July 8, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Aaron Blair’s first start and Dan Straily’s return to the Oakland Athletics’ rotation 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) made his first professional start on Friday, going two innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed a hit and a walk but also struck out two in the Hops’ extra-inning win over Vancouver. Blair, like most guys making their debut, was limited to 35 pitches or two innings.
Blair’s season stats: 1 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Isaac Ballou – OF – Auburn Doubledays (Short Season New York-Penn League; Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals)
Ballou (2010-2013) began last week with a monster outing against Batavia, going 3-for-5 with a stolen base and two runs. He hit safely in three of his four games for the week while reaching base in each. He’s now batting .271 for the season which includes .294 average in the month of July. Ballou, who has reached base in all 17 games of his career, owns a .394 on-base percentage which leads the Doubledays.
Ballou’s season stats: .271/.394/.373, 9 R, 7 RBI, 1 HR, 10 BB, 7 K
Joe Church – Relief Pitcher – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Midwest League; Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres)
Church (2009-2012) made four appearances with Fort Wayne last week. Over five innings of work, the right-hander struck out four and walked two while giving up one (earned) run.
Church’s season stats (w/ FW): 11 G, 1-1, 8.20 ERA, 1 save, 18.2 IP, 27 H, 18 R, 17 ER, 9 BB, 15 K
Mike Mason – Relief Pitcher – Asheville Tourists (South Atlantic League; Class A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies)
Mason (2009-2012) picked up a win and a loss in a pair of games last week. In the win, he struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings. In the loss, he gave up two (earned) runs in a single inning on the road. The loss Sunday night was the first time the southpaw gave up any runs since the month of May, spanning his last 10 outings.
Mason’s season stats: 16 G, 3-1, 2.74 ERA, 23.0 IP, 19 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 10 BB, 23 K
Arik Sikula – Relief Pitcher – Lansing Lugnuts (Midwest League; Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays)
Sikula (2008-2011) made one relief appearance last week with the Lugnuts. He gave up two hits but a double play ball helped him avoid damage in his single inning of work.
Sikula’s season stats: 28 G, 3-0, 2.25 ERA, 9 saves, 36.0 IP, 26 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 (5.1 innings) on the road last week with the Lugnuts. Brought in during the early going of a 7-2 ballgame in the team’s loss on Wednesday, he took the Lugnuts out of trouble in the second but gave up a two-run homer in the fourth. The Lugnuts eventually fell 10-5 to Lake County. Kadish scattered three hits over three scoreless innings in his second appearance of the week.
Kadish’s season stats: 29 G, 3-2, 3.30 ERA, 43.2 IP, 41 H, 21 R, 16 ER, 11BB, 57 K
Kevin Shackelford – Relief Pitcher – Huntsville Stars (Southern League; Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers)
Shackelford (2008-2010) picked up a save in his second appearance with his new club last week. Ahead 2-0 and facing a runner on with one out in the ninth, Huntsville called in the right-hander to close the door on Chattanooga. With a punchout and a ground out, Shackelford did just that.
Shackelford’s season stats: 26 games, 1-3, 4.93 ERA, 3 saves, 34.2 IP, 40 H, 19 R, 19 ER, 5 BB, 26 K
Shackelford’s season stats (w/ HVL): 2 games, 0-0, 3.38 ERA, 1 save, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Dan Straily – Starting Pitcher – Oakland Athletics
Straily (2008-2009), after spending a brief hiatus with Triple-A Sacramento, returned to the Oakland A’s rotation for the series finale against the Chicago Cubs last Thursday. Upon his return, he struck out six and walked three in a seven-inning, one-hit gem that extended his winning streak to a career-high four games. Straily, whose one hit was a career low, allowed only one runner to advance into scoring position during his Independence Day start. Straily will be on the bump for game two of a three-game set against the Pirates on Tuesday at PNC Park.
Straily’s season stats with the A’s: 5-2 in 13 starts, 4.52 ERA, 73.2 IP, 62 H, 38 R, 37 ER, 23 BB, 59 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.