Tue, Sep. 24, 2013 - [Baseball]
The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Baseball program is one with a rich history of success. Whether it is as a team or as specific individuals, the Patriot tradition still runs strong through the NAIA. One Patriot alumnus has continued his career after UC and just made a huge jump in his baseball career.
Days after helping the Schaumburg Boomers secure the first championship in franchise history, outfielder/pitcher Sean Mahley became the second Boomers player to move on to affiliated ball as the Arizona Diamondbacks purchased his contract, announced by the Boomers on Thursday.
"Sean is well deserving of this opportunity," 2013 Frontier League Manager of the Year Jamie Bennett said. "His ability as a hitter and a pitcher will give him a lot of flexibility at the next level. Sean has been a huge part of what we have been able to accomplish these last two seasons and we wish him the best."
Mahley, 24, completed an outstanding second professional season culminating in a Frontier League Championship Tuesday evening. In the playoffs, Mahley led the way for the Boomers offense with a .346 average (9-for-26) with three runs scored, a double and three runs batted in as Schaumburg swept their way to a 6-0 record in the post-season.
Both at the plate and on the mound, the lefty was instrumental in the Boomers run to the best record in the league. His .312 batting average was good for best on the team and sixth in the league. In 77 games this season, he drew 41 walks, stole 17 bases and struck out just 55 times. On the hill, Mahley was just as impressive, posting a 2.76 ERA with 15 strikeouts and four saves in 16.1 innings or work.
Mahley became the first member of the Boomers to make two All-Star appearances after being voted in for the second straight season, and he even took home the MVP honors for the mid-summer classic after the game-clinching two-run triple.
Mahley was named All Mid-South Conference three times while at UC. During his career at Cumberlands, he was a .350 hitter with 41 doubles, 12 triples, 14 home runs, and 110 runs batted in. He also added 77 walks and 55 stolen bases in his career. Each year while at UC, Mahley continued to get better at the plate as he hit .378 in his senior season. He also was a stellar glove in the outfield as he had a career .980 fielding percentage at UC.
He batted .331 as a sophomore with 14 doubles, three triples, seven homers, 48 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases and his numbers only improved during his junior season as he batted .347 with 13 doubles, four triples, seven homers, and 24 steals. Mahley's best season came in his senior year of 2011, where he led the Patriots with a .378 batting average as a senior, stealing 14 bases while drawing 25 walks and striking out only nine times in 45 games.
UC Head Coach Brad Shelton commented, "Sean Mahley is one of the hardest working players that I have ever coached. He played hard every pitch and approached practice the same way. He competed on every pitch of every game, every sprint in conditioning, and every swing in the batting cage. I am very happy for Sean and we are looking forward to following his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks."
Mahley added, "It's an unbelievable feeling. Having played all year with a great group of guys and to win a championship at the end is something special. Outside of the championship, I'm pumped about getting this opportunity with the Diamondbacks. I have had two wonderful years here in Schaumburg, but I'm ready to get started with Arizona. They have signed me as an outfielder/pitcher giving me a little bit of flexibility, and I'm going to take advantage of my time with them."
For more information on the Patriot baseball program along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.