One of the big reasons for UNM's amazing run has been Alex Real of the Victoria HarbourCats. Real served as the team’s DH this weekend and went 4-for-14 with four RBI, bringing his batting average to .337 on the season. He now has six homers and 28 RBI to go along with the second-best slugging percentage on the team (.533).
Given Real's progress in the last twelve months, don’t be surprised to see the sophomore among the West Coast League leaders in most power numbers this summer. One can only imagine what his home run totals will be like in a couple of years, because he has also slugged 15 doubles in only 169 at-bats for UNM. If he can continue to improve while he matures physically, those doubles will be clearing the fence with ease by his senior year.
- Opening Day for the HarbourCats is just over five weeks away! On Wednesday June 5th, our team will be taking on the Kelowna Falcons at Royal Athletic Park in their first-ever West Coast League game. Be sure to get your tickets via the HarbourCats website.
- Freshman Anthony Hermelyn continues to play a bigger role for the 12th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners as the season progresses. This weekend Hermelyn was inserted into the cleanup spot and he responded by going 4-for-10 with an RBI to raise his average to .318 -– 93 points higher than it was back in mid-March. Becoming the starting catcher and cleanup hitter for one of the best Division I teams in the country speaks volumes about the kind of talent this young man possesses.
- Local boy Nick Pivetta of the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds was knocked around in his second consecutive start, taking a no decision in an 11-8 loss to Western Texas College on Friday. Pivetta gave up 10 hits and 8 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. He also struck out three, walked four batters and saw his ERA rise to 3.66 – almost a run and a half higher than just two weeks ago. The Thunderbirds, who hold a 41-11 record on the year, are currently the 20th-ranked junior college in the country. They wrap up their regular season next weekend with a four-game series against Frank Phillips College.
- Connor Russell made his second consecutive appearance in long relief for the VIBI Mariners on the weekend. He held a tough Prairie Baseball Academy squad to only one earned run and four hits in five innings pitched, while he struck out five and walked two batters. Russell now has a 3.44 ERA in conference play.
- Austin Russell’s Southern Polytechnic Hornets took two of three games on the weekend from the Brewton-Parker College Barons to finish the regular season with a 37-17 record. Russell did not appear in any of the three games. The Hornets are off to the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Tournament, which begins on Tuesday in Columbus, Georgia.
- Life just got a bit easier for catchers in the West Coast League. We recently learned that last year's WCL stolen base champion, Marc Gallegos of the Corvallis Knights, will miss the entire summer with a shoulder injury. Gallegos stole 21 bases in 26 attempts and hit .316 last year for the Knights.