Frontier League preseason tryout in Allentown, Pa. postponed

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Evansville Otters and Joliet Slammers have announced that the Frontier League preseason tryout scheduled for Saturday April 4 at ECTB Stadium at Bicentennial Park in Allentown, Pa. has been postponed due to concern with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The tryout will be pushed back to Friday April 17.

Registration for the original April 4 date will be valid for the April 17 date.

Further registration is closed for the tryouts, and attendance will be limited to registered players and essential staff only in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Tryouts start at 9 a.m. Position players can check in from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and pitchers can check in from 11:30 a.m. to noon (all times ET).

At this time, the preseason tryout in Evansville, Ind. is still on as planned for Sunday April 19 starting at 9 a.m. from Bosse Field. Position players can check in from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and pitchers can check in from 11:30 a.m. to noon (all times CT).

The event gives each player a chance to showcase their talent in front of Frontier League managers and coaches. The Joliet Slammers and Evansville Otters will be represented at both tryout dates.

If any players registered for the Allentown or Evansville tryout have any questions, contact Andy McCauley via email at andymac22@aol.com.

The Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization located in the Midwestern and Northeastern United States. It operates mostly in cities that are not served by Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either. The league formed in 1993 and is the oldest active independent league.

To be eligible to play in the Frontier League, you must be at least 18 years old.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.

The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call (812) 435-8686.

FLORENCE Y’ALLS START UP PEN-PAL PROGRAM FOR AREA NURSING CENTERS

FLORENCE, KY – The Florence Y’alls Professional Baseball Club, presented by Towne Properties, are doing all they can to raise the community’s spirit during the COVID-19 pandemic, including having their coaching staff and players pen-pal letters to area senior nursing centers.

Beginning Tuesday, March 24, an emailed letter written by one of the Y’alls players or coaches will go out to over 20 area senior nursing centers in what the Y’alls are calling ‘Y’alls Pen-Pals. One letter will be sent per day for the current 40 man roster plus coaching staff.

“We know one of the hardest hit demographics are those living in senior nursing homes,” Y’alls Vice President and General Manager Josh Anderson said. “I have a grandmother and grandfather who are quarantined to their rooms in fear of COVID-19 spreading, and isolation and a general loneliness is a real concern I know they have. So we brainstormed what we could do as an organization to bring those in our area a little joy and companionship during a time like this.”

Inside the Y’alls pen-pal emails, seniors are getting to learn about the journey our players have taken to make it into professional baseball, some of the hobbies they involve themselves in when they’re not playing baseball, who their favorite baseball player was growing up and a wide variety of other topics.

One day in, and the impact is already being felt by the centers receiving the letters.

“Our residents at Boonespring were so excited to get their first letter that was sent today,” Jo Lewton, a Boonesprings Nursing Home Administrator said. “This is fantastic that they are being sent via email to eliminate any concern noted by coming in the mail or in the building. Thank you to the Y’alls for thinking of us and many other facilities in the area.”

Residents that are able are being encouraged to email the Y’alls players and coaches a letter of their own. Those in the community that would like to participate are also encouraged to submit their own Pen-Pal letter that the Y’alls can forward on. Email letter to the Y’alls at josh@florenceyalls.com.

In addition to Y’alls Pen-Pals, the Y’alls have set up Y’alls Gym Class, a baseball drill video led by Y’alls players for kids to following along with at home. There is also Y’alls Homeschool University, with education contests kids can participate with at home and submit their work via social media to win Y’alls tickets.

Opening day for the Y’alls is slated for Thursday, May 14 at UC Health Stadium. The Y’alls offer professional minor league fun at affordable, family friendly prices, and as always FREE PARKING! Follow the Y’alls on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to join in on the current online fun.

Bosse Field will have a new look in 2020!

EVANSVILLE, IN. – During the offseason, Bosse Field has undergone some internal and external renovations. Projects include new LED lighting in the grandstand and tunnel areas, new brick walls behind home plate and on the first base side of the field, and an updated interior design for the Otters Gift Shop.

Fans will get to see the action on the field better than ever before! The field lights at Bosse Field will be all LED lights, meaning better and brighter lighting on the field. Plus, fans may be in for quite the light show…stay tuned.

There will be a whole new way of experiencing a game at Bosse Field, as our Ottervision video board received a significant upgrade. The video board and scoreboard at Bosse Field is now an all digital, LED display courtesy of WatchFire. The 20×36 video board display will allow new opportunities for capturing the game experience, sponsor advertising, and Ottervision video production.

Frontier League preseason tryout at Bosse Field postponed

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters and Joliet Slammers have announced that the Frontier League preseason tryout scheduled for Saturday March 21 at Bosse Field has been postponed due to concerns with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The tryout will be pushed back to Sunday April 19.

