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Cal Ripken League.. Knowles & Zimmer Throw Strikes - Allen & Freeman Making Contact

 

 

Nick Allen prepares to hit during cal Ripken League play.
Photo by www.eyeonball.com Copyright 2010

Once again the Alexandria Aces are highlighted by some top talent. In the Cal Ripken League the Aces have been struggling as a team and are in 6th place, 5 games behind the Youse’s Orioles. This has not been a deterrent for its players to rise at their respective post. A sophomore infielder by the name of Nick Allen is leading the league in hitting with a batting average of .393 after 61 at bats. Allen has hit safely in his last 10 games, including a 4 for 5 showing against the Baltimore Redbirds on June 27 where he also scored 3 runs. He’s constructing a learning experience since this past spring when he played for George Mason University where he hit .271 in 96 at bats. The Aces are also being led by an ace in his own right, Max Knowles. He continues to mow down hitters like a John Deer tractor. Knowles has 3 complete games and 1 shutout in his 40 innings of ceaseless pitching. He’s racked up 30 strikeouts, a record of 4-1, and an incredible ERA of 1.35. In his 5 starts he’s never pitched less that 7 innings, and in his latest start he pitched a complete game against the Southern Maryland Nationals taking a 2-1 victory allowing only 8 hits, 1 earned run, and striking out 7. Knowles command of the strike zone is what’s most impressive. In his last 3 starts, he’s gone for 24 innings and has only walked 3 batters. Pitching like that has earned him the leagues Pitcher of the Week honors. The Aces are not short of quality arms.

 

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A freshman by the name of Kyle Zimmer has been right behind Knowles in directing the lightning from the mound. Zimmer has pitched 20.1 innings, 0.98 in 5 games, including a save, 13 strikeouts, a 2-1 record, and has limited hitters to a .192 batting average. The 6’3 right hander pitched as a freshman this past spring at San Francisco University, and even though he struggled in his minimal play, the outlook for his projectability has grown this summer. Zimmer began the summer as a reliever, and has slowly become part of the starting rotation. On June 24th against Bethesda Big Train, he pitched his longest game (6.2 innings) where he recorded his 2nd win in a 2-1 victory. Zimmer is also demonstrating incredible control by only walking 2 batters this summer, and it’s becoming clear that the Aces have a much better team on paper than one would judge from the standings.

 

The Bethesda Big Train is a team that’s enjoying some success as they sit in 2nd place in the Cal Ripken League with a record of 11-6 and only 1 game back from 1st place. On a 3 game winning streak, the Big Train are fully aware that their buttered bread is being slathered by incredible hitting. They lead the league with a team batting average of .276. A big part of that is junior Cody Freeman, the catcher has the 3rd best batting average in the league (.353), and has a slugging percentage of .529 after 51 at bats. This past spring he was the #2 catcher at Mississippi State and proved that he has the stuff to become the schools #1 catcher next spring. Mississippi State featured 4 catchers and Freeman hit .301 in 123 at bats, and now that senior catcher Ryan Duffy has moved on, Freeman is poised to step in and take complete control of the catching role at Miss State. Only time will tell how Freeman will develop, but he should be watched closely this summer as he tries to solidify himself as one of the top D1 catchers of 2011. He weighs 184lbs and stands at 6’0, whether he puts on a few more lean pounds, or he goes as light as he his, great catchers are in high demand and in low supply. The world of baseball will have their microscopes ready.

 

 

 

By Adrian Nevarez
DFN Sports Staff Writer

 

 


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