DANVILLE, Va. - The month of June has wrapped up with three former Newberry College baseball players playing in the minor leagues. Thomas Berryhill's performance with the Danville Braves has been the most impressive of the month, while Casio Grider is playing with the Arizona League Dodgers and Jared Locke is playing with the Traverse City Beach Bums.
In the week since our last update, Berryhill has made two appearances, picking up a save without allowing a runner to reach base in two complete innings. The Aynor native boasts a still perfect 0.00 ERA through 2.1 innings pitched as a closer in his professional career. On June 26, he pitched a perfect ninth inning in a loss to the Greeneville Astros in a non-save situation. He followed that up on Monday night with a five-pitch perfect ninth inning to pick up the save in Danville's 5-2 win over the Kingsport Mets. Opposing hitters have only managed a .125 average against the right-hander so far this season.
The D-Braves are tied at the top of the Appalachian League's East Division with the Princeton Rays, as both teams have 5-3 records. The D-Braves play the rubber game of a three-game set against Kingsport tonight before hosting Princeton for a three-game series over the weekend.
Casio Grider continues his minor league journey in the Arizona League with the AZL Dodgers. In his five appearances in June, Grider carries a deceptive .200 batting average. While that is a low number, the Hephzibah, Ga., native has been patient at the plate, drawing three walks in a 5-4 loss to the AZL Indians on Sunday. He has also been hit by a pitch five times, bringing his on-base percentage up to .478. He has also stolen three bases and committed three errors in the field.
The AZL Dodgers are in a four-way tie for second place in the West Division at 4-4 through June. The Dodger, Indians, Mariners and Royals are 1.5 games behind the Rangers, who carry a 5-2 mark. The Dodgers host the Angels tonight, are at the Athletics on Thursday and at the Cubs on Friday before taking the day off on July 4. The Dodgers close the weekend by hosting the Athletics on Sunday and then are at the Mariners on Tuesday.
Since our last update, it has been brought to our attention that former Newberry pitcher Jared Locke is in his third season with the Traverse City Beach Bums of the independent Frontier League. So far this season, the southpaw has an 0-1 record with a 4.34 ERA in 16 relief appearances. He has struck out 15 batters in 18.2 innings pitched this season. In last night's 9-6 win over the Kalamazoo Kings, Locke allowed no runs on two hits and a walk in 1.1 innings of middle relief. Locke last pitched for Newberry in 2006, and was originally signed by the Texas Rangers' organization before playing at Traverse City.
The Beach Bums have a record of 18-18 through June and are in fourth place in the Frontier League's East Division, 6 games behind the first place Kalamazoo Kings. Traverse City has two more games against the Kings tonight and tomorrow before hosting the Midwest Sliders of Ypsilanti for three games over the weekend.