Registration for the original March 21 date will be valid for the April 19 date.

Further registration is closed for the tryouts, and attendance will be limited to registered players and essential staff only to comply in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Tryouts start at 9 a.m. Position players can check in from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and pitchers can check in from 11:30 a.m. to noon (all times CT).

At this time, the preseason tryout in Allentown, Pa. is still on as scheduled for Saturday April 4 starting at 9 a.m. from ECTB Stadium at Bicentennial Park. Position players can check in from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and pitchers can check in from 11:30 a.m. to noon (all times ET).

The event gives each player a chance to showcase their talent in front of Frontier League managers and coaches. The Joliet Slammers and Evansville Otters will be represented at both tryout dates.

If any players registered for the Evansville tryout would like to move their registration to the Allentown tryout, or if there are any questions, contact Andy McCauley via email at andymac22@aol.com.

The Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization located in the Midwestern and Northeastern United States. It operates mostly in cities that are not served by Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either. The league formed in 1993 and is the oldest active independent league.

To be eligible to play in the Frontier League, you must be at least 18 years old.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.

The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call (812) 435-8686.

Frontier League COVID-19 Announcement

Frontier League Official Announcement:

The leadership of the Frontier League is following the events associated with the Coronavirus very closely. The virus spread and impact is currently changing daily. The sports industry is responding in a variety of ways and is being tracked daily.

The Frontier League season is due to start regular season games in mid-May. League officials will be assessing federal, state, and local governmental rules and regulations associated with the virus. We will also be reviewing the actions and recommendations of other professional baseball leagues. At the appropriate time, we will provide updates on the upcoming season.

Safety of our fans, staff, and players is the first priority for our league management and owners.

Otters extend starter Beardsley; sign Fernandez and Holdgrafer

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters have signed starting pitcher Tyler Beardsley to a contract extension and signed pitchers Andrew Fernandez and Tim Holdgrafer for the 2020 season.

Beardsley is from Tehachapi, Calif. and returned to the Otters in 2019. In 2019, Beardsley went 9-4 with a 2.56 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 130.0 innings pitched and 20 starts.

“Last season, Tyler increased his velocity and kept the movement and command of his pitches,” Otters manager Andy McCauley said.  “He evolved and excelled in the starting rotation.”

“I was very pleased how my season went last year, and I’m looking forward to competing again this season with this year’s group,” Beardsley said.

Beardsley was also the recipient of the 2019 Frontier League Fran Riordan Citizenship Award for his involvement in community outreach.

“Tyler is a great pitcher but even better person, volunteering his free time by attending all outreach events for the Otters,” McCauley said. “He is highly visible in the community as well as working with our youth camps, the Highland Challenger League, and Beautiful Lives Project.”

During the 2019-20 offseason, the right-hander pitched in Australia for the Adelaide Giants, making three starts, posting a 1.59 ERA, and striking out 20 in 17 innings.

“Tyler had exceptional workouts with several affiliated teams this offseason and in Australia, setting him up for a great chance for getting picked up,” McCauley said.

“My experience out in Australia was incredible,” Beardsley said. “I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to play baseball and explore a whole different side of the world.”

Beardsley was drafted by the Minnesota Twins organization in the 16th round of the 2016 MLB June Amateur draft out of California State University Sacramento.

In 2016-17, Beardsley spent time with the Cedar Rapid Kernels, Elizabethton Twins and the GCL Twins. In those two years with the Minnesota Twins organization, Beardsley was 7-11 with a 4.32 ERA in 30 appearances with 27 starts. He also had 94 strikeouts in 150.0 innings pitched.

Fernandez, from Castro Valley, Calif, joins the Otters after spending 2019 with the Napa Silverados of the Pacific Association. With Napa, Fernandez went 4-3 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 games, recording one save as well. The right-hander also struck out 44 in 40.1 innings pitched.

“An affiliated scout was high on Andrew and wanted to find him a job,” McCauley said. “Max Peterson (Otters pitching coach) is well-known and respected throughout scouting, and it was the perfect opportunity to put him and Andrew together.”

“Having the opportunity to be a part of a team with a rich history and a dedication to success really makes me look forward to helping the team in any way possible,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez played college baseball at California State University East Bay, where for his career he posted a 12-9 record, a 4.04 ERA, and 10 saves. He made 10 starts and a total of 73 appearances, striking out 103 batters in 147 innings.

“With his lower arm angle, he will probably factor in as a situational right-hander,” McCauley said.

“I’ve had success with being able to use my deception as a side-sub guy to get outs when I need it most,” Fernandez said.

“I love making a hitter feel uncomfortable in the box and keep them constantly guessing which pitch is coming next.”

Holdgrafer, from San Diego, Calif., most recently finished his collegiate career at Cal Poly Pomona, pitching for the Broncos.

