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Marshall Baseball Players in the Pros

Kevin Shackelford in 2010

July 1, 2013

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Isaac Ballou’s first homer and a Kevin Shackelford promotion highlighted last week’s action as 10 former Marshall baseball players continued their professional careers.

Details for each are found below:

Aaron Blair – Pitcher – Hillsboro Hops (Short Season Northwest League; Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks)

Blair (who was with the Thundering Herd from 2011-2013) joined the Hillsboro Hops on June 23.  His first game action will likely come in the latter part of July. 

Isaac Ballou – OF – Auburn Doubledays (Short Season New York-Penn League; Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals)

Ballou (2010-2013) batted .250 (6-for-24) for the week, doubling three times and notching his first professional home run in a road win against Jamestown.  For the season, Ballou’s slash line is .243/.349/.405.  He has reached base in all 13 games of his career. 

Ballou’s season stats: .243 AVG, 6 R, 6 RBI, 1 HR, 9 BB, 3 K

Joe Church – Relief Pitcher – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Midwest League; Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres)

Church (2009-2012) made just one appearance with Fort Wayne last week, a single-inning relief role against West Michigan.  He allowed one hit and no runs. 

Church’s season stats: 7 G, 1-1, 10.54 ERA, 1 save, 13.2 IP, 21 H, 17 R, 16 ER, 7 BB, 11 K

Mike Mason – Relief Pitcher – Asheville Tourists (South Atlantic League; Class A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies)



Mason (2009-2012) appeared twice last week in a pair of games against the Augusta GreenJackets.  On Thursday, the southpaw struck out two in a scoreless inning en route to his second hold of the season.  On Saturday, he struck out two more in another scoreless inning. 

Mason’s season stats: 14 G, 2-0, 2.21 ERA, 20.1 IP, 17 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 7 BB, 20 K

Arik Sikula – Relief Pitcher – Lansing Lugnuts (Midwest League; Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays)

Sikula (2008-2011) made three relief appearances last week with the Lugnuts.  After giving up two runs on three hits in a single inning of relief against Dayton on Tuesday, he settled down to keep Fort Wayne (Church’s team) and Great Lakes scoreless on Wednesday and Sunday, respectively.  Sikula collected his team-leading ninth save of the season in the win over Fort Wayne. 

Sikula’s season stats: 27 G, 3-0, 2.31 ERA, 9 saves, 35.0 IP, 24 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 13 BB, 35 K

Ian Kadish – Relief Pitcher – Lansing Lugnuts (Midwest League; Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays)

Kadish (2008-2011) logged two outings (2.2 innings) last week with the Lugnuts.  After blowing a save opportunity in Wednesday’s victory against Fort Wayne, he was named the winning pitcher as the Lugnuts gave him the lead right back.  For the week, the righty struck out four and walked one. 

Kadish’s season stats: 27 G, 3-2, 3.29 ERA, 0 saves, 38.1 IP, 34 H, 19 R, 14 ER, 9 BB, 51 K

Kevin Shackelford – Relief Pitcher – Huntsville Stars (Southern League; Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers)

Shackelford (2008-2010) was promoted to the Brewers Double-A affiliate last week, leaving his former Brevard County Manatees (Advanced Florida State League) club.  The right-hander made his first appearance with his new team on Sunday, working two innings of relief in the team’s win over the Chattanooga Lookouts.  Prior to the promotion, Shackelford struck out three and walked none in two innings of relief with the Manatees, grabbing his second save. 

Shackelford’s season stats: 1-3, 5.03 ERA, 2 saves, 34.0 IP, 40 H, 19 R, 19 ER, 4 BB, 25 K
Shackelford’s season stats (w/ HVL): 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 0 saves, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Dan Straily – Starting Pitcher – Sacramento River Cats (Pacific Coast League; Triple A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics)

Straily (2008-2009) was the recipient of some tough luck in his first start back with the River Cats on Friday as he suffered his first loss of the season.  After keeping Reno off the scoreboard for the first three innings, Straily gave up six runs (two earned) over his last three innings.  What should have been a 2-1 deficit upon his departure was instead a 6-1 deficit, and Sacramento would get no closer.  Reno added a pair in the ninth to take the win 8-1.  Straily struck out six in the losing effort. 

Straily’s season stats with the A’s: 4-2 in 12 starts, 5.00 ERA, 66.2 IP, 61 H, 38 R, 37 ER, 20 BB, 53 K
Straily’s season stats with the River Cats: 3-1 in 4 starts, 1.46 ERA, 24.2 IP, 20 H, 11 R, 4 ER, 7 BB, 26 K

Thor Meeks – Catcher – Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic League; Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals)

Meeks (2009-2012) is currently listed on the disabled list.

Greg Williams – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Advanced California League; Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers)

Williams (2009-2011) was with the Pelicans for the latter part of the 2012 season and will remain with the club while he undergoes a rehab stint during the 2013 season.  The right-hander, who was 2-0 with a 3.96 ERA in 2012, needed Tommy John surgery in October and will remain in the Rangers’ system at their Arizona complex until his recovery.