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Raiders in the Pros: Blackham inks pro contract

Curtis picked up two saves in first three outings with Hillsboro

June 23, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO - In this edition of Blue Raiders in the Pros, many leagues are reaching the halfway point of the season. Catcher Michael McKenry has returned to Colorado, making a significant impact for the Rockies, meanwhile, three MT players signed contracts to start their professional
career.

BLACKHAM INKS PROFESSIONAL DEAL

Blue Raider reliever Matt Blackham ended his collegiate eligibility after his junior season to pursue a professional career. He signed with the New York Mets last month after being drafted in the 29th round. Blackham's signing scout Jarrett England has a Blue Raider connection. England earned a letter for the Raiders in 2003 and later graduated with a degree in marketing. He is also the founder of a non-profit group Project Xposure and a scout for the Mets.

A HOPPING START FOR ZAC CURTIS

Left-handed pitcher Zac Curtis started his career June 14 with the Hillsboro Hops, the Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The sixth-round draft pick has yet to give up a run in his first three appearances, while collecting two saves. He has fanned six and walked one in three innings of work.

HAINES HAS ZEPHYRS IN FIRST PLACE

Blue Raider alum Andy Haines has led his New Orleans Zephyrs (Miami Marlins - AAA) to a 41-36 overall record and first place lead in the Pacific Coast League's American Southern Division. The Zephyrs hold a 2.5 game lead over the Nashville Sounds. Beginning on Thursday, New Orleans visits Nashville for a four-game series.

MCKENRY RETURNS TO MAJORS WITH THE ROCKIES

Catcher Michael McKenry has played in eight contests with the Colorado Rockies since being called up on June 4. Overall this season, McKenry has played in 16 games with the Rockies, recording a .298 batting average and a .383 slugging percentage in 47 at-bats. McKenry went 3-for-4 against San Francisco on June 14. Presently, McKenry is on three-day bereavement leave due to the loss of a family member.

PALO ENDS CAREER

Blue Raider Daniel Palo decided to end his professional baseball career after six games with Class A Asheville (Colorado). Palo spent last season with Grand Junction, posting a 1-3 overall record. He threw 6.2 innings in six games for the Tourists this season.

ROBERTS EXCELLING IN TEXAS LEAGUE

Left-handed pitcher Ken Roberts has posted a 4-2 record with a 2.90 ERA for his Tulsa Drillers club (Colorado - AA). Roberts has thrown 40.1 innings, while recording 33 strikeouts.

SKINNER THRIVING IN LYNCHBURG

Will Skinner leads the Lynchburg Hillcats club (Atlanta Braves) in both home runs (5) and doubles (21) through 59 games. Skinner is hitting .274 on the season with a .453 slugging percentage.

2014 BLUE RAIDERS IN THE PROS

Michael McKenry, C, Colorado Rockies
Bryce Brentz, OF, Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA-BOS)
Brett Carroll, OF, Buffalo Bisons (AAA-TOR)
Andy Haines, Manager, New Orleans Zephyrs (AAA-MIA)
Ken Roberts, P, Tulsa Drillers (AA-COL)
Hunter Adkins, P, Beloit Snappers (A-OAK)
Justin Miller, OF, Potomac Nationals (A-WAS)
Will Skinner, OF, Lynchburg Hillcats (A-ATL)
Matt Blackham, RHP, Kingsport Mets (R-NY)
Zac Curtis, LHP, Hillsboro Hops (A-ARIZ)
Trent Miller, OF, Bluefield Blue Jays (R-TOR)
Coty Woods, P, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (American Association)
Jeremy Owens, OF/Coach, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (Atlantic League-Independent)

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