“Coming from the San Diego area, where Max has great connections, Tim was a pitcher that was recommended to him through those connections,” McCauley said.

“I’m excited most about the high-level competition and a completely new opportunity of getting to be a part of a well-known team for getting players to the next level,” Holdgrafer said.

In 2019 with the Broncos, Holdgrafer went 10-4 with a 4.39 ERA, striking out 86 batters in 96.1 innings.

“Tim will be competing for one of the rookie bullpen jobs come Spring Training, and we’ll see what he has in the arsenal,” McCauley said.

“I’m not a light up the radar gun type of pitcher, but I’m a pitcher that commands pitches for strikes and will compete in any situation,” Holdgrafer said. “I attack hitters and work for outs.”

Evansville will host Opening Night from Bosse Field against the Gateway Grizzlies May 15 at 6:35 p.m. Preseason exhibitions will begin May 2 for the Otters. The annual Education Day games will be May 6 and May 13 at 10 a.m.

You won’t want to miss what’s new in 2020 at Bosse Field with the Evansville Otters, featuring some new Frontier League competition as part of the largest, independent professional league in North America!

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.

The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call (812) 435-8686.

HOST FAMILIES PLAY INTEGRAL ROLE IN SUCCESS OF INDEPENDENT TEAMS

Rockland County, NY (March 12, 2020) – Minor league baseball is often referred to as being an intimate gathering of local folks. You can’t get much more intimate than inviting players to live in your home for a summer.

After a long day at the ballpark, players need a place to lay their head…and to play video games and to have a homecooked meal. And Debbie Vander Clute has been helping the New York Boulders find such places as the coordinator of the organization’s host families’ program.

“These are the unsung heroes of our organization,” Boulders President Shawn Reilly said of the host families.

Independent league baseball is not the major leagues. There are no fancy homes owned by its players or ritzy hotels to reside in during the season. Instead, teams attempt to match up players with host families, who welcome them into their homes with open arms.

“They become a part of your family – I feel like I am like their mother,” said Vander Clute, who has been involved with the program since 2013. “When we first started – and even now, people ask us how we can let a stranger into our home, but that doesn’t cross our mind.”

She continued, “These are professional baseball players who want to make it to the big leagues – they are very professional and they act it.”

Vander Clute, 54, and her husband Rich, 62, were Boulders’ fans since the team’s birth a decade ago in 2011. Rich now works security at the team’s home games at Palisades Credit Union Park.

“We were empty nesters at the time (2013) and I love baseball and when we were contacted (about being a host family), I just thought it was a great way to get even more involved with the team,” Rich said.

This season, Debbie estimates about a dozen families will host players – most are returning hosts. Several families can host two players, most one.

“We try to match up the player with the family by looking at their personalities,” Debbie said. “We also take into consideration things like allergies, pets, does the player have a car. There is no deep screening, but we try to match up as best we can and, so far, we have been pretty successful.”

With 24 players on this year’s roster, some players will not find a host home.

“Some players have it written into their contract that they will be placed with a host family,” Debbie explained. “Some players don’t want to be with a host family and would rather live on their own.”

For those players – and the ones that miss out on the host family lottery, the Boulders have an agreement with St. Thomas Aquinas College in nearby Sparkill where players can reside in dorm rooms. However, the players must pay for the room.

Host families do not get monetary retribution – each does it on a voluntary basis. There are perks, such as tickets to home games, an annual tailgate and a discount at the team store, but no one does it for that.

“We do it because it is just an incredible experience,” Debbie said. “You are hosting a player that has the potential to make it to the Major Leagues. You get to live with someone from a different part of the country, but also some players who are from an entirely different culture.”

Over their time in the program, among the players the Vander Clutes have shared their home with are Junior Arrojo and Joe Maloney. Last summer, John Brontsema was their guest.

Arrojo signed with the Miami Marlins after the 2016 season after a three-year stint with the Boulders, while Maloney moved on to the Minnesota Twins’ organization for the 2016 season, returning to the Boulders and the Vander Clutes in 2017.

“We have been lucky,” Debbie said. “Not only were they great players, but they were great people, too.”

While Debbie and Rich were empty-nesters when they joined the program, the Tully family have a pair of children still at home – Jack, 11, and Sara, 15.

“We, at first, were hesitant to do it,” Stefanie Tully, 46, said. “But Debbie kept after us and was pretty persuasive and we came aboard three years ago.”

She added, “We came aboard three years ago – and it has been great. The players have been great with the kids – they really become part of the family. You get used to them being around and you miss them when the season ends.”

Stefanie husband, Tom, 56, knew Rich Vander Clute from their days as police officers in Bergen County in Northern New Jersey.

