PULASKI, Va. and GLENDALE, Ariz. - Newberry College's 2009 Major League Baseball draft picks - Thomas Berryhill and Casio Grider - have begun their professional careers this week and have started off on the right foot.
Berryhill, who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the fifth round, started his professional career with the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League. In his professional debut on Wednesday night, Berryhill struck out the final batter of the game in the D-Braves' 7-6 win over the Pulaski Mariners. Berryhill allowed one hit and one walk, but still retains a 0.00 earned run average.
The D-Braves play one more game in Pulaski tonight before traveling to familiar turf for Berryhill. Danville will head to Greeneville, Tenn., and Pioneer Park on the campus of Tusculum College for a three-game set against the Greeneville Astros on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Grider, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 14th round, began his professional career with the Arizona League (AZL) Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. Grider has started at shortstop in two of the AZL Dodgers' first three games. In the season opener against the AZL Mariners, Grider was 1-for 2 with two runs scored and two RBIs, while getting hit by a pitch in his first two professional plate appearances. The AZL Dodgers won that game, 17-3. In Tuesday's game against the AZL Padres, Grider was 1-for-5 with a run scored and a stolen base. The AZL Dodgers won that game, 5-0. Through two games, Grider has a .286 batting average.
The AZL Dodgers play four games over the weekend, starting with the AZL Rangers tonight, followed by the AZL Indians on Friday. On Saturday, the AZL Dodgers play the AZL Royals before hosting the AZL Indians on Sunday.
Be sure to check www.NewberryAthleticSite.com throughout the summer for more updates on Thomas and Casio as they progress through the minor leagues.