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@HerdBaseball Players in the Pros

Isaac Ballou went 4-for-5 with two doubles and three runs on Sunday

Aug. 5, 2013

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Aaron Blair’s first win, a big week for Isaac Ballou, and Arik Sikula’s rise among the Midwest League saves leaders 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) picked up the win in his only start of the week.  He went five innings of one-run baseball, striking out three on his way to his first professional W.  Vancouver got its run in the first inning via a one-out triple but was held scoreless for the remainder of the contest as Hillsboro pulled away in the middle innings. 

Blair’s season stats: 6 GS, 1-0, 3.13 ERA, 23.0 IP, 16 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 9 BB, 20 K

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

Ballou (2010-2013) capped off a monstrous week by going 7-for-11 in the two games over the weekend.  He was 12-for-24 altogether, hitting safely in all six games.    

Ballou’s season stats: .307/.404/.405, 23 R, 15 RBI, 9 2B, 2 HR, 18 BB, 21 K, 6 SB

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

Church (2009-2012) gave up four runs in two appearances (1.1 innings) last week.    

Church’s season stats (w/ FW): 17 G, 1-2, 6.67 ERA, 1 save, 29.2 IP, 41 H, 23 R, 22 ER, 15 BB, 25 K



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

Mason (2009-2012) did not appear in any games last week. 

Mason’s season stats: 21 G, 3-1, 3.38 ERA, 29.1 IP, 27 H, 12 R, 11 ER, 10 BB, 28 K

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

Sikula (2008-2011) converted two more save opportunities in four outings last week.  Over a stretch of 3.1 scoreless innings, the right-hander allowed two hits and no walks while striking out one.  He now ranks tied for second in the Midwest League with 17 saves.  RJ Hively of the Visalia Rawhide leads the league with 19. 

Sikula’s season stats: 41 G, 4-0, 1.82 ERA, 17 saves, 49.1 IP, 33 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 15 BB, 46 K

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

Kadish (2008-2011) took a win and a loss in three appearances last week.  His victory came early in the week when he was brought into a tie game in the ninth against Bowling Green and watched his Lugnuts walk off in the bottom half. 

Kadish’s season stats: 38 G, 4-4, 3.66 ERA, 51.2 IP, 52 H, 26 R, 21 ER, 13 BB, 63 K

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

Shackelford (2008-2010) went two scoreless innings in each of his two outings last week.  On Monday, he earned his third save with the Stars and fifth this season in the minor leagues. 

Shackelford’s season stats: 33 games, 2-3, 3.91 ERA, 5 saves, 46.0 IP, 46 H, 20 R, 20 ER, 8 BB, 36 K
Shackelford’s season stats (w/ HVL): 9 games, 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 3 saves, 14.0 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 13 K

Dan Straily – Starting Pitcher – Oakland Athletics

Straily (2008-2009) suffered his third straight loss with Oakland after failing to receive any run support against the Blue Jays.  He gave up only two earned runs in 4.2 innings but was saddled the loss when a costly error allowed two runs to score late in the fifth.  Straily is now 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA since his most recent return from Triple-A Sacramento.  He’ll make his next start against Mat Latos and the Reds in Cincinnati on Tuesday. 

Straily’s season stats with the A’s: 6-5 in 17 starts, 4.41 ERA, 96.0 IP, 85 H, 51 R, 47 ER, 30 BB, 77 K
Straily’s season stats with the River Cats: 3-1 in 5 starts, 1.14 ERA, 31.2 IP, 24 H, 11 R, 4 ER, 9 BB, 33 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.