“I knew that Rich would steer us in the right direction,” Tom said.

The Tully children enjoy having the professional ballplayer in their home in Park Ridge, NJ.

“He is very interactive with us,” Jack said. “They always do a lot of fun stuff with me – video games, baseball, football. It’s like having a big brother.”

Meanwhile, Sara enjoyed having an older male to talk with – one other than her father.

“It is just nice to have someone older in the house that I can talk to about stuff,” she said. “Even though Grant (Heyman, last summer’s guest) was always teasing me.”

But that is part of being a family.

“Every host family says that the player just becomes part of their family,” Debbie said. “You begin to feel like their parent. When I sit in the stands at a game, I feel tremendous pride when he hits a home run and a feel really bad when he makes an error – and I really want to get defensive with fans when they criticize him. I guess that’s what a parent does.”

If you are interested in becoming a host family, contact Debbie at 201-657-7846 or call the Boulders at 845-364-0009.

The Boulders open the 2020 season on Thursday, May 14, traveling to face the Sussex County Miners before hosting the Washington Wild Things to start a nine-game homestand at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15. Season tickets and packages for the 2020 season are now available – for more information call 845-364- 0009 or slide to NYBoulders.com

Debuting in 1993, the Frontier League is the largest and longest-running of the modern independent leagues and features teams stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. More information and the complete 2020 schedule can be found at www.frontierleague.com.

About the New York Boulders
The New York Boulders are entering their 10th season of Professional Baseball as part of the newly-formed Frontier League and are in pursuit of a post-season appearance for the seventh straight year. Founded as the Rockland Boulders in 2011 and playing their homes games at Palisades Credit Union Park in Rockland County, NY, the franchise rebranded as the New York Boulders in advance of the 2020 season. The Boulders won the 2014 Can-Am League Championship and hosted the Frontier League vs. Can- Am All-Star Game in 2019. Proud to be part of the rich history of professional baseball in the New York City region, during the 2017 season the team welcomed its 1,000,000th fan to Palisades Credit Union Park located in Rockland County, NY.

KYLE DAVIS COMES BACK TO MINERS

Marion, IL (March 11, 2020) – The Southern Illinois Miners announce that outfielder Kyle Davis has re-signed with the club, further strengthening their lineup for the upcoming 2020 season.

Davis originally came to the Miners as a free agent in the middle of the 2018 season, and last year became a postseason all-star for Southern Illinois, batting .280 with team-best totals of 25 doubles, 15 home runs, 62 RBIs, and 56 runs scored, adding 97 total hits in 93 games played. Defensively, he also played five different positions for the club, including both corner outfield spots.

He particularly excelled down the stretch during the Miners’ playoff push, batting .358 in August along with nine doubles, five home runs, and 29 RBIs in 28 contests. He also ranked among the Frontier League’s leaders with a .434 on-base percentage and a .604 slugging percentage during that span.

“Southern Illinois is the closest thing to affiliated baseball in how they treat you (as a player),” Davis said. “After seeing the other signings, I knew this team could be special. I wanted the best opportunity to win a championship, and I thought Southern Illinois was the place to do that this year.”

A former 15th-round selection in the 2017 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros, the Cincinnati native was named All-Big 12 in each of his three seasons at West Virginia University, including Second Team All-Big 12 as a junior in 2017, when he hit .316 with 10 home runs, 44 RBIs, 13 doubles and 74 hits in 62 games. He was also named an ABCA First Team All-Region selection that year.

“I am very happy to have Kyle coming back to us,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “He was a free agent, and had a number of offers to go other places, so we appreciate that he wanted to return to Southern Illinois. Kyle really came into his own last year, and got better and better throughout the season. He is an impact power bat, but brings so many other things to the club as well.”

The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League’s most-successful franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.

 

Miners Sign Former MLB Pitcher Alejandro Chacín

Marion, IL (March 10, 2020) – The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they have signed relief pitcher Alejandro Chacín for the 2020 season. He becomes the second player with experience in Major League Baseball to sign with the club in their 14-year history, after former Atlanta Braves right-hander Williams Perez in 2018.

A native of Maracay, Venezuela who was teammates with Miners catcher Arturo Nieto in the Venezuelan Winter League, Chacín appeared in six games with the Cincinnati Reds in 2017, striking out six and walking four in six innings. He made his MLB debut on August 23 against the Chicago Cubs, fanning Jason Heyward for his first major league strikeout.

The 25-year old played nine total seasons in the Reds organization from 2010-18, posting a 2.60 ERA in 44 games with 63 strikeouts and 27 walks in 69 1/3 innings at Triple-A Louisville in 2017 to earn his call-up to the “big leagues.” The prior year at Double-A Pensacola in 2016, Chacín was named a Double-A All-Star by Baseball America as well as a Southern League Midseason and Postseason All-Star, going 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA in 52 games, and amassed a league-best 30 saves while striking out 75 and walking 26 in 60 2/3 innings. That summer, he was also named a Reds Organizational All-Star by MiLB.com, the second time he had earned that distinction in his career (2014).

