Aug. 25, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. - Most Fresno State student-athletes spend the summer enjoying time off from their respective sports. But the baseball season continues into the summer as the players head out all over the country to keep playing. Coach Mike Batesole helped 12 Bulldogs find teams in various summer leagues across the nation.
"It's great for our players to go out and play summer ball," said Batesole. "It's a time for our pitcher's who threw less than 60 innings in 2009 to gain experience against Division I hitters and have the opportunity to work on their third pitch. Our hitters have the opportunity to get another 100-200 at bats in, while working on their inside game, two strike approach or whatever their specific weakness may be."
The Bulldogs had four players in Alaska, three in Chicago, three in Humboldt, Calif., two in Cape Cod, Mass., and one in Madison, Wis. The players spent most of the summer living with host families playing baseball and exploring their new surroundings.
Sophomores Brennan Gowens and Charlie Robertson also spent the summer playing in the Alaska summer ball league. Gowens played for the Fairbanks Goldpanners, hitting .194 with 26 hits and four doubles. Robertson played for the Glacier Pilots and recorded a 2.78 ERA with 25 strikeouts.
"It was a great experience," said Kendall. "The host families were awesome and the players were good. In summer ball there isn't as much pressure."
Seniors Steve Detwiler, Isaac Vivas and junior Gene Escat stayed in California and played for the Humboldt Crabs. Vivas had 22 hits with a double and was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year. Detwiler hit two home runs, three doubles and pitched one inning striking out three batters. Escat had a 3-0 record with a 3.89 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched.
"Humboldt is a great atmosphere for baseball," said Detwiler. "Playing up there brings you back to little league and makes you realize why you love the game so much."
The windy city of Chicago was home for Sean Bonesteele, Tom Harlan and Kenny Wise for the summer. All three played for the Crystal Lake Cardinals. Wise hit .342 with five doubles and 19 RBIs. Bonesteele had a 4-1 record with 1.86 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 29 innings pitched. Harlan had a 2-1 record with 2.21 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched.
"It was great eye opening experience to play baseball in a new place," said Harlan. "It was different to meet people from all over and play in different types of weather, but it was a fun different."
Junior Danny Muno spent the summer in Cape Cod playing for the Orleans Firebirds with his brother, Kevin Muno. Sophomore Daniel Moultrie played with the Atwater Aviators. Muno hit .222 with four doubles, 13 RBIs and seven stolen bases. Moultrie hit .235 with five doubles, 17 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Junior Trent Soares hit .212 with a double, a triple, a home run and 6 RBIs.
"We had some of the best competition in nation," said Muno. "The atmosphere is great and a lot like Fresno State, where the community supports the team. We had around 5,000 fans at every game. Summer ball you learn a lot about yourself as a player and as a teammate."
Preparations for next season began a few weeks after the first day of classes with fall workouts and scrimmages. The 2010 season opens in late February.
"We Are Your Team" - For more information on the baseball team log on to gobulldogs.com.
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