GLENDALE, Ariz.; DANVILLE, Va.; and TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - Three former Newberry College baseball players continue their progress through the minor leagues, with shortstop Casio Grider achieving a pair of career firsts for the Arizona League Dodgers last night.
Grider struggled in his first three games since our last update, going 1-for-11 with a two-run double as his only hit. However, he has turned it on in his last two games, going 5-for-8 with two RBIs and connecting on his first career triple and homerun last night.
On Monday, Grider was 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored with a steal, but the Dodgers lost to the Angels, 11-8. Last night, Grider led off the bottom of the first inning with his first career triple and hit a single in the bottom of the second. After turning a double play in the top of the fourth, Grider hit his first career homerun to straightaway centerfield with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Unfortunately, the Royals' offense was even more potent and the Dodgers fell, 19-7.
Grider is tied for fourth in the Arizona League in steals with nine and has elevated his batting average to .235 with an on-base percentage of .366 and an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of .704. The Dodgers play six games before our next update starting at the Indians tonight and at the Padres on Thursday. The Dodgers will be the home team for the next four games, playing the Padres on Saturday, the Rangers on Sunday and Monday and the Indians on Tuesday.
Casio Grider statistics on MiLB.com --- AZL Dodgers --- Arizona Summer League
Thomas Berryhill pitched twice for the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League since our last update. He pitched two shutout innings against the Elizabethton Twins on Thursday, July 16, allowing only one hit. However, those innings came in a 13-inning game that did not end until after Berryhill was pulled, earning him no save and no decision. Berryhill was tagged with his first blown save on Sunday, as he allowed five hits including a solo homer that tied the game in the top of the ninth to the Bristol Sox. The D-Braves led, 1-0, at the time, and the homer sent the game into extra innings. Berryhill did not allow the winning runs to Bristol, and once again earned no save or decision.
Berryhill's record still sits at 0-1 with five saves and a 2.25 ERA. He has struck out nine batters in his 10 appearances and is tied for second in the Appalachian League in saves. The D-Braves are still first in the Appy League East Division with a 19-9 record, three and a half games ahead of Princeton. Danville beat Johnson City, 9-2, last night in the first game of a three-game set that continues tonight and tomorrow. After the Johnson City series, the D-Braves will play three games against Bluefield and three games against Burlington.
Thomas Berryhill statistics on MiLB.com --- Danville Braves --- Appalachian League
The Traverse City Beach Bums of the independent Frontier League finally broke their long losing skid after the All-Star break and Jared Locke has made two appearances since then, one in a win and one in a loss.
On Saturday, he pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out one batter to set up the save situation as the Beach Bums defeated Windy City, 3-1. Things did not go as well on Monday though, as he gave up three earned runs in the ninth inning of a 5-1 loss to Rockford on two hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Locke now has an 0-2 record with a 4.97 ERA in 22 appearances, and has struck out 23 batters in 25.1 innings pitched.
Traverse City is still in last place in the Frontier League East Division with a 23-30 record, but did not fall further behind the lead, trailing first place Kalamazoo by 10 games. The Beach Bums play the final game of a three-game set against Rockford tonight before embarking on a six-game roadtrip. Traverse City plays three games at the Washington Wild Things in Washington, Pa., on Thursday-Saturday, and then plays three games at the Florence Freedom in Florence, Ky., on Sunday-Tuesday.
Traverse City Beach Bums --- Frontier League