northwoods League. Outfielder Marcus Taylor batted .218 in 49 games with seven doubles and 21 RBIs. The Lexington, Ky., native scored 19 runs, walked 17 times and had a pair of home runs.

Lefthander Shay Horseman tossed 28.0 innings for the Bucks, posting a 1-3 mark with a 1.61 ERA before his summer was cut short by injury. Horseman underwent Tommy John surgery in August, performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and will be lost for the 2005 campaign.

Righthander Matt Scott also had his summer ended because of arm problems after pitching in three games for the Bucks and a total of 5.2 innings.

Lefthander Tyler Copeland went 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA for the Baltimore (MD) Pride in the Clark Griffith League. The Lawrenceburg, Tenn., native worked 10.1 innings in six games, striking out nine.

Also in the Clark Griffith League, outfielder David Patterson batted .222 in six games for the Reston (VA) Hawks, scoring twice on four hits.

Outfielder Chase Eakes played in 22 games for the Chillicothe (MO) Mudcats in the MINK League, batting .271 with five doubles. The Old Hickory, Tenn., native had four RBIs and nine runs scored. An Eakes teammate and transfer to Middle Tennessee, pitcher Kyler Wetherington was 5-0 in 11 appearances, striking out 32 in 35 innings of work. Wetherington had five starts and walked just six batters.

Infielder Nate Jaggers helped the Torrington (CT) Twisters into the New England Collegiate League playoffs, batting .255 in 33 games. The Louisville, Ky., native had seven doubles, two home runs and 17 RBIs along with 21 walks and 14 runs scored.

Righthander Jeff Kasser and outfielder Chris LeGuenec both participated in the newly-formed Texas Collegiate League. Kasser worked in six games for the Granbury Generals, tossing 7.2 innings and striking out four before coming home with arm troubles. LeGuenec batted .218 in 32 games, driving in 11 runs with two doubles and three home runs. The Jackson, Tenn., native helped the Graham Roughnecks reach the league championship series.

First baseman Josh Archer started 42 games for the Woodstock (VA) River Bandits in the Valley League, batting .224 with eight doubles, six home runs and 28 RBIs. The Paris, Tenn., native walked 17 times and scored 15 runs.

Righthander BJ Church played for the Mat-Su Miners in the Alaska League briefly at the end of June, striking out 10 in 10.0 innings of work in two starts. Church came home because of an accident involving his brother.

Former Blue Raider Chuck Akers was in the Cape Cod League with the Harwich (MA) Mariners, helping as an assistant coach. The Mariners posted a 20-24 overall record.

Five other Blue Raiders - Adam Warren, Michael McSweeney, Wayne Kendrick, Robert Toline and Tommy Decker - all played in the Stan Musial Wood Bat League in Nashville.

A total of 10 former Blue Raiders in the professional ranks will end their regular season between now and Labor Day, including: Brett Carroll and Chris Mobley (Jamestown Jammers, New York-Penn League), Chad Cooper (Hudson Valley Renegades, New York-Penn League), John Williams (Elizabethton Twins, Appalachian League), Jason Maxwell (Durham Bulls, International League), Jeremy Owens (Pawtucket Sox, International League), Adam Larsen (Charlotte Knights, International League), Bryan Peck (Visalia Oaks, California League), Jerry Knox (Shreveport Sports, Central Baseball League), and Josh Renick (St. Paul Saints, Northern League).

Elizabethton stands three games back of Greeneville in the West with seven games remaining in the Appalachian League. Durham is 1.5 games behind Richmond in the South Division of the International League with 15 games left. In the New York-Penn League, Hudson Valley trails Brooklyn by 1.5 games in the McNamara Division with a dozen games remaining.

In the independent ranks, St. Paul leads the Northern Division in the Northern League by three games over Winnipeg with 12 games left. The Shreveport Sports made the playoffs in the Central League and began postseason play with a 4-3, 11-inning victory over Pensacola in the East finals on Monday night.

Full results may be accessed for all affiliated professional teams at minorleaguebaseball.com, while information on independent teams may be found at saintsbaseball.com or shreveportsports.com.

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