“We are thrilled to add Alejandro to our roster,” Miners manager Mike Pinto said. “His experience closing out games at the highest levels of baseball could have a significant impact on our pitching staff, not to mention what some of that experience will do in helping some of our younger pitchers as well.”

Chacín has pitched in the Atlantic League for the last two seasons, appearing in 41 games with the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2019 and striking out 52 with 38 walks in 55 2/3 innings. In 2018, he posted a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings over 10 games with the Sugar Land Skeeters, and was subsequently re-signed by the Reds, finishing the season at the Double-A level.

Overall for his career, the right-hander boasts a 32-27 record and 3.36 ERA in 471 professional appearances, along with 98 saves, 640 strikeouts, and 269 walks in 595 innings pitched, while also surrendering just 37 home runs, an average of 0.6 per nine innings.

The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League’s most-successful franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Cincinnati Reds

Three Rivers Celebrity Softball Game Announced

Washington PA. – The Washington Wild Things announced today they will be the host for the first annual Three Rivers Celebrity Softball Game presented by The Coury Firm on Tuesday, July 14th. Gates will open at 6:00pm and first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

Partnering with Entercom, the event will be hosted by University of Pittsburgh All-American and NFL alum Dorin Dickerson to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.

“Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with the Washington Wild Things for their Celebrity Softball Game this summer. Philanthropic giving has a direct and immediate impact on UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh ability to transform young lives through excellence in pediatric care provided with deep compassion. We are excited about this partnership with the Wild Things and honored to be the beneficiary of this event” said Robin Weber, the Vice President, Community Relations for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.

The event will consist of two rosters full of Pittsburgh celebrities and media members across all walks of life. Host Dorin Dickerson will not only be a participant in the game, but also an ambassador for the promotion and development of the event to benefit the foundation. The West Allegheny graduate was a WPIAL standout before committing to the University of Pittsburgh to play for coach Dave Wannstedt. As a senior for the Panthers the tight-end caught 10 touchdowns, earning All-American honors, going 10-3 in the Big East.

“This is awesome opportunity to get the people of Pittsburgh to come together for a fun, competitive event. II’m anxious to see who has the skills to connect with a softball,” said Dorin Dickerson.

Tickets for the event will be $10 to sit anywhere in the park and half of all proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. Additionally, there will be a celebrity jersey auction and a Total Sports Enterprises memorabilia auction to directly support the foundation’s initiatives.

“We are so excited to host this event this summer for such a special foundation. We have a dedicated group of partners in this charity game and everyone involved cannot wait to see it come together. Our staff has been working hard to put together rosters that the fans will love. We will be giving the celebrities their Big League experience with full production, personalized jerseys and unique walk-out songs. This will become an annual event here in Washington and we hope to do great things for the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation,” said Tony Buccilli, Wild Things General Manager

Tickets for the Three Rivers Celebrity Softball Game will go on sale to the public at 10am on Monday, March 30th. Celebrity participants will be announced weekly via social media platforms.

SUSSEX COUNTY MINERS ACQUIRE OUTFIELDER DANNY MARS FROM THE KANSAS CITY T-BONES IN EXCHANGE FOR RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER TYLER FALLWELL

Augusta, NJ – The 2019 Can-Am League Regular Season Champion Sussex County Miners announce the acquisition of outfielder and former Boston Red Sox farmhand Danny Mars from the Kansas City T-Bones (American Association) in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tyler Fallwell. Fallwell came over to Sussex County in a five-player trade with the Sioux City Explorers (American Association, Independent) on December 23, 2019.

“Danny is a hell of a player who I’ve been trying to get all winter. He hits for a high average, gets on base and runs,” Sussex County Miners manager Bobby Jones said. “Our goal is to have three centerfielders in our outfield who can cover a lot of ground and he can do that, especially in a big ballpark like ours. He’s a guy who just wants to play. I’m really excited to get him.”

Sporting gap power and speed along with six years of professional baseball experience, Mars fits the Sussex County offensive philosophy: get on base early and run often. Last year the 26-year old Sarasota, Florida, native had a solid season for the T-Bones as he batted .280 (93-332) with four home runs and 35 RBIs. He finished among the club leaders in stolen bases (14, 2nd), hits (tied-3rd), and total bases (120, 4th). Plus, Mars was one of the T-Bones’ top situational hitters including when leading off an inning (.284, 2 HR, 5 RBI) and with runners in scoring position (.310, 1 HR, 32 RBI). After amassing 26 multi-hit games on the season (20 two-hit games, 6 three-hit games), he batted .250 (4-16) with two doubles and an RBI during the American Association Playoffs.

