UT Tyler Baseball Stays Busy With Summer League Play: Part 1

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FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES

For college students, summer is usually reserved for going home and relaxing before retuning to the grind in the fall. For some member of the University of Texas at Tyler baseball team and coaching staff, the summer is a time to hone their baseball skills in preparation for the upcoming season.

This summer, seven members of the Patriots’ baseball team and three coaches are using their break to get better and improve on this past season’s 36-9 record and get ready for the 2009 season. In the summer of 2008, UT Tyler will have players and coaches on ten different teams in eight different leagues playing in locations such as Alaska, Kansas, New York, Texas, New Jersey, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and even Canada.

Here is what Patriots playing and coaching in summer leagues have been up to since leaving Tyler in May.

Junior Kendall Fox (Carrollton, Texas) is spending his summer in the Great White North playing in the Alaska Baseball League for the Fairbanks AIA Fire. The Fire is currently 6-8 on the year and is just two and a half games out of first place. Fox is currently batting .243 with 11 hits and 11 walks.

Another Patriot relocating to a cooler climate this summer is junior Brett Holland (Lindale, Texas), who will spend his summer in Thunder Bay, Ontario, playing for the BorderCats of the Northwoods League. Holland is currently 3-1 with a 2.74 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 23 innings. The BorderCats are currently 15-15 and in fourth place in the North Division.

Junior Jared Hood (Marshall, Texas) is playing for the Brockport River Bats of the New York Collegiate Baseball League during the off-season. Hood and the River Bats are 8-7 and in second place in the West Division, just three games removed from first. Hood is helping the River Bats’ cause with 11 hits, eight RBIs, seven walks, six runs and one home run.

Not as far from the friendly confines of Irwin Field this summer is junior Chad Daleiden (Cave Creek, Ariz.). Daleiden is spending his summer playing for the El Dorado (Kan.) Broncos of the Jayhawk Baseball League. Daleiden is batting .290 with nine hits and nine runs, while the Broncos are 8-8 and three games behind the league-leading Derby Twins.

The only league with multiple Patriots this summer is the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. Sophomore Austin Newell (Kennedale, Texas) and juniors Lex Wolfe (Lakewood, N.J.) and Beau Ziegler (N. Wales, Pa.) all play on separate teams, but compete in the league’s Wolff Division against one another. Wolfe and Ziegler have an added bonus, both competing less than 60 miles for their hometown.

Ziegler is playing for the Quakertown (Pa.) Blazers this summer and currently has a 6.57 ER with 16 strikeouts and two saves. Across the state in Easton, are the Lehigh Valley Catz, where Newell is spending his summer break. Newell is batting .250 with 17 hits and six runs. Newell also has five stolen bases and is the only member of the Catz roster with a perfect stolen base percentage.

Playing for his home state, Jersey Pilots is Wolfe. Wolfe currently has a 1.10 ERA over 12.1 innings with one save and sixteen strikeouts.

Newell and the Catz are second in the Wolff Division with an 11-7 record, while Ziegler and the Blazers are in third at 10-11, Wolfe and the Pilots are at fourth with a record of 5-10.

UT Tyler baseball players aren’t the only ones with summer jobs, as three coaches are also spending their summers at the ballpark.

Head coach James Vilade is serving as the hitting coach for the Frisco Roughriders, the AA-affiliate of the Texas Rangers of the Texas League this summer. The Roughriders won the league’s North Division first half championship and are currently leading the North in the second half of the season with a 9-2 record.

Also winning a first half championship this summer is assistant coach Wes Davis. Davis led the Florence (S.C.) Red Wolves of the Coastal Plain League to a 20-7 first half record and the South Division first half championship as head coach.

The closest Patriot to home this summer is assistant coach Stan Phelps. Phelps is serving as the inaugural head coach for the East Texas PumpJacks in Kilgore. The PumpJacks are currently 9-10 are in a two-way tie for second place in the Texas Collegiate League.

More information on the players and teams can be found throughout the summer at the following websites:

Alaska Baseball League – www.alaskabaseballleague.org
Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League – www.acbl-online.com
Coastal Plain League – www.alaskabaseballleague.org
Jayhawk Baseball League – www.jayhawkbaseballleague.org
New York Collegiate Baseball League – www.nycbl.com
Northwoods League – www.northwoodsleague.com
Texas Collegiate League – www.texascollegiateleague.com
Texas League – www.texas-league.com