BATTLE CREEK, Mich., NEW MARKET, Va., and WINTER PARK, Fla. - The positives decidedly outweighed the negatives over the last week for the three Newberry College baseball players participating in summer leagues.
Josh McElwee (Andrews, S.C.) made one appearance for the Battle Creek Bombers of the Northwoods League since our last update. On Sunday, the rising junior right-hander evened his season record at 3-3, allowing only one run over seven innings of work in the Bombers' 6-1 win over the Madison Mallards. The one run came on a solo homer off of the bat of John Hicks, who played in the College World Series for the University of Virginia this summer.
McElwee struck out three batters in the game, running his season total to 54 punchouts, which ranks him second in the Northwoods League behind Green Bay's Zach Varce, who has a phenomenal 79 Ks in 55.2 innings pitched. McElwee's 54 strikeouts also sets a new Battle Creek Bombers single-season record, eclipsing Elon's Ken Ferrer, who struck out 51 batters last summer. McElwee is sure to extend the record even further, as the Bombers have 24 more games in the season.
The Bombers play six more games before entering the NWL's All-Star break next week. Tonight and tomorrow, Battle Creek hosts the Wisconsin Woodchucks before hitting the road for four games. Thursday and Friday will see the Bombers at the Eau Claire Express and Saturday and Sunday will have Battle Creek at the Alexandria Beetles. The Bombers are 6-4 in the second half of the season and sit in a three-way tie with Madison and Waterloo, two games out of first place in the South Division behind the 8-2 La Crosse Loggers.
McElwee Stats --- Battle Creek Bombers --- Northwoods League
Sanchez Gartman (Newberry, S.C.) helped the New Market Rebels of the Valley Baseball League to a 3-3 record in the last week, including the game-winning runs on a grand slam on Sunday. Last Tuesday, he went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and two runs scored as the Rebels defeated the Luray Wranglers, 8-3. He followed that up with a 2-for-5 night with an RBI in a 4-3 win over the Haymarket Senators on Wednesday. On Thursday, Gartman was 2-for-4 with a two-run homerun in the first inning, but the Rebels lost to the Winchester Royals, 9-8.
After sitting out on Friday night, Gartman was 1-for-3 in Sunday's 8-4 win over the Woodstock River Bandits, but the one hit was a big one as he hit a two-out grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning. Last night, the Rebels found themselves at the wrong end of a 16-7 decision against the Staunton Braves, but Gartman did his part, scoring two runs and blasting a three-run homer in the third inning.
Gartman is now batting .312 (29-of-93) for the season, with seven homeruns and 22 RBIs in 27 games. He has also hit six doubles and a triple. He is currently tied for third in the Valley Baseball League in homeruns and is third in slugging percentage at .624.
New Market is third in the Central Division with a 15-15 overall record, while Luray leads the division at 16-12. The Rebels are off until Friday, when they play at division leading Luray before hosting the Winchester Royals on Saturday. Sunday and Monday see back-to-back road contests at Harrisonburg and Fauquier before New Market starts a four-game homestand. Before our next update, the Rebels will play the Front Royal Cardinals on Monday night.
New Market Rebels --- Valley Baseball League
Chris Roman (Kissimmee, Fla.) did not pitch in the last week for the Winter Park Diamond Dawgs of the Florida Collegiate Summer League, according to the latest box scores reported to the league. Winter Park plays three times before the next update, hosting Clermont on Friday before returning the favor and playing at Clermont on Saturday. The Diamond Dawgs' final game before the next update will be at DeLand on Monday.
Winter Park Diamond Dawgs --- Florida Collegiate Summer League