Summer Ball Update #1: Pleasants Off to Hot Start with Academy Barons

Vols RHP Elijah Pleasants / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. –  Tennessee baseball is well-represented on the 2019 summer circuit with 23 current players on summer-league rosters.

Each week on UTSports.com, we will provide an update on all of the Vols participating in the various summer leagues around the country.

The first summer ball update of the year can be found below.

USA Baseball Collegiate National Team
LHP Garrett Crochet
Season Stats: N/A

Crochet accepted an invitation to the 2019 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team training camp, which will run from June 27-30 in Cary, North Carolina before a 26-man roster is selected prior to the 8th USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series that will take place July 2-6 in Cary, Charlotte, Durham and Hickory, North Carolina. Team USA’s 26-man roster will then travel to Taiwan for the 19th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series after which USA Baseball will announce a final 24-man roster to compete in the 43rd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 16-21 in Japan.

Read more about Crochet’s training camp invite HERE.

Cape Cod League
OF Zach Daniels – Orleans Firebirds
Season Stats: 5 GP, .133 AVG, 1 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K, .133 SLG, .133 OBP

Daniels went 1-for-4 in the Firebirds opener on June 11 against Yarmouth-Dennis and recorded his second hit of the season on June 16 in a 2-1 loss to Bourne. The Georgia native also scored a run in Orleans’ 4-4 tie against Wareham on June 14.

LHP Will Heflin – Harwich Mariners
Season Stats: 1 App, 0 GS, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.50 WHIP

Heflin was nearly perfect in his only appearance so far this summer. The junior lefty struck out a pair and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings as Harwich defeated Falmouth 7-1 on June 16.

RHP Sean Hunley – Brewster Whitecaps
Season Stats: 1 App, 1 GS, 1-0, 2.25 ERA, 4.0 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 1.50 WHIP

Hunley got his summer started off with a victory in Brewster’s 12-4 win over Hyannis on June 16. The sophomore got the start and allowed three runs – only one earned – and struck out six in four innings of work to begin his summer campaign 1-0.

OF Alerick Soularie – Brewster Whitecaps
Season Stats: 4 GP, .308 AVG, 5 R, 4 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB, .385 SLG, .357 OBP

Soularie has scored in all four games he’s played in and has recorded a hit in three of those contests so far this summer, including a two-hit performance in a 2-1 win over Orleans on June 15. The All-American also scored twice, doubled and drove in a run in an 11-5 victory over Hyannis on June 16.

RHP Chase Wallace – Orleans Firebirds
Season Stats: 2 App, 0 GS, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 4.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 0.92 WHIP

Despite a slow start for the Firebirds, Wallace has been solid in his two appearances out of the bullpen thus far. The sophomore right hander has given up just two hits while racking up five strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work.

California Collegiate League
OF Justin Ammons – Conejo Oaks
Season Stats: N/A

Ammons has not seen action yet this summer.

INF Pete Derkay – Arroyo Seco Saints
Season Stats: N/A

Derkay has not seen action yet this summer.

INF Max Ferguson – Orange County Riptide
Season Stats: N/A

Ferguson has not seen action yet this summer.

INF Luc Lipcius – Arroyo Seco Saints
Season Stats: 4 GP, .188 AVG, 3 R, 3 H, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, .188 SLG, .278 OBP, 1 SB

Lipcius went 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI in his second game of the summer against Conejo on June 8. He followed that with another hit and two runs scored against Orange County on June 9.

INF Trey Lipscomb – Orange County Riptide
Season Stats: N/A

Lipscomb has not seen action yet this summer.

Connor Pavolony – Santa Barbara Foresters
Season Stats: 5 GP, .188 AVG, 3 R, 3 H, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, .250 SLG, .350 OBP

Pavolony has recorded a hit in three of his five games played so far this summer. In his first game of the summer, the Georgia native reached base twice with a single and a walk and also drove in two runs in a 10-1 win over Conejo on June 11. The freshman catcher had two runs, a double, a walk and an RBI in a 10-4 victory over Orange County on June 16. Pavolony has also thrown out two base stealers already this summer.

