Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 17, 2013

Plenty of baseball left in Appy League

By BRIAN WOODSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — The All-Star break is the unofficial halfway point of the Major League season.

In reality, each team has played nearly 100 of their scheduled 162 games.

The All-Star break is not close to the midway point for the Appalachian League. Each of the 10 teams have 68 games left on the slate, including 47 more for Bluefield and another 44 for Princeton.

Here is a look at the Appalachian League with about a third of the season in the books.

Mercer Cup still waiting: The Mercer Cup will finally begin on July 26 when Princeton visits Bluefield for a three-game series. The clubs were slated to meet on July 3, but were rained out.

Wasze watch: Tazewell’s Zak Wasilewski has worked in five games this season for Bluefield, posting a 2-1 record and a 4.12 ERA. He has struck out 14 and walked nine in 19 2/3 innings.

Hokie high: Eddie Campbell, a 15th round draft choice out of Virginia Tech in June by Seattle, is 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA for Pulaski. He has struck out 25 and walked just five in 14 2/3 innings on the mound.

Pennant races anyone: The race for the top two spots in each division is shaping up to be the closest in recent memory in the Appalachian League.

Four teams in the East are within one game of first place, including Bluefield (12-9) and Pulaski (13-10), who are tied at the top, followed by Danville (12-10) and Burlington (11-10).

Greeneville (15-10) has used top-notch pitching to sit on top in the West, a half-game ahead of perennial contender Elizabethton (14-10). Both Johnson City (13-11) and Kingsport (11-12) are within three games of the lead.

Only Princeton — with the league’s worst record at 6-18 — and Bristol (8-15) face uphill struggles to simply reach .500 on the season.

Player of the Week: Toby Thomas, Bristol. Batted .423 (11-26) last week with two home runs, eight RBIs, three doubles and six runs scored.

Pitcher of the Week: Michael Flores, Danville. Earned a win in one appearance, striking out seven and walking two, while allowing just one hit in six innings on the mound.

Local winners: Both Mercer County clubs have had award winners this season. That includes Bluefield outfielder Derrick Loveless and Princeton pitcher German Marquez.

Familiar name: Bluefield’s Tim Mayza, who took the loss in Monday’s 7-6 setback at Pulaski, played for Millersville University, which played Concord in the NCAA regional baseball tournament in May.

High picks in Appy: Bristol pitcher Tyler Danish and Danville catcher Victor Caratini were both second round draft choices in June.  

Moving around: Princeton pitcher Stone Speer, one of the better names in professional baseball, was recently promoted to Bowling Green. Edgar Gomez was promoted to Princeton from the Gulf Coast League.

Outfielder Nico Taylor, who played in Bluefield last season, is back, while Melvin Garcia to replace Taylor with Vancouver.

Tough decision: Bluefield recently released outfielder Eric Arce, who was among the league leaders with three home runs.

Off days: The Appalachian League has four mandated off days this season, including Tuesday and July 2. The league will also take days off on Aug. 5 and Aug. 21.

Seat stuffers: Burlington leads the league in attendance, averaging 1,477 fans per game. Greeneville is second at 1,346. Bluefield (889) is fifth, while Princeton (774) is eighth, ahead of Kingsport (750) and Bristol (734).

Team hitting: Elizabethton leads the Appy League with a .267 batting average. Bluefield is sixth at .240, while Princeton is last with a .212 team clip.

Johnson City has the most runs with 113, while Bluefield has 96 and Princeton trails everyone with 69. Pulaski has 20 home runs. Bluefield is second with 15, followed by the Rays with 14.

Team pitching: Greeneville leads the Appy League in pitching with an ERA of 2.48. Bluefield is fourth at 3.51, while Princeton is 10th at 4.13.

League Batting Leaders (Bluefield, Princeton also

represented)

Batting Average (Top 10): Mauricio Ramos, Burlington .378; Victor Cruzado, Kingsport .362; Brett Wiley, Johnson City .355; Toby Thomas, Bristol .351; Kenneth Peoples-Walls, JC .337; Dereck Rodriguez, Elizabethton .328; Vaughn Bryan, JC .322; Victor Caratini, Danville .320; Ramon Torres, BUR .315; Joe Tuschak, KP .313; Bryan Haar, EZ .313.

Bluefield (Top 5): D.J. Davis .269, Dawel Lugo .268, Derrick Loveless .262, Mitch Nay .260, Matt Dean .250; Princeton (Top 5): Jesus Araiza .286, Hunter Lockwood .275, David Garcia .261, Bralin Jackson .216, Spencer Edwards .200.

