Aug. 8, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - As the summer months roll along, Catamount baseball remains active with former players in the various professional minor leagues and two still pitching in the Major Leagues.
One former Catamount, Tyler White, received his second promotion early in his professional career while WCU's first-ever MLB All-Star - Kansas City Royals closer, Greg Holland, garnered monthly plaudits from the league for his play in July.
Among those returning to Cullowhee for the 2014 season, rising senior Adam Martin continued his torrid hitting in the Northwoods League, participating in a trio of all-star week events this summer.
In the coming days, 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 CatamountSports.com.
|Western Carolina Baseball Academy|
2013 End of Summer Exposure Camp
Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013
Childress Field / Hennon Stadium | Grades 9-12
Martin Plays in the Northwoods League Big League Dreams Showcase
Representing his summer league team, the St. Cloud Rox, Western Carolina catcher Adam Martin played in both the Northwoods League's all-star games, including the inaugural Big League Dreams Showcase. The latter of the two all-star games allowed more playing time for players filling four teams in front of Major League scouts.
Playing at first base for the North squad in the second of two games, Martin blasted a three-run home run to left field in the third inning and tacked on a fourth RBI an inning later to lead his team to a 7-6 victory.
The two all-star appearances added to Martin's productive summer. Earlier during the All-Star festivities, the Marietta, Ga., native claimed the second summer league home run derby of his career by powering past the competition with 25 home runs including 12 in the final segment.
Holland Named MLB's Delivery Man of the Month for July
Former Western Carolina reliever - and now Kansas City Royals closer - Greg Holland, was selected as the winner of the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award for July, marking the first career monthly honor for the right-hander. Holland, who led the Majors with 11 saves during July, is just the second Royals pitcher to win the award (third overall), joining Joakim Soria, who received the award in September 2008 and September 2009.
This Major League Baseball award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher during each month of the regular season as voted on by a panel from Major League Baseball.
Holland converted each of his 11 save opportunities during July while appearing in 11 games and tossing 11.0 innings. The Marion, N.C., native posted a 0.82 ERA, permitting one run on nine hits with one walk and 15 strikeouts while holding opposing batters to a .209 batting average.
The 10th round pick in the 2007 Draft recorded saves on back-to-back days against the Cleveland Indians on July 3 and July 4, allowing a hit with three strikeouts over the 2.0 innings pitched. The 27-year-old also posted saves on consecutive days on July 8-9 at the New York Yankees; on July 19-20 against the Detroit Tigers; and on July 27-28 at the Chicago White Sox.
For the season, the WCU product is 2-1 with 30 saves and a 1.64 ERA. In 44.0 innings pitched, he has surrendered 10 runs (eight earned) on 29 hits with 12 walks and 70 strikeouts. Holland is the fourth different Royals pitcher with at least 30 saves in a season. With 50 career saves, Holland is tied with Mike MacDougal for sixth in the Royals' record books.
White Promoted to Class A Short-Season
Former Catamount infielder Tyler White continues his climb within the Houston Astros organization, most recently earning a promotion to the Class A Short-Season Tri-City Valley Cats in the New York-Penn League. It is the third stop in his young professional career. White made his debut in Troy, N.Y., back on August 6
White quickly made the move from the Astros' Gulf Coast League squad in 18 games, batting .365 (23-for-63) with 10 extra base hits including nine doubles and a homer while drive in 15 runs. He played 15 games with the Greeneville (Tenn.) Astros in the Appalachian League, batting .355 (22-for-62) with five extra base hits including three doubles and a pair of home runs with 12 RBI.
A product of Forest City, N.C., White was drafted with the first pick of the 33rd round in the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft. He was a .325 career hitter for the Purple & Gold, averaging nearly 72 hits per season including 77 multi-hit games. As a senior, White earned the media's nod for Southern Conference Player of the Year, as well as third team Louisville Slugger All-America plaudits.
Benedict Returns from DL to Score Victory
Playing for the Bradenton (Fla.) Marauders, former Catamount Matt Benedict earned his first victory of the 2013 season back on July 31 in his most recent appearance. The right-handed pitcher has moved primarily to the bullpen since the end of June. In the six appearances he's made since the transition, he has eight strikeouts in 13 innings of work with a win and a save - with both decisions recorded after he came off the seven-day disabled list.
Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, Benedict currently has a 1-9 overall record with two saves through 21 seasonal appearances including nine starts. A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Benedict has a 4.58 ERA.
Pair of Former Catamounts Pitching in the Frontier League
Two former WCU baseball players are making a go of it in the professional independent ranks. The two right-handed pitchers Jason Sullivan (2009-10) and Preston Hatcher (2010-2013) are both pitching in the Frontier League. The two are on squads currently tied for first place in the league.
Sullivan played for the River City Rascals in O'Fallon, Missouri, during 2012, posting a 3-2 record with a 4.43 ERA in 33 appearances including three starts. He is currently pitching for the Gateway Grizzlies in Sauget, Ill. He has tossed 32 innings through 24 relief appearances, holding a 3-1 record with one save. Sullivan has 23 strikeouts against 18 walks on the year with a 5.06 combined ERA.
Pitching for the Schaumburg (Ill.) Boomers, Hatcher, a former Catamount closer, currently has a 2-2 overall record with a 2.87 ERA in 17 appearances. The right-hander has struck out 17 batters in 15.2 innings of work. He recorded his professional career-high of five strikeouts against Traverse City back on June 27.