Cullowhee, N.C. – A combined 16 Catamount baseball players slated to return for the 2018-19 athletic calendar are spread throughout nine different summer wooden bat leagues across nation. Nine players are playing through the Southeast including North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, while as many as four could see time in the Midwest between both the Northwoods and Great Lakes Leagues.
Two Catamounts are venturing to the Cape Cod League with play slated to open in mid-June with one heading west for the California Collegiate League.
Rising senior left-hander Tristan Baker and second-year slugger Luke Robinson both have temporary contracts this summer to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League with the Yarmouth-Denis Red Sox. Right-hander Zach Franklin also had a contract for the Cape, but elected to forego the Northeastern trek this summer in lieu of off-season rest and rehabilitation from injuries he pitched through during the season.
Two Catamount pitchers are playing in the Coastal Plain League (CPL) close to or in their hometowns as RHP Michael Davis has returned to the Forest City Owls while left-hander Caleb Bishop is pitching for his hometown Wilmington Sharks. Rising redshirt senior outfielder Matthew Koehler is playing in the well-known Valley League in Virginia, playing for the Purcellville Cannons
After making a big splash in the inaugural summer with the Fon du Loc Dockspiders of the Northwoods league last season, WCU slugger Andrew Bullock has returned to Wisconsin this summer. He is joined in the Northwoods League by fellow Chesapeake, Va., native Justice Bigbie with the Madison Mallards, with RHP Blake Therrian potentially playing for the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Growlers of the same league, though he, too, may take the summer off to recuperate. Infielder Will Prater will also make a Midwestern move for the summer, playing in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League with the Lake Eire Monarchs.
After being named to the SoCon All-Freshman team this spring, redshirt freshman RHP Chase Walter has made the farthest move, playing for the San Luis Obispo (SLO) Blues in the California Collegiate League. WCU has sent players to the SLO squad over the past five years or so.
Three Catamount teammates are playing together with the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League (CVCL) Deep River Muddogs including catcher Kitt Capell and infielders Bo Fricks and Brett Lemmons. Pitcher Kevin Craft is slated to throw for the Norcorss Astros of the SunBelt League while Ryan Mitschele will pitch for the Statesville Owls and infielder Colton Henthorne is playing for the Lenoir Oilers of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League.
Many of the other returning Catamounts not listed have elected to either take the summer off or are involved in some sort of off-season surgery or rehabilitation.