Six Wilmington Sharks named CPL All-Stars; Leland’s Chris Graham to final fan vote is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

The Coastal Plain League (CPL) announced its rosters for the annual CPL All-Star game set for July 11 in Fayetteville and six Wilmington Sharks have been selected to represent the eastern division.

Mike Castellani (Bucknell) has been the ace this season in the Sharks’ pitching rotation and will be the starting pitcher for the East team. He currently leads the league in earned run average (1.97), innings pitched (45.2) and wins (6).

Chris Graham. Photo courtesy- UNC-Greensboro Athletics.
Chris Graham (Photo courtesy UNC-Greensboro Athletics)

Cletis Avery (Presbyterian) has the Sharks’ second highest batting average (.326) and is third in the CPL in stolen bases (16). Avery will start at shortstop during the CPL All-Star Game, while Alec Bohm (Wichita State) will start at third base. Bohm is tied for the league lead in home runs (8) and second in the league in RBIs (30).

Mark Donadio (Fordham) was named an outfield substitute and boasts the team’s highest batting average (.356). He leads the league in walks (21) and is third in on base percentage (.504).

Connor Riley (USC Aiken) is also in the pitching rotation for Wilmington and leads the league in strikeouts (59). He’s struck out nine or more batters in all five of his decisions. Ryan Kelly (St. Joseph’s) has been one of the closers for the Sharks and leads the team in saves (5). In his 10 appearances, he’s only allowed one earned run.

Additionally, Chris Graham (UNC-Greensboro) is a candidate in the CPL Fan Final Vote. Fans can vote to add Graham to the East team at until 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Graham is a native of Leland and played his high school ball at North Brunswick. He’s hitting .325 for the Sharks, with eight runs and nine stolen bases. While he did not appear in any games as a freshman for UNC-Greensboro, Graham has been working hard this summer, getting reps and prepared for his second year with the Spartans. He was a multi-sport athlete during his time at North Brunswick and helped the Scorpions reach the North Carolina 2A state tournament championship series. Graham also aided North Brunswick in winning three straight track and field state titles. He holds the school’s 100-meter dash record and the state 4×200 relay record.

The Wilmington Sharks went 16-12 during the first half of the summer season, which wrapped up before the Fourth of the July weekend. The Sharks have begun the second half of their schedule at 2-0, with home games scheduled for Wednesday (July 6) and Friday (July 8). Game times are set for 7 p.m. at Buck Hardee Field inside the Legion Sports Complex along Carolina Beach Road.