It has been a busy summer for the University of the Cumberlands (UC) Baseball program. While the coaches have been out recruiting talented newcomers, many of the returning players have been working hard to improve their skills as they participate in summer collegiate baseball leagues around the country.
Many of the returning sophomores went home for the summer and are playing with travel, select and American Legion teams, while returning juniors and seniors are in collegiate wooden bat leagues.
Below is a rundown of where some of those players have spent their summers:
Stone Osborne, a sophomore outfielder was a late pickup for the Owensboro Oilers in the Ohio Valley Collegiate Baseball League after starting the summer 5 for 9 in the Bluegrass Baseball League. Stone played very well down the stretch helping the Oilers win a playoff game to advance to the best of three playoff series.
Redshirt sophomore Blake Castator played in the Cincinnati Recreation Commission League and in the Champions Baseball Academy Summer League, while redshirt freshman Matt Soanes was an outfielder/first baseman in the Beach Collegiate League in South Carolina.
Juniors Jeremy Conley and Jake Goodman competed for the Stallions in the Bluegrass Baseball League and helped lead that team to a league championship. Conley, an outfielder, hit .324 and Goodman, a first baseman, hit .286. Junior Ryan Huston also played in the Bluegrass League for the Threshers posting a .286 Average.
Jared Martin, a senior infielder played for the Lexington Hustlers in the Great Lakes Collegiate Baseball League where he hit a solid .278 while only striking out 8 times in 98 plate appearances. He also swiped six bases and even made two appearances as a relief pitcher. Jared was also invited to participate in the Leagues Professional Scout Day to showcase his skills for professional scouts.
Matt Madrigal, a senior outfielder played in the Orange County Collegiate League in California where he played for the Orange County Bulldogs. Matt helped lead the team to a 13-7 record while compiling a .289 average and a .420 on-base percentage.
Adam Quiles and Jonathan Bobea, both senior pitchers, were teammates on the Morehead City Marlins of the Coastal Plains League. Both were solid out of the bullpen for the Marlins. Quiles was 1-1 with 2 saves in 13 appearances. He tallied 12 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched. Bobea led his team in appearances with 20. He also had a 1-1 record with 2 saves. He struck out 45 hitters in only 30 innings of work. Senior infielder Claudio Valencia also played in the first half of the season for the Marlins, starting eight games at second base and shortstop before he had to return home for the summer.
Seniors Hibraim Cordova, Kahana Neal, and Donovan Feenstra played in the Northwoods Collegiate Baseball League for the Mankato Moondogs. All three Patriots were contributors to the Moondogs' team success. Cordova hit .281 with 6 homeruns and 38 RBI while manning centerfield. He also stole 11 stolen bases. Kahana Neal posted a 4-1 record in 8 appearances with a 3.98 ERA. Donovan Feenstra was 3-2 in 15 appearances with a 2.77 ERA while tallying 39 strikeouts in 45 innings of work.
Coach Shelton had this to say about the current Patriots summer baseball success. "I am proud of how our guys went out and competed in summer leagues. We had guys in the Northwoods League, Coastal Plains League and the Great Lakes Collegiate League among others. Those three leagues are three of the most prestigious leagues in the country for summer collegiate baseball. Our guys put up excellent numbers competing against some of the top NCAA Division I players. This experience will help them improve their individual skills and in turn make us a more prepared team in the 2014 season."
For more information on the Patriot baseball program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.