Mars was drafted by the Boston Red Sox out in the sixth round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Chipola College (Marianna, Florida) where he hit .380 with four home runs, 35 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. Coincidentally, Bobby Jones also played at Chipola College before he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 44th round of the 1991 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Spending five years in the Red Sox farm system, Mars is a two-time all-star who was named to the New York Penn-League (Short Season Single-A) and Eastern League (Double-A) mid-season squads in 2014 with the Lowell Spinners and 2017 with the Portland Sea Dogs, respectively. Making his Double-A debut with Portland in 2017, the speedy switch-hitter authored the best year of his professional career thus far by leading all qualifying Red Sox minor leaguers with a .304 batting average (145-477) while ranking among the league leaders average (5th) and hits (145, 3rd). He also led the Sea Dogs in games played (119), stolen bases (12), runs (tied, 62) and hitting with runners in scoring position (.340, 32-94).

Fallwell is a four-year veteran who spent two seasons with the Sioux City Explorers (American Association) where he was a vital contributor to the team’s formidable bullpen. The 24-year old Tucson, Arizona native authored a dominant 2019 season that propelled his being named to the American Association All-Star Team. Along with ranking ninth in the league in strikeouts (104), he ranked among the club leaders in wins (8, tied for 1st), ERA (3.13, 3rd), appearances (36, tied for 3rd) and opposition batting average (.208, 4th). In 2018 he was third on the Explorers in appearances (23) and posted a 2-1 record and two saves along with logging a minuscule 0.64 ERA which ranked second on the team. Fallwell’s contract was purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies organization on July 16 and he went onto play for the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws where he posted a 6.75 ERA over 12 appearances and he logged 21.1 innings with 21 strikeouts while walking just six batters. Fallwell was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 19th round of the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft from Cochise Community College (Douglas, AZ). He spent two years in the Royals farm system.

About the Sussex County Miners

The 2019 Can-Am League Regular Season Champion Sussex County Miners are New Jersey’s newest professional baseball team. The Miners play a 96-game season in the newly formed Frontier League from May through September. Their home games are played at Skylands Stadium, one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in North Jersey. Conveniently located in the heart of Sussex County, the Skylands Stadium Sports Complex includes a 4,200-seat stadium, the all-new 17,000-square foot indoor climate-controlled Champions Way Sports Academy, a 3-acre play and party area, an 80-seat full-service restaurant – the only of its kind in all minor league baseball — and a spacious parking lot. Along with baseball, Skylands Stadium hosts numerous events including food truck festivals, beer festivals, concerts, stunt spectaculars, car and truck shows, motorcycle runs, 5k runs, light shows, and holiday extravaganzas, as well as private and corporate functions. For more information or tickets, please click here or call 973.383.7644.

BOOMERS ADD FRONTIER LEAGUE VETERAN TO PITCHING STAFF

SCHAUMBURG, IL – The Schaumburg Boomers presented by Wintrust Community Banks, have signed Shawn Blackwell, Kyle Arjona, Dallas Bryan and Stephen Chamblee. 

Veteran right-hand pitcher Shawn Blackwell joins the Boomers with over eight years of professional baseball experience. Blackwell was drafted in the 24th round of the 2009 draft by the Texas Rangers. His affiliated career saw him play for the AZL Rangers, Hickory Crawdads, and Spokane Indians. Following time in Spokane he made stints in the Frontier League and American Association. Blackwell owns a career record of 49-47 with a 4.31 ERA 

“We are very excited to have Shawn on board with us. I’ve seen Shawn several times from the other side of the field and I’ve always loved the way he competes,” said manager Jamie Bennett. “He has the ability to be a top of the rotation or back end of the bullpen guy. His versatility and leadership will be a big asset for us this season.” 

Kyle Arojna comes to the Boomers after spending the last two seasons in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. In 2019 he was with the Clearwater Threshers (A+) in the Florida State League. Aronja appeared in 23 games, pitching 42.1 innings. The right-hander finished the season with a 1-2 record, 4.25 ERA, and 30 strikeouts. 

Dallas Bryan, a native of Manchester, Tennessee enters his first season as a professional. The right-handed pitcher spent the last two seasons pitching for Motlow State Community College. In 2019 he made 18 appearances, pitching 22.2 innings, and striking out 51 batters. His 12 saves were good for second in all of Division 1 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.  

Stephen Chamblee, a native of Tampa, Florida also enters his first season as a pro. He spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons pitching for Bryan College. The right-hander threw 170.1 innings in 31 appearances (25 starts) good for a 15-4 record in those two seasons. Chamblee is currently playing in the California Winter League for the Palm Springs Power.  

