July 7, 2014
WACO, Texas - Currently, there are 12 returning players from the 2014 Baylor baseball squad playing in various summer collegiate leagues throughout the country to keep improving their respective skills. Below are highlights over the past two weeks of play for the Bears that are in action against some of the country's top talent.
Sophomore Hunter Abbe, who redshirted the 2014 college season, has continued to impress out of the bullpen with the Strasburg Express. As of the first update on June 25th, Abbe was 0-0 with a 4.32 ERA in 8.1 innings with 11 strikeouts over eight appearances. He is now 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 appearances as he picked up his first win in his first outing after the original update. The outing was a 2.2-inning scoreless effort in which he allowed one hit and three walks with one strikeout. On Saturday, he threw a scoreless frame with two walks and a strikeout to bring his season total to 13 strikeouts in 12 innings with just five hits allowed.
A redshirt freshman in 2014, Kameron Esthay has found his rhythm lately with the Leesburg Lightning in the outfield. In 18 games, the lefty is hitting .281 (16-for-57) with eight runs, two doubles, three RBI and 10 walks. Fellow Lightning and Baylor teammate Matt Menard, a redshirt freshman, has shown improved power in his 16 games. In his first full Baylor season, he had 10 extra base hits (nine doubles, one triple) in 48 games. With the Lightning, he already has five extra base hits, including three home runs (also two doubles) and ranks second on the team with 13 RBI - one RBI more than he had in his 2014 collegiate season.
Sophomore Mitch Price has found similar success in driving runs in. Like Menard, Price also ranks second on his team - Clarinda A's - as he has 11 RBI in 23 games with two doubles and two homers while going 19-for-77 at the plate (.247). With the Bears in 2014, Price drove in 14 runs with five doubles and one homer in 34 games while hitting .258.
Continuing his late season success after moving from bullpen role to starter, freshman Nick Lewis was off to a good start this summer with the Valley Blue Sox as he was 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his first three starts. Since the first update, he's had two more starts and picked up losses in both. While he only received two runs of support combined in both starts, Lewis gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings on June 28 and three runs on four hits and two walks in 5.1 innings on July 6. Overall, though, Lewis has continued to be a dependable starter this summer as he is now 1-2 with a 3.49 ERA in five starts. He's allowed 25 hits and nine walks with 27 strikeouts in 28.1 innings.
Sitting out as a redshirt, freshman Steven McLean is getting his first taste of collegiate action this summer with the Harrisonburg Turks. Through 24 games, he is hitting .259 (22-for-85) with 14 runs, five doubles, one homer and nine RBI while playing multiple infield spots.
Continuing to play well are Albany Dutchmen teammates Cameron Miller and Drew Tolson. Miller redshirted in his freshman season at Baylor, but is still one of the team's top bats after cooling off a bit from his torrid start to the summer. Through 20 games, Miller is hitting .279 (17-for-61) with a team-high 13 walks. He also has 12 runs, five doubles, one homer and nine RBI. Redshirt freshman Tolson is still picking up where he left off as he took over a spot in the starting rotation late in the college season. After a 2-0 start in his first two starts with the Dutchmen, he is now 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA through four starts. Tolson has shown great control and command as he has one complete game while allowing 18 hits and no walks with 17 strikeouts in 28 innings.
A complete list of the Baylor player designations is below, along with links to each league's website and each team's website.
2014 BAYLOR BASEBALL SUMMER TEAM ASSIGNMENTS
Hunter Abbe | Strasburg Express | Valley League
Ben Carl | Clippers | Karl Young League
Kameron Esthay | Leesburg Lightning | Florida League
Lane Kelly | Clarinda A's | M.I.N.K. League
Nick Lewis | Valley Blue Sox | New England League
Steven McLean | Harrisonburg Turks | Valley League
Matt Menard | Leesburg Lightning | Florida League
Cameron Miller | Albany Dutchmen | Perfect Game League
Mitch Price | Clarinda A's | M.I.N.K. League
Case Smith | Rochester Ridgemen | New York League
Drew Tolson | Albany Dutchmen | Perfect Game League
West Tunnell | Palm Springs Power | Southern California League