July 26, 2013

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina rising senior Adam Martin highlights this week's look at Catamount Baseball during the summer months. Representing his summer league team - the St. Cloud Rox - Martin won the Northwoods League home run derby back on July 23, crushing 25 home runs.

It is the second time in his collegiate career that Martin has claimed a summer league home run derby contest. In the summer of 2011, the Marietta, Ga., product won the Alaska Baseball League derby.

Martin blasted a shot over the fence in the deepest part of the Carson Park outfield fence, just to left of center field in a five home run first round, which put him in second place behind the Wisconsin Rapids' Jackson Slaid, who hit six. He then found his groove in the second round, hitting three home runs in a row with seven outs. He finished the round with eight bombs and a two-round total of 13.

In the finals, Martin out-dueled his counterpart, Tripp Martin (Green Bay Bullfrogs), opening with a line drive after line drive deep over the fence in left-center. He hit three bombs in a row with six outs and just missed hitting a light pole with one of his hardest hit home runs coming with seven outs. He finished the derby with a total of 25 home runs.

One night after winning the home run derby, Martin officially finished 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored in the All-Star game for the triumphant North squad in the 7-5 victory.

Entering this weekend's games, Martin is batting .337 (34-for-50) this summer - 12th in the league - with a combined 27 extra base hits. He is tied for third in both home runs (10) and doubles (16) with his 40 RBI tying him for fifth in the Northwoods League rankings.

A complete recap of how the returning Catamounts fared in the various summer leagues will be made available upon the completion of the summer schedules on

"Down on the Farm" - Catamounts in the Minors Update:

Heffley Returns to Western North Carolina
Former Catamount All-America selection Ross Heffley, playing with the Rome Braves, returns to Western North Carolina this weekend to face the Asheville Tourists. The two-teams open a four-game weekend series which includes a Saturday double-header. The series opens on Friday night at 7:05 pm with Saturday's twin bill at 5:35 pm and the finale at 2:05 pm on Sunday.

Heffley, an 18th round draft pick in 2012, started the season with the Lynchburg Hillcats in the Atlanta Braves organization where he batted .218 (10-of-165) in 45 games with 10 doubles and a pair of homeruns and 14 RBI. With Rome, the Snellville, Ga., product is batting .164 (7-for-21) through 21 games with three extra base hits including two doubles and a triple with five RBI.

White Continues to Thrive with Greeneville Astros
Since being promoted to the Houston Astros' rookie-level Appalachian League affiliate in Greeneville, Tenn., former Catamount Tyler White has continued to excel.

In his debut with his new club back on July 15, the Forest City, N.C., native finished 3-for-4 with a walk, stolen base and a RBI. Four nights later, his eighth inning home run - his second as a professional and the first at the rookie level - pushed his squad ahead in scoring a victory.

White is currently batting .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles and a homer. He's tallied six RBI since relocating to eastern Tennessee. In his two stops since finishing at WCU, White is batting .363 (33-for-91) with 11 doubles, two homers and 21 RBI.

Ridings in Class A with Hudson Valley
Former Catamount outfielder Julian Ridings - an 18th-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in the June MLB Draft - continues to play with the Class A Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League.

Ridings just had his seven-game hitting streak - which featured three multi-hit games - snapped on Thursday night. He is currently hitting .259 (29-for-112) on the year with six doubles. The speedster is 8-of-9 in stolen bases with his club so far this summer.

Benedict on 7-Day Disabled List in Florida
Right-handed pitcher Matt Benedict is currently on the seven-day disabled list with the Bradenton Marauders in the Class A Advanced Florida State League. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, Benedict currently has a 0-9 overall record with one save through 19 seasonal appearances including nine starts. A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Benedict has a 4.78 ERA

Since entering the professional ranks in 2011, Benedict has a 9-24 all-time record.

Liles Returns Stateside with RailCats
Former WCU standout Nick Liles returned stateside in a trade between his former team - the Winnipeg Goldeyes - and his current squad, the Gary (Ind.) Southshore RailCats back in mid-July. Both squads are in the independent league, the American Association.

Liles hit .280 with five doubles, a triple and 13 RBI in 45 games with the Goldeyes in Canada to start the season playing in the infield. Since joining his new squad and returning to the outfield, Liles has appeared in five games with 14 at bats with just a single and a run scored.

Liles spent the four seasons in the San Francisco Giants organization after being selected in the seventh round of the 2009 amateur draft. He appeared in three games at Triple-A at the end of the 2011 season and went 5-for-12 in Fresno.

Last season with the Richmond Flying Squirrels -Giants' Double-A squad - he played in 90 games and hit .259 with five doubles, two triples and 20 runs driven in. He is a career .293 hitter as a professional and played mostly as an outfielder while in the Giants system.