Weekend Recap – April 3, 2018
Pair of Pac-12 freshmen produce while pitching staff isn’t [April] fooling around!
La Crosse, Wis. – Easter weekend was highlighted by successful weekends at the plate from three freshmen out of the west coast – Braiden Ward (OF, Washington), Jacob Blas (SS, Arizona), and Shane McGuire (C/1B, San Diego).
Ward continues to demonstrate his speed and ability to get on base as he holds a .435 on-base percentage and is 7-for-7 in stolen base attempts on the season. The left-handed swinging centerfielder is up to a .291 batting average after Washington’s weekend series vs. USC, where he went 1-for-3 with an RBI on Friday and 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored on Saturday. Ward also went 2-for-3 with a run scored and 2 stolen bases on Monday vs. San Diego State.
Arizona’s Jacob Blas made a huge impact in the Wildcats’ weekend sweep over Nicholls State, hitting his first career home run and raising his batting average to an impressive .304 on the year. Blas went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI on Thursday, then followed with a 2-for-4 day including a two-run blast to left on Friday.
Freshman Shane McGuire has been consistent all year for San Diego, earning himself opportunities at the top of the Toreros’ lineup. McGuire led off to open the series vs. San Francisco on Thursday, promptly going 3-for-5. McGuire batted in the two-hole in Saturday’s 5-0 San Diego victory, going 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI and reaching base in every plate appearance as he added three walks. The Kent, Washington native is now batting .311 with an outstanding .465 on-base percentage, drawing a team leading 20 walks compared to just 15 strikeouts.
Future Loggers have been consistent on the mound all spring and last weekend saw more of same from our incoming staff. Madonna southpaw Tyler Butzin continues to sit down hitters, picking up his fifth victory of the season on Saturday after 6.0 strong innings, allowing one run on four hits and eight strikeouts. Butzin boasts a 5-1 record and 1.37 ERA, striking out an unbelievable 70 batters in just 46.0 innings of work on the year.
Sean Frontzak continues to impress out of the Saint Louis bullpen, making two shutout appearances last week including his first victory of the season in a mid-week game vs. SIU Edwardsville. Frontzak followed with a clean inning in the series finale on Saturday as the Billikens took two out of three from conference opponent VCU. Saint Louis is up to an 18-8 record after winning 17 of their last 18 games, thanks in part to Frontzak’s 0.68 ERA in 12 appearances on the season.
Returning Logger Pete Hamot had another good outing in Lewis University’s weekend sweep over McKendree, allowing two runs in 7.0 innings while scattering 11 hits and striking out a season-high 10 batters.
Other notables on the weekend include UCLA’s Kevin Kendall going 2-for-4 with an RBI in his only start vs. California, Duke’s Bill Chillari striking out six of the seven batters he faced last week (Tuesday vs. Presbyterian and Sunday vs. Notre Dame), and Brady Acker allowing one run in 5.0 innings as Nova Southeastern improved to 20-9 on the year.
Weekend recaps are released every week as we inch closer to Loggers baseball on May 29. Stay warm and keep thinking baseball – it helps melt the snow… Roll Logs!
The La Crosse Loggers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Entering its 25th anniversary season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, 190 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.lacrosseloggers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Loggers as your favorite team.