“We are very excited about Stephen and Dallas joining us. Both are quality young arms that have shown some promise in helping our club this season,” said manager Jamie Bennett. “Stephen has shown some consistent success in the California Winter League thus far. I had a chance to see Dallas throw in person and really like what I saw. He is also performing well down in the Florida Winter League right now.” 

The Boomers 2020 season, presented by Wintrust Community Banks, begins May 14. The Home Opener is Friday, May 22 vs. Trois-Rivieres Aigles. 

Season ticket packages and group and hospitality offerings for the 2020 season can be reserved by calling (847)-461-3695 or emailing info@boomerbaseball.com. 

MURPHY, THE FIRST LEADER UNDER CONTRACT

The Trois-Rivières Eagles confirm the return of Chris Murphy. This will be a fourth campaign in the city of Laviolette for the starting pitcher who is ranked third in the history of the concession for the heats launched with a total of 321.

Since joining the Eagles in 2017, Murphy has averaged 4.72 earned runs and 22 wins against 17 losses. Last season, he had 86 strikeouts in 113 innings and two-thirds of work, a personal career high.

“I am very happy to be able to count on Chris next season. He will bring experience to our group of launchers. He has pitched over 100 innings in the past two seasons and is the type of player you can count on at all times, “said manager TJ Stanton.

Murphy, 27, is a 24th round pick of the Houston Astros in the 2015 draft. He has 749 innings launched since 2013, his first season in the NCAA.

Frontier League teams must field between 22 and 24 players during the regular season and the playoffs. They must have a minimum of 10 recruits (rookie-1 and rookie-2) and can have a maximum of 10 experienced players (experience-2 or veteran). Among experienced players, only four can be veteran, aged 29 and over. Click on the following link to consult the official regulations of the Frontier League: http://frontierleague.com/player-eligibility/

SUSSEX COUNTY MINERS COMPLETE FOUR-PLAYER TRADE WITH FLORENCE Y’ALLS

Augusta, NJ – The 2019 Can-Am League Regular Season Champion Sussex County Miners announce the acquisition of outfielder Isaac Benard and left-handed pitchers Mike Castellani and Cam Hatch from the Florence Y’alls in exchange for infielder/outfielder Jose Brizuela.

“Anytime you make a trade like this you aim to get back depth and I think we yielded a solid return. I have a relationship with Isaac’s dad, Marvin, from when I played against him. His father was gritty and I hope Isaac will be too,” Sussex County manager Bobby Jones said. “Castellani knows how to pitch. He throws strikes and I think he will do well in our park which is a pitcher’s park. I saw Cam work out at Sussex [Champions Way Sports Academy] and he threw the ball well. He has a good body, good stuff and as long as he throws strikes and attacks the hitters I think he will be good for us.”

A product of the Tampa Bay Rays organization, Benard is a four-year veteran who brings a table-setting skill set to the Sussex County lineup. Hailing from West Richland, Washington, the 24-year old outfielder ranked sixth in the Frontier League in assists (6) and led the Y’alls with 97 hits while batting .280 (3rd on the team) with five home runs and 45 RBIs. He also excelled in situational hitting as illustrated by the breakdown below:

  • When leading off: .271, 1 HR, 8 RBI
  • Runners on base: .297, 3 HR, 42 RBI
  • Runners in scoring position: .303, 1 HR, 36 RBI
  • Runners in scoring position/2 outs: .267, 1 HR, 18 RBI

Along with being selected to play for the Nicaraguan National Baseball Team in the Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru. Benard was the Y’alls top hitter during the 2019 Frontier League Playoffs with a .423 batting average (11-26) Drafted by the Rays from Mount Hood Community College in the 23rd of the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, he played two seasons in the Tampa Bay chain with stints for the Princeton Rays (Rookie, Appalachian League) and Hudson Valley Renegades (New York-Penn League, Short Season Single-A). Following his release by the Rays organization on March 30, 2018, Benard was signed by the Traverse City Beach Bums. Isaac is the son of San Francisco Giants outfielder Marvin Benard. Playing in Majors from 1995-2003, Marvin was a career .271 hitter with 54 homers, 260 RBIs and 105 stolen bases.

