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Marshall Baseball Players in the Pros - Summer Update #7

Arik Sikula

Aug. 6, 2012

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Former Marshall starting pitcher Dan Straily highlighted a week of Thundering Herd baseball by becoming its first former member to play in Major League Baseball when he was called up for Friday’s start with the Oakland Athletics. 

Straily became the 12th Major Leaguer who has played for MU and the first since Rick Reed, who ended a 17-year pro career in 2003. 

Among the other former Marshall players currently playing at the highest level, Joe Church and Arik Sikula dueled for one inning when Church’s Eugene Emeralds faced Sikula’s Vancouver Canadians. 

For continued updates on Marshall’s players in the pros, check back to each week.  This week’s performances can be found below:

Dan Straily – Starting Pitcher – Oakland Athletics
Straily was scheduled for a Thursday start with the Sacramento River Cats last week but instead received a call to move to Oakland where he became the first former member of the Thundering Herd to play in a Major League game since 2003.  Straily threw six solid innings, allowing a run on five hits while striking out five and walking one.  Straily was in line for the winning decision with two out in the ninth, but a late home run off Athletics closer Ryan Cook forced extra innings and sent Straily home with no decision.  Adding Straily’s minor league stats to the five he rung up Friday night gives the right-hander 180 K’s, for which he leads all of professional baseball. 

Straily’s Major League stats are:
0-0, 1.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 1 appearance, 5 strikeouts

Straily’s Triple-A stats are:
5-2, 1.36 ERA, 53.0 IP, 8 appearances, 67 strikeouts



Straily’s cumulative minor league stats are:
8-6, 2.60 ERA, 138.1 IP, 22 appearances, 175 strikeouts

Joe Church – Relief Pitcher – Eugene Emeralds (Class A affiliate of the San Diego Padres)
Church threw two innings in two games last week, striking out three.  Church gave up a pair of runs –neither of which was earned – on Thursday.  On Saturday, Church struck out one in a single inning of work and had the chance to throw against former Marshall teammate Arik Sikula.  Sikula (who would take the save) entered the game in the bottom of the eighth after Church had thrown the top half of the inning.  Church’s season stats are:
3-2, 5.30 ERA, 18.2 IP, 17 appearances, 25 strikeouts

Mike Mason – Relief Pitcher – Grand Junction Rockies (Rookie Pioneer League – Colorado Rockies)
Mason made two appearances last week with the Rockies, striking out three in 1.1 innings on Friday before allowing three runs on two hits and a walk on Sunday.  Mason’s season stats are:
1-0, 11.37 ERA, 12.2 IP, 10 appearances, 12 strikeouts

Jesse Fernandez – Relief Pitcher – Aberdeen IronBirds (Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles)
Fernandez appeared twice last week and allowed his first run as a professional pitcher when he gave up three hits in 1/3 innings on Saturday.  Fernandez’s season stats are:
0-0, 4.50 ERA, 4.0 IP, 4 appearances, 3 strikeouts

Ian Kadish – Relief Pitcher – Lansing Lugnuts (Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays)
Kadish threw 1.2 perfect innings of relief and claimed the win in his third game with his new team. 

Kadish’s Lansing stats are:
1-0, 0 saves, 7.36 ERA, 3.2 IP, 3 appearances, 2 strikeouts

Kadish’s cumulative minor league stats are:
2-1, 5 saves, 2.39 ERA, 26.1 IP, 18 appearances, 38 strikeouts

Arik Sikula – Relief Pitcher – Vancouver Canadians (Class A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays)
Sikula picked up saves in all three relief appearances and looks to have taken Ian Kadish’s spot as Vancouver’s closer.  In Saturday’s victory over Eugene, Sikula dueled his former Marshall teammate, Joe Church.  Sikula entered the game in the bottom of the eighth after Church had thrown the top half of the inning.  Sikula’s season stats are:
1-1, 4 saves, 3.42 ERA, 26.1 IP, 19 appearances, 19 strikeouts

Victor Gomez – Catcher – Florence Freedom (Frontier League)
Did not play last week.  Gomez’s season stats are:
.212 BA, 0 HR, 4 RBIs, 3 BB, 0 SB

Rhett Stafford – Catcher – AZL Athletics (Rookie Arizona League – Oakland Athletics)
Stafford started Monday’s game and went 2-for-4 with a double in a 5-3 loss to the AZL Angels.  On Tuesday, Stafford walked and stole second in a late-inning pinch hit at-bat. 

Stafford’s AZL Athletics stats are:
.250 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBIs, 1 BB, 1 SB

Stafford’s cumulative season stats are:
.197 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBIs, 11 BB, 1 SB

Kevin Shackelford – Relief Pitcher – Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Class A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers)
Shackelford allowed no runs and only one hit over two relief appearances last week.  In fact, Shackelford pitched two perfect innings in a middle relief role after Wisconsin starter Chad Pierce was hammered with seven runs on eight hits over four innings.  Shackelford also took a save in his mid-week appearance.  Shackelford’s season stats are:
2-4, 4 saves, 4.38 ERA, 51.1 IP, 22 appearances, 33 strikeouts

Greg Williams – Relief Pitcher – Hickory Crawdads (Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers)
**Currently on rehab assignment with the Rookie Arizona League Rangers**
Williams gave up a run on one hit and two walks in 2/3 innings of relief in his only appearance of the week.  Williams’ season stats are:
2-0, 4.18 ERA, 28.0 IP, 21 appearances, 23 strikeouts