Growlers Sign Strong Group from the ACC
Kalamazoo, Mich. — The Kalamazoo Growlers have announced the signings of a young, talented crop of players from three programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Growlers bring a trio of Virginia Cavaliers in Zack Gelof, Drew Blakely and Jimmy Sullivan, along with a pair of Duke Blue Devils in Rudy Maxwell and Jake Topolski. University of Notre Dame product Brooks Coetzee will join the Growler’s outfield.
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INF Zack Gelof, 6’3”, (R/R) Freshman, University of Virginia
Virginia is off to a 4-4 start in the 2019 campaign and hasreceived significant contributions from Gelof in his first collegiate season. Gelof has started in all eight games so far for UVA. He has posted a .313 average with 10 hits, five doubles, and a team-high 10 RBIs, along with four stolen bases on four attempts which leads the Cavaliers. Gelof is coming off a stellar high school career where he was named the 2018 Delaware Gatorade State Player of the Year and a First Team All-State following his senior season. He was drafted in the 38th round (1,153 overall) by the Cleveland Indians last summer and was the number three overall recruit in Delaware by Perfect Game. Gelof finished as the state’s all-time leader in runs scored (103), career hits (105), and stolen bases (81).
C Drew Blakely, 6’2”, (R/R) Redshirt Sophomore, University of Virginia
Blakely, a local product from Galesburg, Mich., did not play in 2018 for theCavaliers and saw limited action his first season in 2017. Blakely played in 10 games with seven starts his freshman year and listed on the ACC Academic Honor Roll. Blakely was a star at Gull Lake High School as a three-time All-State selection and a member of Michigan’s All-State Dream Team. He set the school record in total batting average (.468), RBIs (140), triples (12), and putouts (578). Blakely was an all-area and all-district honoree in each of his four years.
OF Jimmy Sullivan, 6’5”, (L/L) Freshman, University of Virginia
Sullivan hails from Wethersfield, Conn. and was a two-sport standout at Wethersfield High School as he was a four-year letter winner in baseball and basketball. A three-time All-Conference selection and 2018 Hartford Courant Player of the Year, Sullivan was also a two-time All-State honoree. He capped his high school career with a strong senior season at the plate, hitting .525 with 42 hits, six home runs, and 31 RBIs.
C Rudy Maxwell, 6’4”, (R/R) Freshman, Duke University
Two Duke University freshman will join the Growler’s infield rotation this summer. Maxwell is off to a solid start in his first season with the Blue Devils, posting .296 clip with eight hits, two doubles, one triple, one home run and eight RBIs with a team-high .556 slugging percentage in seven starts through the first eight contests. The Brentwood, Tenn. native was rated the number two overall catcher in the state of Tennessee out of high school and rated the number 73 overall catcher in the country by Perfect Game in the 2018 recruiting class. He was a 2018 Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American and Southeast Region Honorable Mention pick.
INF Jake Topolski, 6’0”, (R/R) Freshman, Duke University
Topolski, a 6-0 freshman infielder from Medford, N.J., was a three-sport athlete at Lenape High School in New Jersey playing baseball, football and basketball. He was the 2018 Courier Post Male Athlete of the Year. On the diamond, Topolski was ranked the number four shortstop in New Jersey and number 43 overall prospect by Perfect Game, while also being among Perfect Game’s Top 500 overall prospects. He hit .360 with 27 hits, seven home runs and 22 RBIs in his senior season and was a 2018 Rawlings-Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-American.
OF Brooks Coetzee, 6’1”, (R/R) University of Notre Dame
Coetzee, a native of Mahomet, Ill. has seen limited action in his first season with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, posting one at- bat. He was a four-time all-conference, four-time all-area and two-time all-district selection at Mahomet-Seymour High School. Coetzee hit .475 in his senior season, which earned him unanimous first team all-conference. Coetzee tallied 12 doubles, three triples, and a team-high 38 hits with an impressive .887 slugging percentage to go along with his senior year batting average. Coetzee was rated the number five outfielder in the state of Illinois and the 119th ranked outfielder in the nation out of high school. Coetzee burst onto the scene his freshman season, hitting .483 with seven home runs and 32 runs driven in to start his illustrious high school career.