RHP Elijah Pleasants – Academy Barons
Season Stats: 2 App, 0-0, 2 SV, 0.00 ERA, 3.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 0.30 WHIP

Pleasants is off to a red-hot start for the Barons, earning a pair of saves in his only two appearances so far. The lanky right hander opened his summer with two shutout innings in a win over Orange County on June 13, striking out three while allowing just one hit. He followed that up with a pair of punchouts in 1.1 innings of work as Academy defeated Conejo, 9-5, on June 16.

OF Evan Russell – Arroyo Seco Saints
Season Stats: N/A

Russell has not seen action yet this summer.

OF Christian Scott – Arroyo Seco Saints
Season Stats: 5 GP, .222 AVG, 2 R, 4 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K, .389 SLG, .263 OBP

After a slow start, Scott has started to find his groove as of late. The Clarksville, Tenn., native went 3-for-4 with a triple against Orange County on June 14 after hitting a double and scoring a pair of runs in a 4-3 win over Santa Barbara one day earlier.

Coastal Plain League
RHP Caleb Pearson – Forest City Owls
Season Stats: 3 App, 2 GS, 0-2, 6.10 ERA, 10.1 IP, 12 H, 12 R, 7 ER, 8 BB, 6 K, 1.94 WHIP

Pearson has struggled out of the gates for Forest City, starting the summer 0-2 after a pair of rocky starts. The Brentwood, Tenn., native does have six strikeouts so far this summer.

RHP Joshua Plummer – Fayetteville SwampDogs
Season Stats: 2 App, 2 GS, 0-1, 6.14 ERA, 7.1 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 7 BB, 8 K, 1.64 WHIP

Following a rough outing to start the summer, Plummer rebounded nicely in his second start with five strikeouts and just one earned run allowed on three hits in 3.2 innings of work as the SwampDogs defeated Asheboro 10-4 on June 16.

INF Jake Rucker – Forest City Owls
Season Stats: 4 GP, .091 AVG, 1 R, 1 H, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, .091 SLG, .231 OBP

Rucker got off to a slow start at the plate, going hitless in his first three games, but singled and scored a run in the Owls’ last game, a 5-1 victory over High Point-Thomasville. He also earned the top spot on the Coastal Plain League Plays of the Week with a web gem at shortstop.

Northwoods League
INF Austin Knight – Kalamazoo Growlers
Season Stats: N/A

Knight has not seen action yet this summer.

RHP Tanner Kohlhepp – Eau Claire Express
Season Stats: 2 App, 2 GS, 0-0, 7.56 ERA, 8.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 1.44 WHIP

Kohlhepp posted a quality start in his summer debut for the Express, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two batters in 4.2 innings as Eau Claire defeated Thunder Bay, 9-6, on June 9.

Ohio Valley League
Matthew Ellis – Dubois County Bombers
Season Stats: 3 GP, .385 AVG, 2 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K, .462 SLG, .357 OBP

Ellis is off to a good start for the Bombers with five hits and three RBI in just three games played so far this summer. Dubois County is currently in third place in the East Division with a 5-5 record.

RHP Bennett Shoptaw – Dubois County Bombers
Season Stats: 3 App, 2 GS, 0-1, 9.58 ERA, 10.1 IP, 18 H, 14 R, 11 ER, 5 BB, 9 K, 2.23 WHIP

Shoptaw has struggled in three appearances so far this summer with a 9.58 ERA in 10.1 innings of work.

Expedition League
RHP Hunter Dreves – Western Nebraska Pioneers
Season Stats: 4 App, 2 GS, 1-0, 6.75 ERA, 9.1 IP, 5 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 15 BB, 13 K, 2.14 WHIP

Dreves earned his first victory of the summer as the Pioneers defeated Fremont, 6-5, on May 30. The Kentucky native struck out three batters in three innings of work. In four innings, Dreves struck out six batters and allowed just one run on one hit in his most recent outing as Western Nebraska earned a 5-4 win over Casper on June 16. While Dreves has allowed just five hits in 9.1 innings, he has struggled with walks, giving up 15 free passes already this summer.

-UT Athletics

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