*Courtesy Troy Media Relaions*
TROY, Ala. – As the summer winds down, nine Troy baseball players spent their break away from home, participating in various collegiate summer baseball leagues across the United States.
Coming off one of the most successful seasons at the Division I level, many of these players who have played in collegiate leagues across the country will play heavily in Troy’s run to repeat as Sun Belt Conference Champions in 2014.
Infielder Garrett Pitts spent his summer with the Brookhaven Bucks of the Sunbelt League. In 24 games, the rising senior hit .301 with 12 RBIs and seven stolen bases. The Fairhope, Ala., native also participated in the Sunbelt League’s annual Prospect Showcase game and finished a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a RBI and stolen base.
In 2013, Pitts made 42 starts and appeared in 51 games for the Trojans in the middle infield. During his junior season, he hit .241 with two homers, 10 doubles and 21 RBI.
After performing well out of the bullpen down the stretch last season, right-handed pitcher Jeremy McGowan continued his impressive work on the mound in the Jayhawk League in Kansas. Playing for the El Dorado Broncos, McGowan logged 38 innings, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.68 ERA while striking out 27.
McGowan finished 2-1 with a 3.44 ERA for the Trojans in 2013, primarily working out of the bullpen. In his last four appearances, McGowan allowed just four earned runs in 13 innings of work, striking out a 13 and picking up wins against Arkansas State and Alabama at the Tallahassee Regional.
Rising sophomore southpaw Levi Tate, outfielder Clay Holcomb and catcher Justin Hancock played in the nearby Montgomery Metro League this past season, with Hancock participating in the league’s home run derby in July.
Robert Price and William Shell were teammates with the Regina Red Sox in Canada’s Western Major League. Out of the bullpen, Price appeared in 18 games and finished with a 2.79 ERA and a 2-1 record. Shell made 12 appearances and recorded six starts, posting a 3-4 record with a 4.26 ERA. In 50.2 innings of work, Shell registered 47 strikeouts and just 14 walks.
Rising sophomore infielder Peyton Fuller played in 38 games in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. During the summer season, Fuller hit .220 four doubles, two triples and 11 RBI.
For the second straight offseason, a Trojan appeared in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Outfielder Jo-El Bennett played in 20 games for the Newport Gulls during the second half of their season.
Last summer, former Trojan Danny Collins broke four NECBL records with the Laconia Muskrats, smashing the league’s home run, slugging percentage, extra-base hits and total base records.