Home Runs: Travis Flores, Princeton 4; Wilton Martinez, PUL 4; 8 tied for 3, including Eric Arce, Bluefield 3.

Bluefield: D.J. Davis 2, Derrick Loveless 2, Dawel Lugo 2, John Silviano 2; Princeton: Spencer Edwards 2, David Garcia 2, Bralin Jackson 2, Hunter Lockwood 2.

Runs Batted In: Brett Wiley, JC 20; Kristian Brito, PUL 15; D.J. Davis, Bluefield 14; Connor Lien, DAN 14; Mauricio Ramos, BUR 14.

Bluefield: Dawel Lugo 13, Mitch Nay 11, Eric Arce 8; Princeton: Elias Torres, 11, Travis Flores 10, Hunter Lockwood 9.

Runs: Ronnierd Garcia, JC 18; Vaughn Bryan, JC 17; Joseph DeCarlo, PUL 16; Zach Granite, EZ 16; Connor Lien, DAN 16; Kenneth Peoples-Walls, JC 16.

Bluefield: D.J. Davis 13, Dawel Lugo 10; Princeton: Jesus Araiza 9, David Garcia 9.

Hits: Kenneth People-Walls, JC 30; Vaughn Bryan, JC 28; Mauricio Ramos, BUR 28; Brett Wiley, JC 27; Toby Thomas, BRS, 26.

Bluefield: Dawel Lugo 22, D.J. Davis 21, Mitch Nay 20; Princeton: Bralin Jackson 19, Hunter Lockwood 19, Jesus Araiza 18, David Garcia 18.

Doubles: Ronnierd Garcia, JC 11; Victor Caratini, DAN 9; Patrick Palmeiro, BRS 8; Dereck Rodriguez, EZ 8; 3 tied with 7.

Bluefield: Matt Dean 5, Dawel Lugo 5; Princeton: David Garcia 6, Elias Torres 6, Hunter Lockwood 5.

Triples: D.J. Davis, Bluefield 5; Bryan Haar, JC 5; Connor Lien, DAN 3; 9 tied with 2, including Derrick Loveless, Bluefield.

Stolen Bases: Vaughn Bryan, JC 10; Ian Miller, PUL 8; Zach Granite, EZ 6; Kelvin Ortiz, EZ 6; 4 tied with 5, including Spencer Edwards, Princeton.

Bluefield: D.J. Davis 4, Jonathan Davis 3; Princeton: Bralin Jackson 3.

Bases on balls: Champ Stuart, KP 17; Tanner Mathis, GV 16; Joseph DeCarlo, PUL 14; Richy Pedroza, JC 14; Justin Ringo, JC 14.

Bluefield: Derrick Loveless 13, D.J. Davis 9, Eric Arce 7, Matt Dean 7; Princeton: Travis Flores 10, Jesus Araiza 9, Spencer Edwards 8.

Pitching Leaders

ERA: Edwin Diaz, PUL 0.33; Frederick Tiburcio, GV 0.86; Robert Whalen, KP 0.89; Yorman Landa, EZ 1.35; Blake McKnight, JC 1.35.

Bluefield: Shane Dawson 3.60, Zak Wasilewski 4.12, Chase De Jong 4.58; Princeton: German Marquez 3.15, Nolan Gannon 3.97, Jorge Rodriguez 4.76.

Wins: Tim Shibuya, EZ 3; 23 tied with 2.

Bluefield: Yeyfry Del Rosario 2, Zak Wasilewski 2; Princeton: Isaac Gil 2, Hunter Wood 2.

Saves: J.D. Osborne, GV 6; Emilio Pagan, PUL 4; 4 tied with 3.

Bluefield: Shane Dawson 2, Brady Dragmire 2, Brett Barber 1, Alvido Jimenez 1; Princeton: Isaac Gil 1, Josh Kimborowicz 1, Hunter Wood 1.

Strikeouts: Edwin Diaz, PUL 31; Chris Lee, GV 30; Shane Dawson, Bluefield 29; Michael Flores, DAN 28; Tony Bucciferro, BRS 25; Eddie Campbell, PUL 25.

Bluefield: Chase De Jong 19, Jairo Lebourt 15; Brady Dragmire 14, Alberto Tirado 14, Zak Wasilewski 14; Princeton: Jacob Faria 20, Jorge Rodriguez 19, Nolan Gannon 18, German Marquez 17.