June 10, 2009
Highlights of the Week 6/1-6/7:
>Tyson Blaser is currently hitting .333 for the Madison Mallards. He has a .619 on base percentage and .417 slugging percentage, so far. Blaser has been patient at the plate, walking six times and not striking out once yet.
>Kyle Heim picked up his first win against St. Cloud Friday, 9-5. He went one inning, allowing no hits and striking out two. This season, Heim has gone 7.1 innings with 13 strikeouts and only three walks. He has a 1.23 ERA.
>Phil Keppler is has the second-best batting average on his Waterloo Bucks team (.316). He has the third-best slugging percentage (.421) and on base percentage (.357). He went 6-for-10 last weekend against Mankato.
>Jarred Hippen went five and one-third innings in his first start for the Quincy Gems. Despite getting a no decision, Hippen only allowed one run and struck out eight. He has a 1.69 ERA so far this season.
>Michael Jacobs completed four innings of work. However, when he was filling up his water bottle in the Dutchmen dugout he was struck in the eye by a foul ball that ricocheted off the dugout wall. Before the injury, Jacobs was giving the Watertown hitters fits. He had allowed only one run on three hits, while striking out seven in his four innings of work. At the time of his exit, Albany held a 2-1 lead. No major bone damage was sustained. Jacobs was taken to the Albany Medical Center and underwent surgery yesterday to stitch up a tear duct.
Weekly Story> Kurtis Muller: Junior Kurtis Muller had a rough start to the 2009 season for the Hawkeyes, battling an injury the first fourth of the season. But in May he was back to his 2008 freshman all-American self, and finished the season with a 12-game hitting streak.
“I thought once I got completely healthy I started to get more comfortable and started doing what I knew I could do all along,” Muller said.
Muller has continued to be red hot in the Northwoods League, hitting a solid .347 with six doubles and three stolen bases so far this season at the leadoff spot for the Madison Mallards.
“No matter where I hit [in the lineup] I am looking to get on base so I can steal and get into scoring position for someone to drive me in,” he said.
Summer league to Muller is a place to get better, and improve on his bunting, base running and to get stronger as a player. Add that motivation to the use of wood bats and he gets a full offensive workout.
“Wood bats really make you concentrate on hitting the ball square,” he said. “If you miss-hit the ball you’re going to break your bat so you really need to swing at good pitches so you have a better chance at hitting it hard.”
Overall, every player would tell you summer ball is a time to have fun — and what’s more fun then facing teammates? Muller agrees.
“It’s a lot of fun playing against teammates,” Muller said. “You can let your new teammates know their tendencies and stuff like that, but it’s good to see the guys playing and competing like we do together in the spring time.”