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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona baseball summer league roundup

Every summer, college baseball programs send players to competitive collegiate leagues around the U.S. for extra work and repetition. These leagues are not only crucial for a player’s development, they also help get them noticed. Major League scouts attend summer league games to evaluate players they may have in mind for the MLB Draft that takes place in June.

The Arizona baseball program sent several players across the nation to compete, including one player who received the honor of playing for Team USA.

That player was junior third baseman and pitcher Bobby Dalbec. While Dalbec struggled at the plate for Team USA, he shined for the Orleans Firebirds in the prestigious Cape Cod League in Massachusetts. Dalbec led the Cape in home runs with 12 and hit .315 with 30 RBIs in 27 games for the Firebirds. Dalbec would go on to make the Cape Cod All-League Team.

Along with Dalbec, sophomore first baseman JJ Matijevic also excelled in the Cape for the Falmouth Commodores. Matijevic finished No. 3 in the league in hitting, posting a .333 average with four home runs and 15 RBI’s in 144 at bats. Matijevic would also go on to make the Cape Cod All-League Team.

The Cats also sent three players to the California Collegiate League in Santa Barbara, California. Senior outfielder Zach Gibbons, senior infielder Cody Ramer and sophomore infielder Michael Hoard would all go on to make the CCL all-star game. 

Zach Gibbons, who was named the Arizona Summer Player of the Year, hit an astounding .398 with 20 RBI and two home runs for the Conejo Oaks. Gibbons would later be named to the All-CCL Team. 

Gibbons’ fellow Conejo Oaks and CCL south all-star teammate Cody Ramer finished the season hitting .299 with 19 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Michael Hoard hit .323 with 14 RBI and one home run for the Walnut Creek Crawdads.

Sophomore pitcher Matt Hartman pitched for the Harrisonburg Turks in the Valley League in Virginia. Hartman finished the season with a 5-1 record with an ERA of 3.45 while striking out 38 in 41.2 innings pitched. Hartman would be named to the All-Valley League Second Team and would become Arizona Summer Pitcher of the Year.

Another Wildcat who found success in their summer league was senior outfielder Ryan Aguilar. Aguilar played in the West Coast league for the Cowlitz Blackbears in Washington. Augilar tallied a .239 average with one home run and 27 RBI. Aguilar would go on to make the West Coast League All-Star Team.

After highly decorated Andy Lopez stepped down as head coach after last season, the Wildcats hired former Nevada head coach Jay Johnson to the same position. Johnson led the Wolf Pack to a 41-15 record last season and a 31-27 record in his first full season as head coach. With so many Wildcats succeeding in their respective summer leagues, Johnson has to be encouraged for the upcoming 2015-2016 season.

The Wildcats are well aware of how vigorous the Pac-12 Conference is after coming in eighth last season and 11th the season prior. They have had trouble finding success in the Pac-12 since winning the College World Series in 2012, but look for the Wildcats’ new skipper to lead this ship to victory this season.

Follow Ross Olson on Twitter.

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