BATTLE CREEK, Mich., and NEW MARKET, Va. - As the summer winds down, two Newberry College baseball players continue their development in summer wood bat leagues across the country.
Rising junior Josh McElwee (Andrews, S.C.) was the victim of a tough loss on Saturday, as his Battle Creek Bombers lost to the Eau Claire Express, 6-2, in Northwoods League action. McElwee's record dropped to 3-4 on the season after allowing three earned runs in seven innings on six hits, walking two and striking out two. All of Eau Claire's runs off of McElwee came in the fourth inning, as his summer ERA jumped to 4.35.
McElwee is now fourth in the Northwoods League with a Battle Creek-record 57 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched. With 13 games left in the season, the Bombers are 11-11 in the second half, two games behind the Madison Mallards in the South Division. Overall, Battle Creek is experiencing its best season ever with a 32-23 record, tied with the La Crosse Loggers for first in the South Division for overall record.
The Bombers conclude a two-game home set with first place Madison tonight before playing four games on the road. Battle Creek will pay a visit to the Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers on Wednesday and Thursday and will be at the St. Cloud River Bats on Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off. At the time of our next update, the Bombers will be in the middle of a two-game home set against La Crosse.
McElwee Stats --- Battle Creek Bombers --- Northwoods League
Sanchez Gartman (Newberry, S.C.) has helped his New Market Rebels move to within half a game of first place in the Valley Baseball League's Central Division entering the final week of the season, as the team went 3-1 since our last update. In last Thursday's 4-2 win over the Winchester Royals, Gartman was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, and he drew three walks in Friday's 4-0 win over the Harrisonburg Turks. The Rebels beat the Turks again on Sunday by a 10-9 count, with Gartman going 1-for-3 and drawing another three walks. His toughest game of the last week came in last night's 2-1 loss to the Woodstock River Bandits, as he went 0-for-4 in the pitcher's duel.
For the season, Gartman now has a .308 batting average with 33 hits in 107 at bats. He is tied for the team lead with 26 RBIs and has hit seven double and seven homeruns. His .568 slugging percentage is fourth in the Valley Baseball League and he is tied for fifth in the league in homeruns. The Rebels wrap up the season this weekend with a tough stretch of seven games in five days, starting with tonight's home doubleheader against the Luray Wranglers. New Market plays at Harrisonburg on Wednesday, hosts Woodstock on Thursday and hosts Harrisonburg on Friday before an unusual twinbill on Saturday. At 1 p.m. Saturday, New Market hosts the Front Royal Cardinals before hitting the road and playing at Luray at 7:30 p.m. The odd doubleheader may not be as crazy as it sounds, as New Market and Luray are only 14 miles apart.
New Market Rebels --- Valley Baseball League
Winter Park has concluded its season in the Florida Collegiate Summer League. Chris Roman did not make an appearance last week.