Big Ten Arms Added to Lakeshore Pitching Staff
Mequon, WI – The Lakeshore Chinooks have added a diverse set of pitchers from the Big Ten Conference to pitching coach Mark Moriarty’s pitching staff in Gavin Downs (Purdue), Shea Murray (Ohio State), and Joey Stoll (Ohio State). “We like to give our pitchers the opportunity to stretch their roles during the summer season and we’ll be anxious to see how these guys do,” said Moriarty.
Gavin Downs, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection from Fort Wayne, IN, has made 28 appearances, including 16 starts and 102 innings pitched, in his career with the Boilermakers. The 6’0” righty, who played on two straight Class 4A state Championship teams at Carroll High School, has used grit and craft to build his career at Purdue. Last season, on a team that managed a 13-37 record, Downs was Purdue’s top pitcher with a 4.26 ERA and a 3-6 record in 74 innings of work. Without an overpowering arm, Downs posted 27 strikeouts and 20 walks as he forced opponents to get the ball in play, but has earned the respect of Purdue Head Coach Doug Schreiber who calls him “one of the strongest competitors on the team with command of three pitches, including a plus change-up.” Downs has already made nine appearances in 2015, posting a 7.58 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 19 innings and most recently worked a five-inning start and allowed just two runs to the #11-ranked Louisville Cardinals on March 17. Downs will join Boilermaker teammate Kyle Wood on the Chinook’s roster.
Shea Murray is a raw pitcher with a live arm who has been clocked in the mid-90’s. The 6’6” redshirt sophomore from Defiance, OH has been steadily improving his mechanics as he looks for more time with the Buckeyes. After throwing only 2.2 innings for OSU last season, Murray saw extensive time in the Prospect League during the 2014 summer pitching for the Chillicothe Paints. The powerful Murray was named one of the Top Five prospects in the league by Perfect Game as he posted a 4-1 record with 2.70 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 27 innings coming out of the bullpen. Lakeshore’s Eddy Morgan will look for Murray to use his powerful arm in the same way this summer as he stated, “It’s always nice to have that kind of velocity waiting in your pen!” So far this season, Murray has made two appearances for the Buckeyes and has struck out five batters in two innings of work and appears ready to have a breakout summer. “I get to play for the defending champs! I heard they have a great following at home and it’s a great place to play,” says Stoll who followed in the high school footsteps and shares a pitching coach with the Philadelphia Phillies’ Chad Billingsley. The powerful right-hander intends to make the most of his Lakeshore opportunity.
Joey Stoll was an outfielder coming out of St. Edward High School in Westlake, OH, but was asked by the Buckeye staff to convert to full-time pitching during his freshman season as a redshirt. Over the course of a summer with the Loraine County Ironmen of the Prospect League in 2014, Stoll worked to improve a curve ball and to add a change-up to his solid fastball. He posted a 2-2 record in 20 games, throwing 28 strikeouts in 29 innings of work and said of his curve ball, “I think it’s finally coming through. I’m able to throw it when I want, where I want.” While still waiting for a chance to take the mound for the Buckeyes this year, Stoll is eager to get to Lakeshore, saying, “As for me, I just want to play. I want to get as many innings as the Chinooks will let me throw.” In the organization’s first few years, several players have made the most of the opportunity to show their college coaches they’re ready to compete at the highest levels and Stoll is eager for his shot.
All three pitchers will get their first chance with the rest of 2015 Chinooks roster on May 28th when Lakeshore takes on the Kenosha Kingfish at 6:35pm. The first 1,000 fans will receive a 2014 championship pennant (courtesy of Port Washington State Bank) and a 2015 magnet schedule (courtesy of Professional Supply). On Opening Day, there will also be a special pre-game championship celebrate. The championship celebration week will continue on Saturday, May 30th with Championship Trophy Gill bobblehead for the first 1,000 fans (sponsored by GS Design).
The Lakeshore Chinooks are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 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, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (BOS) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.lakeshorechinooks.com.