The Michigan baseball team suffered its share of growing pains last season, flirting with the .500 mark all season against an average Big Ten.
But a change of scenery has been good to the Wolverines this summer as they tune up in summer leagues around the country.
Michigan players are seeing time in the Cape Cod League, the New England Collegiate Baseball League, the Coastal Plain League down south and the Prospect League throughout the Midwest and the Great Lakes.
These summer leagues, most competitively the Cape Cod League, give players an opportunity to stay in shape over the summer while away from college. Any player can play provided that he does not get paid and has college eligibility remaining.
The Daily does a quick rundown of the Wolverines in action this summer.
Senior outfielder Jackson Glines, Brewster Whitecaps/Cotuit Kettleers (Cape Cod Baseball League): Glines has played in just seven games for Brewster, but he made them count. He was 8-for-21 — good for a team-leading .421 average — with two RBI and a run scored. But he was just a temporary outfielder for Brewster and was released early in the season when the Whitecaps regained their regulars. Since joining Cotuit, Glines has cooled off, hitting .242 in nine games with six runs and a stolen base.
Junior infielder Travis Maezes, Brewster Whitecaps (CCBL): Maezes ranks second for the Whitecaps in batting, trailing only his Michigan teammate Glines. In 17 games, he’s hitting .385 with 12 runs, a homer and five RBI. He has added two stolen bases.
Junior infielder/right-handed pitcher Jacob Cronenworth, Orleans Firebirds (CCBL): Cronenworth, Michigan’s last season, has pitched in nine games for a total of 12.1 innings. He leads the league with five saves and has a 2.18 earned-run average. His bat has been slumping this summer with just three singles and eight strikeouts in 24 at-bats.
Junior left-handed pitcher Evan Hill, Brewster Whitecaps (CCBL): Hill, who developed into Michigan’s ace last season, has been one of Brewster’s most reliable pitchers. His 1.92 ERA is second among pitchers with at least 10 innings pitched, and he has also shared some of the closing duty, ranking fifth in the league with three saves. In his only start, he lasted just 3.2 innings and gave up six runs — three earned — with six hits and two walks.
Sophomore catcher Harrison Wenson, St. Cloud Rox (Northwoods League): Wenson has struggled in the Northwoods League, hitting .210 in 81 at-bats — second-most among four catchers on the team. He has four doubles but also 24 strikeouts and has the worst average among the catchers.
Junior right-handed pitcher Donnie Eaton, Kalamazoo Growlers (Northwoods League): Control issues have plagued Eaton this summer. He pitched 23.1 innings with a team-leading 0.77 ERA in 13 appearances for Michigan last season. Though he walked 16 for the Wolverines, he got out of trouble with 26 strikeouts and just eight hits. This summer, he hasn’t been so lucky, walking 19 and surrendering 25 hits in 24.1 innings for a 5.54 ERA.
Sophomore infielder Hector Gutierrez, Danbury Westerners (New England Collegiate Baseball League): Gutierrez is another underclassman who has struggled with the bat, hitting just .200 in 65 at-bats. He has drawn seven walks and stolen a team-high four bases but also struck out 21 times, tied for the team lead.
Fifth-year senior catcher Kendall Patrick, Sanford Mainers (NECBL): Patrick is another catcher who figures to be in the conversation for the starting role next year after the graduation of Cole Martin. He’s hitting .228 with a home run, four RBI and nine walks in 21 games for Sanford. He has also been hit by pitch a league-leading nine times.
Sophomore left-hander Brett Adcock, Sanford Mainers (NECBL): Adcock is picking up where he left off in Ann Arbor after a strong finish to the season earned him Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors. In two starts for Sanford, Adcock is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA, including a five-inning, one-hit shutout with nine strikeouts on Monday.
Sophomore infielder Ramsey Romano, Morehead City Marlins (Coastal Plain League): Romano missed of his freshman season the beginning of the summer with a wrist injury, but he’s off to a hot start now. In six games and nine at-bats, he has four hits, two RBI and two walks. Since returning to action in late June, he has been used mostly as a pinch-hitter.
Sophomore infielder Carmen Benedetti, Morehead City Marlins (CPL): After a strong freshman season at Michigan, Benedetti also didn’t play his first game this summer until June 29. So far, he’s 1-for-4 with a single, a walk and a strikeout.
Redshirt sophomore Cam Wysocki, Danville Dans (Prospect League): Wysocki’s strong start this summer earned him a spot in the Prospect League All-Star Game, where he pitched a scoreless inning with two hits and a walk. Overall, he’s 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA and two saves in 15 relief appearances. He’s also 2-for-3 at the plate.
Sophomore right-hander Mac Lozer, Danville Dans (Prospect League): Though not in as much action as Wysocki, Lozer has also been strong for Danville. He’s 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in eight relief appearances and has struck out 13 in 10 innings.