Summer League Report: Edition Five- The Baylor Bears

Raynor Campbell-Picture from the Baylor Bear website
Raynor Campbell-Picture from Baylor Bear website
FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

HYANNIS, Mass. — Baylor infielder Raynor Campbell was named to the 2008 Cape Cod League All-Star Game, the league announced recently. Campbell, a member of the Wareham Gatemen, was one of two non-pitcher reserves selected for the West All-Stars. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT Saturday at Veterans Field in Chatham, Mass. The game will be televised on the New England Sports Network (NESN), available on DirecTV channels 623 and 624 (HD).

Campbell, who will be a junior at Baylor next season, ranks seventh in the Cape Cod League with a team-best .342 batting average (38-for-111). His batting average is exactly 100 points higher than the Wareham team average (.242), and Campbell has provided 14 percent of Wareham’s hits this summer. He also has two home runs, nine RBI, 20 runs scored. Campbell ranks fourth in the Cape with a .438 on base percentage.

Two Baylor pitchers were named alternates for the East All-Star team – right-handers Craig Fritch (Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox) and Willie Kempf (Harwich Mariners). It is unlikely that Fritsch will appear in the game since he is scheduled to start Friday night’s game for Yarmouth-Dennis.

Fritsch, who will be a redshirt sophomore at Baylor next season, is 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA in six appearances, all starts; he has recorded 36 strikeouts against 11 walks over 34.2 innings. Kempf, who will be a junior at Baylor next season, is 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA and one save in 14 appearances, one of which was a start; he has 27 strikeouts against 12 walks over 24.2 innings.

USA BASEBALL NATIONAL TEAM

Baylor right-hander Kendal Volz continues to excel as closer for the USA Baseball National Team, which is now 22-0 on its 2008 tour and two wins shy of a perfect season. Volz, who is six-for-six in save opportunities, has not allowed an earned run in 12.0 innings over 11 appearances, all in relief. He has surrendered only one unearned run on five hits and five walks with 14 strikeouts, holding opposing batters to a .125 average.

Volz and Team USA completed pool play 6-0 at the FISU World Championships and earned the top seed in the event’s tournament, which begins Saturday. This would be the second gold medal of the season for the National Team, which defeated Cuba twice en route to winning Haarlem Baseball Week earlier this month. Volz had saves in both wins over Cuba. It marked the first time in the modern era of USA Baseball (since 1984) that any U.S. team defeated Cuba’s Olympic Team in an international championship game.

FORMER PLAYERS SIGN PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTS

All five Baylor players who were selected in June’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft have signed professional contracts. The last to sign was eight-round pick Beamer Weems, who inked with the San Diego Padres last week. Others who have moved on to the professional ranks are pitchers Mace Thurman (19th round, Cincinnati Reds), Tim Matthews (27th round; Colorado Rockies), Randall Linebaugh (37th round; Cincinnati Reds) and Nick Cassavechia (37th round; Detroit Tigers).

Thus far, Cassavechia and Thurman have shone brightest. Cassavechia, who has appeared in nine games for the GCL Tigers of the Gulf Coast Rookie League, is 2-0 with two saves and a 0.56 ERA. He has allowed one run on 11 hits and two walks with 22 strikeouts over 16.0 innings, holding opponents to a .193 batting average. In one game earlier this month, Cassavechia struck out eight batters in 4.1 innings; 10 days later, he struck out five in 2.1 innings.

Meanwhile, Thurman has not allowed a run in six relief appearances for the Billings Mustangs of the Rookie Pioneer League. He has scattered four hits and four walks with eight strikeouts over 10.2 innings, holding opposing batters to a .118 batting average.

Linebaugh, who is teammates with Thurman at Billings, is 1-2 with a 4.09 ERA and two saves. He has 14 strikeouts against only three walks in 11.0 innings over 10 appearances, all in relief. Weems made his professional debut Monday with the Class A Eugene Emeralds of the short-season Northwest League. Matthews has not yet appeared in a professional game.

NORTHWOODS LEAGUE

2008 All-Star Brooks Pinckard continues to shine for the Eau Claire Express, hitting .310 (45-for-145) with one home run and 22 RBI. Pinckard, who will be a redshirt freshman at Baylor next season, also has eight doubles and two triples, and he is 14-for-20 in stolen base attempts.

Right-hander Reed Woytek, who will be a redshirt junior at Baylor next season, has looked strong in the closer’s role for the Madison Mallards. He is 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA and five saves, holding opponents to a .159 batting average. Woytek and fellow Baylor player Don Lambert helped Madison to a first-half title in the league’s south division.

Chris Slater has helped the Wisconsin Woodchucks to a 9-6 record through the first 15 games of the league’s second half – good enough for first place in the south division. Slater is hitting .257 with eight RBI and 16 runs scored.

ELSEWHERE

Dustin Dickerson, a rising junior at Baylor, is hitting .340 (16-for-47) with one home run and 11 RBI in 11 games for the Brazos Valley Bombers of the Texas Collegiate League.