May 27, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - Even though the Green Wave baseball season ended two weekends ago, a slew of Tulane baseball players will continue to get at-bats or throw to live hitters this summer, as 18 members of the 2014 squad will hone their skills in eight different collegiate summer baseball leagues across the country.
Players will report to their respective teams over the course of the next few days, as league play for many will begin as early as the upcoming weekend.
Rising juniors Ian Gibaut and Richard Carthon will head to the Cape Cod Baseball League, one of the oldest and most historic leagues in the nation. Stated as the "premier amateur baseball league in the nation" on their web site, the CCBL has been around since 1885.
Rising sophomores Stephen Alemais, J.P. France, Grant Brown, Barry Buchowski, Tyler Zamjahn, Hunter Williams and Sam Bjorngjeld will join rising junior Tim Yandel in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League as the largest contingent of Green Wave players in a single league.
Rising junior Daniel Rankin and rising sophomore Corey Merrill will be teammates in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, while rising junior Jordan Gross and rising senior John Gandolfo will join forces in the North Jersey Amateur Baseball League.
Rising junior Troy Ward (Texas Collegiate Baseball League), rising sophomore Jake Willsey (Futures Collegiate Baseball League), rising sophomore Lex Kaplan (St. Louis Metro Collegiate Baseball League) and rising sophomore Zach Flowers (Delaware Collegiate Baseball League) round out the Green Wave's summer placements for 2014.
Gibaut will pitch for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, based out of Hyannis, Mass. Gibaut appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen for the Green Wave, all coming after April 5. In 12.1 innings, the fireballer notched 16 strikeouts while walking only two. The Houston native notched a miniscule ERA of 1.46 for the season.
Carthon will be an enemy of Gibaut's for the summer, as the Shreveport, La., native will play for the Cotuit Kettleers, who have won the Cape Cod Baseball League Championship a record 16 times. Carthon started all 52 games for the Green Wave in 2014, playing in left field, center field and designated hitter. The Conference USA All-Academic Team Member posted a .258 batting average to go along with a team-leading 28 runs and 16 hit by pitch. He swiped eight bags on the season in ten attempts.
Alemais, France, Yandel and Brown will all be teammates with the Bethesda Big Train, a team which Yandel was named an All-Star for during the summer of 2013. Alemais hit .241 in 48 games in 2014 with six doubles, two triples and a home run. The native of the Bronx, N.Y., scored 24 runs while collecting 19 RBI.
Brown got hot towards the end of the season, as he finished his rookie campaign with a .228 batting average with three doubles and six RBI. The Gulfport, Miss., native started the final 13 games of the season for the Green Wave in the outfield.
France was the first Tulane freshman to start on the mound on opening day for the Green Wave since 1991. The hurler from Luling, La., fanned 36 while walking only seven in 35.0 innings. He went 2-3 in 14 appearances on the year, making four starts.
Yandel, hit .246 last summer for the Big Train to make an appearance in the summer league's All-Star game, but more importantly, he made his pitching debut during the season, striking out the only batter he faced during the summer. The Woodstock, Ga., native was a crucial part of Tulane's bullpen in 2014, posting an ERA of 0.50 in 18.0 innings while holding opponents to a batting average of .185. He struck out 11 and walked seven during 13 appearances in 2014.
Buchowski, Zamjahn and Williams will all be teammates with the Alexandria Aces. Buchowski started seven games at designated hitter in 2014, and he collected a single and a double on the season while walking five times. Williams shared time at designated hitter with Buchowski, as he started nine games, collecting two doubles and four RBI with five walks. Zamjahn made nine appearances out of the bullpen, totaling 9.2 innings while striking out 13 batters.
Bjorngjeld will fly solo with the Cal Ripken Collegiate League's Herndon Braves. A 6-5-lefty from Sugar Land, Texas, Bjorngjeld did not pitch for the Green Wave in 2014.
Merrill and Rankin will anchor the pitching staff of the NECBL's Danbury Westerners. Merrill became the Friday night starter for the Green Wave towards the end of 2014, and he held hitters to a batting average of .235. In 55.0 innings, the Lutcher, La., product struck out 33 while allowing just 47 hits. He made 14 appearances - ten of which were starts.
Rankin made six appearances out of the bullpen in 2014, totaling 7.1 innings. The lanky right-handed hurler posted a 2.45 ERA while holding opponents to a .217 batting average. He fanned five batters on the season.
Gandolfo and Gross - both natives of New Jersey - will play for the Wyckoff Raiders. Gandolfo started ten games in the outfield for the Green Wave in 2014, scoring five runs on four hits while also notching an RBI and a stolen base. Gross made one appearance on the year, notching an inning of work against UTSA on April 4.
Willsey made 35 starts at second base for the Green Wave in 2014, more than any other player at that position during the season. He will take his talents to the Brockton Rox in his home state of Massachusetts over the summer. Willsey batted .258 on the year with three doubles and five RBI while also collecting ten walks. He was fifth on the team in runs scored with 14.
Kaplan will head home to St. Louis to play for the Dodgers in the St. Louis Metro Collegiate Baseball League. In 2013, the Dodgers won the National Amateur Baseball Federation National Championship in the college division. Kaplan started 37 games in the outfield in 2014, notching three doubles and eight RBI along with a team-leading 19 walks.
Flowers - like Kaplan, Willsey, Gross and Gandolfo - will return to his old stomping grounds as he will return to his home state of Delaware to play for the Delaware Broncos of the Delaware Collegiate Baseball League. The righty made eight appearances with one start on the season, striking out seven across 15.0 innings.
Ward made one appearance for the Green Wave in 2014, throwing an inning on opening day against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The North Richland Hills, Texas, native will play a few hours south of his home this summer, as he will pitch for the Victoria Generals in the six-team TCL.
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