Local ballplayers, both collegiately and professionally, have turned in an outstanding couple of months, whether it’s Hoggard alum Bryan Sammons pitching the Y-D Red Sox to a Cape Cod Title or UNCW standout Steven Linkous earning his stripes for the Boise Hawks of the Class A-Short Season Northwest League as part of the Colorado Rockies organization.
In the big leagues, Chris Hatcher (UNCW) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list in late July with an oblique injury and could be done for the season.
Mike Wright (Whiteville/East Carolina) is looking to rejoin the Baltimore Orioles when the roster expands in September, but the right handed pitcher was sent down to Triple A Norfolk this after going 3-4, with a 5.97 ERA in 12 starts for the Orioles. His last appearance for Baltimore came on July 7. In Norfolk, Wright has a 3-3 record in 10 starts and 3.28 earned run average.
Here’s a brief recap of some of our local baseball standouts competing on various levels this summer.
Bryan Sammons, LHP, Western Carolina, Hoggard
Sammons was instrumental in helping the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox claim its third-straight Cape Cod League championship. Sammons tossed six shutout innings, limiting Falmouth to two hits while striking out six to score the victory.
The big southpaw finished the summer with a 1.53 ERA in the prestigious Cape Cod League, tossing 29.1 total innings in 10 appearances with four starts. Sammons struck out 23 batters against eight walks. He allowed one earned run among the four allowed during Y-D’s post-season run, surrendering five hits in 10 innings of work.
Shane Shepard, OF/1B, N.C. State, Ashley
Shepard spent his summer in Mankato, Minnesota as part of the Thunder Bay Border Cats competing in the Northwoods League. In 52 games (185 at-bats), Shepard hit .308 with 12 doubles, eight home runs and 39 RBI.
Chris Graham, OF, UNC-Greensboro, North Brunswick
Graham helped the locally based Wilmington Sharks to a postseason appearance within the Coastal Plain League. The Sharks went 32-22 overall. Graham hit .304 in 34 games played with 115 at-bats. He added four doubles, 10 runs batted in and seven stolen bases
Ward Coleman, 3B, Davidson College, New Hanover
Coleman saw 158 at-bats in his return to Buck Hardee Field, competing on the same ball field during his days at New Hanover High School. The rising sophomore at Davison batted .228 with 21 RBIs for the Sharks.
Sam Luchansky, RHP, Belmont Abbey, Topsail
Luchansky spent his summer in Petersburg, Virginia as the rising sophomore from Hampstead looks to earn more innings heading into his second season at Belmont Abbey.
In 39.2 innings pitched this summer, Luchansky fashioned a 3.63 earned run average. He allowed 16 earned runs in 21 appearances with 29 strikeouts to 19 walks.
Danny Wilson, 1B/P, UNC-Asheville, Topsail
Wilson went to the New England Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series while playing for the Sanford Mainers this summer in Sanford, Maine.
Steven Linkous, OF, Boise Hawks, UNCW
Linkous was selected in the 22nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies and sent to Idaho for a stint with the Boise Hawks of the Class-A Short Season Northwest League.
He has played in 36 games this summer. In 145 at-bats, the speedster from Leland is hitting .255 with 19 RBIs, 22 walks and 20 stolen bases.
Markel Jones, OF, GCL Orioles, Brunswick Community College
Jones is playing for the Baltimore Orioles minor league affiliate in the Gulf Coast League after being picked in the 33rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He’s hitting .191 in 89 at-bats.
Jordan Betts, Salem Red Sox, Duke, New Hanover
Betts is in his third minor league season and had 13-bats for the Portland Sea Dogs this season in AA ball. He’s currently hitting .229 for the Salem Red Sox of the Class-A Advanced Carolina League.
Luke Tendler, High Desert Mavericks, North Carolina A&T, Laney
Tendler was drafted in 2014 by the Texas Rangers and playing for the High Desert Mavericks of the Class-A Advanced California League. He has a .282 average in 436 at-bats this season with 30 doubles and 20 home runs.
Jeff Ferrell, RHP, Toledo Muds Hens, Detroit Tigers
Ferrell has bounced around this season. He began the year pitching for AAA Toledo Mud Hens, but has most recently pitched for the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the Class-A Advanced Florida State League.