WACO, Texas - Over the last two months, 13 returning players from the 2014 Baylor baseball squad played in various summer collegiate leagues throughout the country to keep improving their respective skills. Below are summer highlights of the Bears that were in action against some of the country's top talent.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Hunter Abbe, who redshirted in 2014, showed great progress with the Valley League's Strasburg Express. In 15 relief appearances, Abbe posted a 2-0 record with one save and a 1.47 ERA. Over his 24.1 innings of work, he gave up 14 hits while striking out 23. He did give up 22 walks, but was able to pitch around them most of the time as he only gave up 10 runs (four earned).
Sophomore third baseman Ben Carl continued to build on his success during his 2014 redshirt freshman season as he played with the Clippers of the Karl Young League. Carl hit .290 with two doubles, one home run and three RBI in 31 at-bats. He also tossed a perfect inning on the mound, striking out all three batters he faced.
Sophomore outfielder Joe Sabatini, redshirt freshman catcher Kameron Esthay and sophomore catcher Matt Menard all played with the Florida League's Leesburg Lightning. In limited action due to a minor injury, Sabatini compiled six hits (3 doubles, 1 triple) for six RBI in eight games and 28 at-bats. Esthay really enjoyed his time as he hit .298 in 27 games with 12 runs, eight doubles, nine RBI and 13 walks. Menard showed improved power as he hit .242 in 25 games with 15 runs, two doubles, one triple, four homers, 19 RBI and 10 walks. Menard hit .219 with 12 RBI and no homers for BU in 48 games last season.
Junior first baseman Mitch Price and sophomore outfielder Lane Kelly spent their summer with the M.I.N.K. League's Clarinda A's. Price hit .252 in 38 games with seven doubles, two homers, 20 RBI and 13 walks. Kelly had six hits in nine games with four runs, one double, two RBI and two walks.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Nick Lewis continued his success from the end of his rookie campaign with BU as a member of the New England League's Valley Blue Sox. In seven starts and 42 innings, Lewis went 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA as he gave up 18 runs (14 earned) on 37 hits and 11 walks with 38 strikeouts for the Blue Sox.
Redshirt freshman infielder Steven McLean was able to get his first taste of college ball as he played with the Harrisonburg Turks of the Valley League. McLean hit .227 in 40 games with 21 runs, six doubles, one homer, 13 RBI and 10 walks.
Redshirt freshman catcher Cameron Miller and sophomore right-handed pitcher Drew Tolson played with the Perfect Game League's Albany Dutchmen over the summer. In his first real game collegiate action, Miller hit .242 in 40 games with 17 runs, seven doubles, two homers, 17 RBI and 17 walks. Tolson continued his late season success as a part of the 2014 BU weekend rotation. He went 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA in eight starts with two complete games. Over 54.1 innings, Tolson allowed 21 runs (17 earned) on 49 hits and just six walks with 37 strikeouts.
Redshirt freshman first baseman Case Smith got his feet wet with the New York League's Rochester Ridgemen. He joined the team late as he spent a month in the Dominican Republic playing baseball and helping the community. Once with the Ridgemen, Smith hit .125 in 12 games with three RBI and four walks.
Junior infielder West Tunnell only got to play 14 games with the Palm Springs Power of the Southern California League due to a minor injury. However, he was really excelling as he hit .348 with seven runs, two doubles, two triples, one homer, eight RBI and two steals.
The Bears report for fall practice on Aug. 25 to begin preparation for the 2015 season.