Maynard Ciencin Give Forest City 1-2 Punch
RALEIGH, N.C. - At 30-5, the Forest City Owls have been the big story so far in 2009 among summer collegiate baseball leagues, and NC State’s Pratt Maynard and Andrew Ciencin have been major contributors to the Owls’ success. On a rampage since opening day, Forest City has steamrolled through the Coastal Plain League and currently sits in the No. 1 spot in the Perfect Game Crosschecker rankings for summer league teams.
In a July 2 game against Martinsville, Maynard and Ciencin each went 2-for-3 with an RBI in a 4-1 victory for the Owls. The next night, Maynard burned Asheboro for three hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs to lead Forest City to a 5-4 victory over the Copperheads. Not to be outdone, Ciencin spent a big part of his Indpendence Day running the bases, going 4-for-5 with a home run and scoring four times in a 17-7 rout of Thomasville on July 4.
The Wolfpack teammates weren’t done. Against Petersburg on July 6, Maynard and Ciencin each collected three hits, with Maynard doubling and scoring twice and Ciencin driving in three runs. The Owls went on to defeat the Generals 12-3.
Maynard leads Forest City with a .347 (42-for-121) average with 13 doubles, four home runs, and 32 RBIs. He leads the Coastal Plain League in RBIs and runs scored, and is seventh in hitting.
In eight games since joining the Owls, Ciencin is hitting .375 (12-for-32) with a double, a home run, and five RBIs.
Harold Riggins - Madison Mallards (Northwoods League)
On July 3, Riggins hit his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot in a 9-2 win over Wisconsin. On July 6 against Battle Creek, Riggins homered again, finishing the night 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base in an 8-5 victory for the Mallards. Riggins collected three more hits against Battle Creek the next night, but the Mallards fell to the Bombers 5-0. Riggins finished the two-game Battle Creek series 6-for-8 with a home run and two RBIs.
Riggins’s hot bat has made him a household name among the offensive leaders in the Northwoods League. He leads the league in RBIs (35) and slugging percentage (.589), is second in homers (7), seventh in hits (40) and doubles (10), and is 11th in batting (.323).
Vance Williams - Outer Banks Dare Devils (Coastal Plain League)
Williams continues to shut down opposing hitters out of the bullpen for Outer Banks. On the season, Williams is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in 15 1/3 innings. He has struck out 21 and walked nine. Opposing hitters are hitting just .064 against the Wolfpack right-hander.
Cory Mazzoni - Slippery Rock Sliders (Prospect League)
Mazzoni went six strong innings in a no-decision on July 5 at North Coast. Mazzoni allowed one unearned run on four hits. He struck out three and walked three.
Mazzoni (2-2) has posted a 2.78 ERA in six starts with 35 strikeouts and 11 walks for the Sliders.
Chris Schaeffer - Green Bay Bullfrogs (Northwoods League)
Schaeffer hit his first home run of the season, a tape-measure blast, on July 7 against Mankato in a 6-5 loss.
Schaeffer is hitting .137 with two doubles, a home run, and 12 RBIs in 36 games.
Grant Sasser - Haymarket Senators (Valley Baseball League)
Sasser went six innings in a July 7 start against Rockbridge, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out seven for his third victory of the season. Sasser didn’t allow a walk in the 9-4 win.
In five starts, Sasser is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA over 33 innings. He has struck out 28 and walked eight on the season.
Sasser was recently chosen to play in the Valley Baseball League’s All-Star Game, which will be played in Woodstock, Virginia, on July 12.
Drew Taylor - Cedar Rapids Kernels (Midwest League (A) - Angels)
Taylor continues to put up solid numbers for the Kernels. In his last 12 2/3 innings, Taylor is 1-0 with two saves while posting a 1.42 ERA. He has struck out 20 and walked five in that stretch.
In 30 innings since being promoted to Cedar Rapids, Taylor is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 24 appearances. He has 47 strikeouts and 14 walks, with the opposition hitting just .149 off the lefty.
Aaron Bates - Boston Red Sox (MLB)
Bates was promoted to Boston from AAA Pawtucket on July 6, making his major league debut later that night against the Oakland A’s. Bates hit ninth in the order and played first base. He finished 0-for-3 as the Red Sox managed just two hits against A’s starter Brett Anderson in a 6-0 loss.
In his second game with Boston, Bates went 0-for-3 with a walk but made a sparkling defensive play, stretching out to make a tough pick to get an out at first base. Boston went on to win the game 5-2 over Oakland.
Jeremy Synan - Greensboro Grasshoppers (South Atlantic League - Marlins, Class A)
Synan had his six-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday night, but the former Wolfpack standout came back strong against Hagerstown on Thursday with a pair of home runs and four RBIs. Synan is hitting .375 (12-for-32) with two doubles, two home runs, four walks, and six RBIs in his last 10 games for Greensboro.
On the year, Synan is hitting .275 (77-for-280) in 76 games with 20 doubles, 13 home runs, and 48 RBIs.