BATTLE CREEK, Mich., WINTER PARK, Fla., and NEW MARKET, Va. - A trio of Newberry College baseball players continue their development in summer leagues, with some players excelling over the last week and some players encountering a bit of a struggle.
Josh McElwee (Andrews, S.C.) has had a mixed bag of results in his two appearances for the Battle Creek Bombers of the Northwoods League since our last update. On Friday, McElwee pitched one scoreless inning of relief in the Bombers' 4-1 win over the Alexandria Beetles. He allowed no hits and walked one in the eighth inning, helping Battle Creek hold onto a 2-1 lead.
On Monday night, McElwee had his roughest start of the season, dropping his record to 2-3 this summer in an 8-5 road loss to the Madison Mallards. The rising junior allowed seven runs - six earned - on eight hits in six innings. He scattered eight hits and struck out seven batters, but three of those hits were Madison homeruns. McElwee's 51 strikeouts on the season is still second in the Northwoods League behind Green Bay's Zach Varce, who has punched out 71 batters.
The Bombers play at Madison again tonight before returning to Battle Creek for two games against the Waterloo Bucks. Friday and Saturday will see Battle Creek return the favor with two games at Waterloo followed by a another road game at Madison on Sunday and an off day Monday. The Bombers are 1-2 in the second half of the season, two games behind Madison. Battle Creek finished the first half a game and a half behind Eau Claire.
McElwee Stats --- Battle Creek Bombers --- Northwoods League
In the Florida Collegiate Summer League, Chris Roman (Kissimmee, Fla.) continued his return from injury with three relief appearances for the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs in the last week. The rising junior allowed two runs - one earned - on two hits in 1.2 innings in Friday night's 7-2 loss to DeLand. He struck out four batters, but walked three.
On Sunday, Roman pitched two innings of scoreless relief as Winter Park edged Sanford, 3-2. He walked one and struck out one, allowing no hits. Roman was tagged with the loss last night, as Winter Park dropped a 9-8 slugfest to Leesburg. He recorded an inning of relief, allowing three earned runs on four hits, walking none and striking out none.
With the added appearances, Roman's numbers have improved significantly in the last two weeks. His ERA has dropped over 20 runs to 9.39, a number that will surely dip even lower with continued playing time. The Diamond Dawgs are at Sanford tomorrow and host Leesburg Wednesday before a three-game road trip to DeLand, Clermont and Sanford. Winter Park's final game before our next update is a Monday night home game against Leesburg.
Winter Park Diamond Dawgs --- Florida Collegiate Summer League
Sanchez Gartman (Newberry, S.C.), a 2009 signee and junior college transfer from USC Sumter, has continued to help his New Market Rebels in their four games since the last update. New Market has gone 3-1 to draw their record to an even 12-12, with Gartman's contributions at the plate a big reason why.
On Tuesday, New Market defeated the Luray Wranglers by a 14-8 count. Gartman was 2-for-5 at the plate with a walk, an RBI and three runs scored batting in the cleanup spot. The Rebels were not as successful on Thursday, as they lost to the Haymarket Senators, 4-1, with Gartman going 1-for-4. Gartman provided the Rebels with a big boost in Friday's 8-6 win over the Fauquier Gators, with a three-run double in the bottom of the seventh. It was his only hit of the game, but it gave New Market the lead for good. Last night, the Rebels brought their record to .500 with a 5-3 win over the Harrisonburg Turks. Gartman went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
For the season, Gartman is batting .280 with 10 RBIs and three homeruns. The Rebels play six games before our next update, starting at Luray tonight. New Market hosts Haymarket on Wednesday and travels to Winchester on Thursday. The Rebels host Harrisonburg and Woodstock on Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off. Their last game before our next update will be at Staunton on Monday.
New Market Rebels --- Valley Baseball League
Our summer updates will continue tomorrow, as we catch up with minor league action.