ABILENE, Texas - A dozen members of the Abilene Christian Wildcat baseball team are competing in several leagues across the country this summer in order to keep their skills sharp entering the 2014-15 season.
Freshman outfielder Thomas Altimont has traveled the furthest west as he is with the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks in the Alaskan Baseball League. And to the south of him are four of his teammates spread across three teams in the West Coast League.
Junior right-handed pitcher Kevin Sheets is with the Bend (Ore.) Elks and has struck out seven through two games and 6.1 innings pitched. Freshman southpaw Austin Lambright and newcomer Aaron Mason are pitching for the Kelowna Falcons of British Columbia, while two-way freshman player Russell Crippen is hitting .273 through six games for the Walla Walla (Wash.) Sweets.
Also playing out west are outfielders Tommy Lininger and Taylor Waters, and pitchers Levi Broeske and Gabe Sager. Lininger is hitting .293 with two doubles and five RBI for the Marysville (Calif.) Gold Sox, which just lost their first game following a 12-0 start. The Gold Sox are part of the 18-team Horizon Air Summer Series, which features clubs located in Washington, California, Oregon and Nevada.
Waters, Broeske and Sager are two games into their season with The Monsoon of the Arizona Collegiate Wood Bat League. Waters went 2-for-4 in his summer debut with a double, single and two stolen bases.
To the north of here juniors Tyler Eager and Ladgie Zotkya each were assigned to Derby (Kan.) to play for the Twins of the Jayhawk League. Eager is second on the team with five RBI and Zotkya has struck out four of the nine batters he's faced in 1.2 innings of work.
Closer to home sophomore Nick Palacios has been solid through four relief appearances and 7.0 innings of work for the Texas Marshals of the Texas Collegiate League. Palacios has a 2.57 earned run average to go along with seven strikeouts.
At the professional level, Seth Spivey is hitting .600 (6-10, three runs, double) though his first three games with the Spokane Indians - the Class A Short Season Affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The Indians started their season last weekend with a four-game sweep of the Eugene Emeralds (San Diego) and begin a series tonight at Vancouver (Blue Jays).
Information for this story provided by Abilene Christian Athletics.
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