Welcome back from the Fourth of July break. The summer is coasting along, and with it, several Pioneers are continuing on strong as we move into the middle of the summer collegiate baseball seasons.
Up in Vermont, Rob Griffith and Troy Scribner have continued to maintain the consistency of their 2011 seasons at Sacred Heart into the heart of their seasons with the Mountaineers in the NECBL. Griffith is hitting .340 (17-50) with one homerun and four RBI in 14 games, and goes into July 6th with the 10th highest average in the league. This comes on the heels of a season in which he hit .335 in 52 games for the NEC Champion SHU Pioneers.
Scribner leads the NECBL in wins with a perfect 3-0 record in three starts to go along with a 1.27 ERA. Much as his season went for Sacred Heart, Scribner has been around the plate, scattered hits, and stranded runners en route to winning ballgames. Opponents have averaged almost a hit per inning off of him (21 hits in 21.1 innings), but his excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio (17 strikeouts against four walks) evidences his ability to bare down and make big pitches when they matter most. Most recently, Scribner earned the win against Newport with 8.1 innings, one earned run, five hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts.
Liam Rafferty is enjoying an impressive stretch of relief pitching as well, as he has not allowed a run in six straight innings for Vermont. In that time, the hard-throwing righty has issued just two hits and three walks while accumulating ten strikeouts.
John Murphy is right around his .300 average this year for Sacred Heart, hitting .306 (15-49) for the Mystic Schooners in the NECBL. While Murphy was among the NEC leaders driving in runs (43) this past season, he is helping produce runs by crossing the plate this summer. Murphy has scored 12 runs to date, tying him for fourth in the league. Most recently, Murphy went 4-5 against Danbury on July 5.
Over in New York, Derick Horn has been steady behind the plate for the Sherrill Silversmiths of the NYCBL. He is currently hitting .267 (9-30) in nine games, with his average climbing. He has a hit in all three games he's played in the month of July, going 4-8 in that time. His battery mate both at SHU and in Sherrill, Robbie Maguire, has been solid on the mound this summer as well. Although he does not have a win (0-1), his ERA is an impressive 2.94 through 15.1 innings. His control has been sharp, with three walks and 15 strikeouts. Most recently, he scattered nine hits in 6.1 innings against Oneonta, where his former Pioneer teammate JJ Edwards continues to serve as an assistant coach. Despite allowing just two earned runs with two walks and five strikeouts, he did not factor in the decision in the June 27 8-1 win for Oneonta.
Mike Korevec is dominating for the Rome Thunderbolts, also in the NYCBL. He is a perfect 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, pitching 20 innings while allowing 12 hits, three runs, five walks, and 14 strikeouts. Most recently, he beat Utica with seven innings, two runs, six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts on June 30.
In the ACBL, Rocco Gondek has raised his batting average to .250 (12-48) with a homerun, three doubles, and six RBI for North Fork. Also with North Fork, Kody Kerski has built on his winning performance in the NEC Championship game by pitching well through 13 innings. He has allowed just two earned runs in that time, and displayed great control with two walks against 12 strikeouts.
Check back in two weeks for another update, as we keep tabs on the Pioneers all summer. Until then, stay cool in the dog days of July, get out to a ballgame, and enjoy these summer days and nights.