UA baseball summer update
A coach’s work is never done. After all the hustle and bustle of the season, the offseason doesn’t feel like much of a vacation.
Recruiting oftentimes occurs during the offseason and that sometimes includes traveling all around the country to scout the best potential talent for your team.
“I always believe you need competition between the players who are looking for a starting role within the program,” UA baseball head coach Andy Lopez said. “This not only creates a better team, but keeps the guys on a good edge and stops them from becoming complacent. [Willie] Calhoun is playing well at third in the Cape and [Cody] Ramer will be in the running for the position as well. Unlike last year, we are more focused on having a lot of competition within the program.”
Lopez said that the squad is targeting two junior college third basemen, but that nothing is set in stone until after those players figure out what they are going to do about the draft.
Freshman infielder Bobby Dalbec hits a double, bringing home senior catcher Riley Moore during Arizona's 14-1 win against Abilene Christian at High Corbett Field on May 25. Dalbec finished the season with two home runs and 30 RBIs.
Summer League Standouts
Nathan Bannister – Orleans Firebirds – Cape Cod League
Last year in the Alaska Baseball League, sophomore pitcher Nathan Bannister led his club with a 6-0 record, striking out 36 over 52 innings. This summer, playing in the more-rigorous Cape Cod League, Bannister has proven he is a force to be reckoned with.
The Peoria, Ariz. native has been solid in each of his appearances this summer and throughout 18 innings pitched has limited opposing batters to a .186 average. Bannister has struck out 14 batters and is in possession of a 1.50 earned run average.
Bobby Dalbec – Orleans Firebirds – Cape Cod League
Freshman utility player Bobby Dalbec hasn’t let his low batting average impede his offensive production.
While the 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander has just a .195 batting average, he ranks second on the team with 12 RBIs off eight hits, two of which were home runs, over 13 games. Dalbec has also been used in the late innings as a set-up man out of the bullpen. He’s struck out five in 3.1 innings pitched.
Willie Calhoun – Wareham Gatemen – Cape Cod League
Despite belonging to the team with the worst record in the CCBL (7-15), freshman infielder Willie Calhoun has made the most of his opportunities this summer in the Cape.
He ranks sixth in the team with a .283 batting average and has collected 28 hits. Calhoun’s 20 runs scored and 12 doubles represent the most in the league.
Kevin Newman – Falmouth Commodores – Cape Cod League
Freshman shortstop Kevin Newman returned to the Commodores for his second summer in Cape Cod after becoming the first freshman to ever win the Cape Cod Baseball League batting title last year.
In the summer of 2013, Newman finished hitting .375 and led all players with 60 base hits, 36 runs scored and 18 RBIs in 40 regular season games.
This year, Newman has continued to see success and leads his team with a .410 batting average and nine RBIs.
— Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17