July 12, 2004
The arrival of the Major League All-Star game typically signals the midpoint of the summer and several Notre Dame baseball players have been active in some of the nation’s top wood-bat collegiate summer leagues. The popular Summer Baseball Diaries will be returning to und.com, starting later this week with rising junior DH/1B/C Matt Bransfield’s report from the Waynesboro (Va.) Generals of the Shenandoah Valley League (where he recently was selected to the league all-star game). A full schedule of the eight diaries is included below and the diary entries will be posted, typically on every Thursday and Monday, on und.com. They then will be archived via the Summer Baseball Diaries logo on the baseball page at und.com (the 2002 and ’03 Summer Diaries also are archived at this location, which is http://und.collegesports.com/genrel/basebl-summerdiaries.html).
The diary schedule follows below, as do updates for several Irish baseball players and links to each team’s web sites. Also check back to und.com later in the week for a complete update on former ND players currently active in professional baseball.
Notre Dame Baseball 2004 Summer Diaries:
Thur., July 15 – Matt Bransfield (Waynesboro, VA, Generals; Shenandoah Valley League)
Mon., July 19 – Craig Cooper (Brewster Whitecaps; Cape Cod League)
Thur., July 22 – Matt Edwards (Mat-Su Miners; Alaska LEague)
Mon., July 26 – Dan Kapala (Delaware, OH, Cows; Great Lakes League)
Thur., July 29 – Danny Dressman (Faquier, VA, Gators’ Clark-Griffith League)
Mon., Aug. 2 – Tom Thornton (Wareham Gatemen; Cape Cod League)
Thur., Aug. 6 – Sean Gaston (Waterloo, IA, Bucks; Northwoods League)
Mon., Aug. 9 – Steve Andres (Solano Thunderbirds; California League)
Here are updates on Notre Dame baseball players in various summer leagues (as of July 8):
* OF Craig Cooper (Brewster Whitecaps; Cape Cod League) – team was leading eastern division with 12-8 record … Cooper had played in all 20 games (in the OF) and was batting .254 (above the team’s .231 batting avg.) while ranking 3rd in the CCL in RBI (13) and extra-base hits (8) and 4th in home runs (3) and doubles (5) … only eight CCL batters were hitting above .300 as of July 8 … his other 20-game stats included 17 hits in 67 ABs, 6 runs, 2 HBP, 1 walk, 7 Ks, 2-of-3 SBs, .463 slugging pct., .378 on-base pct. and .861 OBS … the CCL regular season ends Aug. 8, with the playoffs starting on the 10th.
* LHP Tom Thornton (Wareham Gatemen; Cape Cod League) – team stood 5th in western division at 7-12 … Thornton had logged 4 starts with a 4.12 ERA (4th-best among the staff’s regulars) and a 1-3 record, plus 12 Ks, 3 BB and 26 hits allowed in 19.2 IP (2 HB, .317 opp. batting avg. with 2 HR).
* 1B/3B Matt Edwards (Mat-Su Miners; Alaska League) – team was leading league with 9-4 record … Edwards was batting .250 (above his team’s .238 mark) after playing 12 games at 3rd base and one at 1st … his other stats included 11 in hits in 44 ABs, 6 doubles, 10 runs, 3 RBI, .353 on-base pct., 6 BB, HBP, 4 Ks and 2 Es (both at 3rd) … league season ends on July 31, with a spot in the National Baseball Congress World Series (held in Wichita, Kan.) on the line.
* DH/1B/C Matt Bransfield (Waynesboro, Va., Generals; Shenandoah Valley League) – team was struck in 9th place (9-19) despite the efforts of league all-star Bransfield, who was leading team with .325 batting avg. (almost 100 points above the .228 team batting avg.) … he also ranked 3rd in the league with 8 doubles while his others stats included 27 hits in 83 ABs, 11 runs, 2 HRs, 12 RBI, .383 on-base pct., .494 slugging pct., .877 OBS, 7 BB, 2 HBP, 18 Ks, 2 SF, 6-of-7 SBs, 3 Es and a .971 fielding pct. … his 22 starts included 10 games in RF, 8 behind the plate and 2 at 1st base (plus single games at DH and LF) … the Valley League season runs through July 29.
