BAYLOR BASEBALL SUMMER REPORT: EDITION FOUR

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FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

Pinckard named Northwoods All-Star; Miller on the shelf; Volz strong for Team USA

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Baylor redshirt freshman Brooks Pinckard was named to the 2008 Northwoods League All-Star Game, the league announced late last week. The game will be played Monday at Warner Park in Madison, Wis. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT, and the game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

Pinckard, who has pitched and played the infield for the Eau Claire Express, was named to the team as an infielder. He ranks sixth in the Northwoods League with a .331 batting average. Pinckard has tallied 40 hits, 21 runs, 18 RBI, eight doubles and two triples, and he is 12-for-17 in stolen base attempts. He also has posted an 0-1 record on the mound with one save and a 1.29 ERA. In 7.0 innings, Pinckard has allowed one run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts.

Left-handed pitcher Mace Thurman, who dominated Northwoods League hitters for the month of June, has signed a professional contract with the Cincinnati Reds organization. Thurman, who was drafted in the 19th round by the Reds in last month’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, was 1-1 with five saves and a 2.13 ERA for the Rochester Honkers. In 12.2 innings over nine appearances, Thurman allowed three runs on six hits and three walks with 23 strikeouts.

Elsewhere in the Northwoods League, Baylor’s Don Lambert and Reed Woytek helped the Madison Mallards to a first-half South Division title with a 22-11 record. The Mallards edged the Wisconsin Woodchucks by one-half game for the first-half division title. Baylor outfielder Chris Slater plays for the Woodchucks, who are off to a 6-2 second-half start, while the Mallards have stumbled out of the gate at 3-5. Woytek is 1-1 with four saves and a 2.25 ERA for the Mallards; opponents are hitting just .172 off Woytek, who will be a junior for Baylor next season.

CAPE COD LEAGUE

Baylor outfielder Aaron Miller will miss the remainder of the summer season after undergoing shoulder surgery on his right (non-throwing) arm. Miller hit .209 in 13 games for the Chatham A’s this summer, going 9-for-43 with three RBI.

Meanwhile, Raynor Campbell continues to impress with his bat for the Wareham Gatemen. Saturday, Campbell was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and two RBI in Wareham’s 8-2 victory over Chatham. That raised Campbell’s batting average to .329, which ranks ninth in the pitching-dominated Cape Cod League.

Baylor’s two right-handers with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox – Craig Fritsch and Shawn Tolleson – are tied for fourth in the league in strikeouts, both with 32. Fritsch is 2-1 with a 2.27 ERA in five starts; he left with the lead in both no decisions. Fritsch has allowed just 14 hits and eight walks in 31.2 innings.

Tolleson has not been as sharp but was spoiled by poor defense in his latest outing Saturday when he allowed eight runs, six of which were unearned, on seven hits and three walks over 2.1 innings. He also had six strikeouts in that game.

Right-hander Willie Kempf has posted a 2-1 mark with one save and a 1.10 ERA for the Harwich Mariners. Kempf has made 11 appearances, all in relief, and allowed three runs, two earned, on 13 hits and five walks with 21 strikeouts over 16.1 innings. Elsewhere, Gregg Glime is hitting .152 with one home run and two RBI in 14 games for the Chatham A’s, while Shaver Hansen is hitting .203 with no home runs and five RBI for Harwich.

USA BASEBALL NATIONAL TEAM

Right-hander Kendal Volz has been a weekend starter at Baylor each of the past two seasons, and it is likely he will be in the Bears’ weekend rotation in 2009. This summer, however, he has been dominant as the primary closer for the USA Baseball National Team.

Volz, who has worked consistently at 94-95 miles per hour with his fastball, has impressed National Team head coach and Oral Roberts head coach Rob Walton. Baylor played two games at Oral Roberts this season, but Walton did not get to see Volz in action since the games were in the midweek.

Credit Kansas head coach and Team USA assistant Ritch Price for Volz getting an invitation to the National Team Trials. Price pushed for Volz to be invited despite subpar statistics for Baylor this spring. Volz caught the eye of Team USA pitching coach and Old Dominion head coach Jerry Meyers on the first day of trials, spotting his fastball with ease and snapping hard-breaking sliders in a bullpen session.

Volz has been a large part of Team USA’s success this summer. The National Team won its first 13 games of the tour, including six straight to reach the championship game at the 24th Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands. Volz had four saves in Team USA’s first six victories at Haarlem, including an impressive game-ending strikeout with runners at second and third in the U.S. team’s 1-0 victory over Cuba in pool play last week. It was the first time a U.S. collegiate team defeated a Cuban Olympic Team in more than a decade.

In seven appearances on the Team USA tour, Volz has five saves with 12 strikeouts against four walks over 8.0 innings. Opponents are hitting just .179 against Volz.

ELSEWHERE

Dustin Dickerson has played nine games for the Brazos Valley Bombers of the Texas Collegiate League. He is hitting .375 with one home run, 10 RBI, two doubles and six runs scored.