Hailing from Avon Connecticut, Castellani forged a stellar 2019 campaign for the Y’alls. The 24-year old southpaw anchored the starting rotation by going 9-2 with a 2.66 ERA while pitching 128.2 innings and tallying 25 walks and 72 strikeouts. He finished among the Frontier League leaders in wins (2nd), winning percentage (.818, 3rd), innings pitched (4th) and ERA (6th). Castellani proved to be a benchmark of consistency and durability for the starting rotation. Not only were the Y’alls 13-5 in his starts, but he also logged 10 quality starts and kept his ERA below 3.10 (3.03 to be exact) from May 22 through the end of the season. Furthermore, he pitched six innings or more in 15 of his 18 starts including six seven-inning plus starts and five eight-inning plus outings. Saving his best for the Frontier League Playoffs, Castellani went 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA over 20 innings pitched while only yielding one walk and posting 15 strikeouts. He made his pro debut with Florence in 2018 when he was a swingman for the Y’alls pitching staff and went 2-1 with a 3.50 ERA over 36 innings with 11 walks and 41 strikeouts. He played four seasons of collegiate baseball Bucknell University from 2014-2017. Serving as a starter and a reliever with the Bisons, Castellani is among the school’s career leaders in wins (15, 7th), appearances (56, 8th), innings pitched (222.2, 9th) and 11th in ERA (3.64).

Hatch is a fellow left-handed pitcher from Connecticut (Vernon, CT) who brings a live arm to the Sussex County pitching staff. The 28-year old southpaw has three seasons of professional experience including two years in the Pacific Association with the Vallejo Admirals (2019) and Pittsburg Diamonds (2018) and one for the Utica Unicorns (2016) in the United Shore Professional Baseball League. Including one playoff appearance, Hatch is sporting a career record of 5-2 in 49 appearances and 58.2 innings pitched with 43 walks and 85 strikeouts. His best season thus far came with the Diamonds where he went 4-1 with a 2.53 ERA in 28 appearances while walking 22 and striking out 51 in 32 innings of work. He played three seasons of collegiate baseball at St. Edwards University (Austin, TX) from 2014-16 and redshirted at the University of Maryland in 2013.

“Jose was solid. It’s hard to trade a player like him,” Jones said. “He played with passion and fire and he definitely impacted our club last season. However, we’re very excited to see what we have and get ready for the upcoming season.”

Brizuela was a lightning rod for the Sussex County Miners’ lineup. Last year the 27-year old native from Maracay, Venezuela batted .302 with nine homers, 44 RBIs and 13 stolen bases while ranking among the Can-Am League leaders in outfield assists (5, 2nd), walks (63, 3rd) and on-base percentage (.426, 5th). Along with leading the club in homers and ranking second in on-base percentage, he also finished among the team leaders in slugging percentage (.488, 2nd), doubles (20, 3rd) and stolen bases (13, 4th). Riding the wave of a solid regular season campaign, Brizuela upped his ante for the Can-Am League Playoffs against the New York Boulders and New Jersey Jackals by hitting .385 (10-26) with two home runs and five RBIs. The Oakland A’s drafted Brizuela in the 16th round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Florida State University where he was a career .323 hitter (140-434) with seven homers and 82 RBIs. After spending four seasons in the Athletics organization where he reached advanced Single-A (California League), he was signed by Florence Y’alls where he was signed twice to affiliated ball including the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets organizations in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

About the Sussex County Miners
The 2019 Can-Am League Regular Season Champion Sussex County Miners are New Jersey’s newest professional baseball team. The Miners play a 96-game season in the newly formed Frontier League from May through September. Their home games are played at Skylands Stadium, one of the premier sports and entertainment venues in North Jersey. Conveniently located in the heart of Sussex County, the Skylands Stadium Sports Complex includes a 4,200-seat stadium, the all-new 17,000-square foot indoor climate-controlled Champions Way Sports Academy, a 3-acre play and party area, an 80-seat full-service restaurant – the only of its kind in all minor league baseball — and a spacious parking lot. Along with baseball, Skylands Stadium hosts numerous events including food truck festivals, beer festivals, concerts, stunt spectaculars, car and truck shows, motorcycle runs, 5k runs, light shows, and holiday extravaganzas, as well as private and corporate functions. For more information or tickets, please click here or call 973.383.7644.

Slammers to Host T-ball Age 3-6, Summer 2020

League Dates May 11, 18, June 1, 8, 15 & 22

Chose from two time slots- 5:30-7 pm OR 7-8:30 PM

The first 45 minutes will be dedicated to building skills through stations and group activities.

The second 45 minutes will be a game with the T-Ball team- no score will be kept.

CAMPERS RECEIVE:

  • Individual & group instruction from Joliet Slammers players
  • Slammers Players will be the coaches/umpires
  • A free ticket to our Friday July 3rd Fireworks show
  • T- Ball banquet at the Slammers game
  • Joliet Slammers t-shirt

Cost: $120 per camper

 

For more information, click the following link!

http://www.jolietslammers.com/community-t-ball-development-league?utm_source=Score%20CRM&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=T-Ball&utm_content=SCE-000046&sc_key1=6246M118979D04&sc_key2=%3D%3DwwUOlqLpBSnK6SsItluQWN&sc_key3=f2ya.I598854