* LHP Scott Bickford (Waynesboro, Va., Generals; Shenandoah Valley League) – Bransfield’s ND teammate is making his own impact on the mound, leading the Generals staff in ERA (1.74) and opp. batting avg. (.187) in 10 relief appearances, plus a 1-1 record and nearly a 4-to-1 K-to-walk ratio (30/8) in just 20.2 IP (plus 14 H, 6 HB, 1 WP).
* OF/C Steve Andres (Solano Thunderbirds; California Collegiate League) – team held an 11-14 record, with plenty of the season still left to be played (ends Aug. 14) … Andres is playing near his hometown of Napa and was batting in the .270 range while splitting time at LF and behind the plate and hitting anywhere from 2nd to 5th in the batting order (full stats should be available from the Thunderbirds for the next update).
* RHP Dan Kapala (Delaware, OH, Cows; Great Lakes League) – team was 17-7 and 3rd in league standings, with the season running to July 30 (playoffs Aug. 1-5) … Kapala ranked 5th on the team with a 3.00 ERA (team ERA was 3.67), plus a 1-1 record, 14 Ks and 6 BB in 4 starts (18 IP, 20 H, 4 HB).
* 1B/LHP Mike Dury (Madison, WI, Mallards; Northwoods League) – team finished 2nd in southern division during first half of season (18-13) and was off to 4-1 start in second half (22-14 overall) … Dury joined team late due to a nagging back injury but quickly made an impact as his first hit was a 2-run HR (1-for-7, 2 R, K) .. the league season runs through Aug. 9, with the playoffs on the 10th-15th.
* C Sean Gaston (Waterloo, IA, Bucks; Northwoods League) – team finished 5th in southern division during first half of season (15-17) but was tied with Madison after 4-1 start to second half (19-18 overall) … former prep summer-league teammates Gaston and Dury fittingly are playing for rival teams in the Northwoods League … Gaston was batting .237 (just below the team’s .250) while playing 13 games behind the plate, with 9 hits in 38 ABs, 7 runs, 3 RBI, 11 Ks, 1-2 SBs, .356 OB, .289 slugging and 1 E.
* OF Alex Nettey (Fayetteville, NC, SwampDogs; Coastal Plains League) – team stooed 4th in leage at 14-14 … Nettey had started 16 games (mostly in CF, plus some LF and DH) while ranking as team’s 3rd-leading hitter with .313 batting avg. (well above the .264 team batting avg.) … his other stats included 15 hits in 48 ABs, 10 runs, 1 HR, 1 3B, 1 2B, 10 RBI, .468 OB, .438 slugging, .906 OBS, 4 BB, 9 HBP, 11 Ks, 1-2 SBs and 1 E (.967 fielding) … he hit mostly in the 8-hole early in the summer but lately has been moved into the 3rd spot … league season runs to Aug. 4.
* OF Danny Dressman (Faquier, VA, Gators; Clark-Griffith League) – team stood 5th in the CGL (10-14) while Dressman ranked 3rd on squad with .281 batting avg. (.228 for the team) … he had appeared in 18 games (17 starts) with 16 hits in 57 ABs, 8 R, 2B, 6 RBI, 10 BB, 3 HBP, 14 Ks, 4-4 SBs … 11 of his starts had been in LF (5 in CF, 1 in RF) while hitting mostly in the 2- and 3-hole … league play ends Aug. 1, with the playoffs Aug. 2-8.
* LHP Matt Whittington (Faquier, VA, Gators; Clark-Griffith League) – ND’s second member of the Gators had made 6 appearances (2 starts) with a 4.50 ERA and 1-0 record (17 Ks, 11 BB, 25 H, 22 IP).
* RHP Jess Stewart (Herndon, VA, Braves; Clark-Griffith League) – team was 2nd in league (15-7) while Stewart had logged 2 starts (6.75, 0-2, 8 IP, 10 H, 5 Ks, 5 BB) … Stewart mistakingly had been listed previously as a prospective player for the CGL’s Reston Hawks … his Herndon teammates include Virgina IF Brandon Guyer and Virgina Commonwealth RHP Jon Link.
* RHP Tyler Jones (Highland Park Blue Sox; Texas League) – team was 6-20 (4th in Tris Speaker Division) while Jones had turned in several strong spot appearances out of the bullpen, with a 1.54 ERA in 11.2 IP (1-0, 7 GP, 7 H, 6 BB, 7 Ks, HB, .175 opp. avg.) … league season ends Aug. 8, with the playoffs Aug. 9-13.
Here are summer team websites for the above ND players: