Summer Ball Update #2: Heflin & Kohlhepp Impress on Mound

Vols LHP Will Heflin / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. –  Tennessee baseball is well-represented on the 2019 summer circuit with 24 current players on summer-league rosters.

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

A pair of UT pitchers had dominant performances last week as junior lefty Will Heflin and freshman right hander Tanner Kohlhepp shined for their respective teams. Read all about their performances below.

USA Baseball Collegiate National Team (Team Website)
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.

Cape Cod League (Full League Stats)
OF Zach Daniels – Orleans Firebirds
Season Stats: 9 GP, .174 AVG, 1 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 K, .174 SLG, .174 OBP

Daniels went  2-for-3, notching a pair of singles in a loss to Yarmouth-Dennis on June 20 for his only two hits of the week.

LHP Will Heflin – Harwich Mariners
Season Stats: 2 App, 0 GS, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 9 K, 0.75 WHIP

Heflin picked up his first win of the summer in his lone appearance last week. The junior lefty walked three but struck out seven batters and did not allow a hit in 3.1 scoreless innings of relief on Saturday as the Mariners came away with a 2-1 victory over Cotuit.

RHP Sean Hunley – Brewster Whitecaps
Season Stats: 2 App, 2 GS, 1-1, 5.14 ERA, 7.0 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 1.57 WHIP

Hunley was the losing pitcher in a loss to Cotuit on Sunday after allowing three runs on four hits in three innings of work to fall to 1-1 for the summer.

OF Alerick Soularie – Brewster Whitecaps
Season Stats: 8 GP, .200 AVG, 7 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, .360 SLG, .310 OBP

Soularie hit his first home run of the summer with a solo shot in a 5-5 tie against Chatham on June 20 but struggled overall last week with just that one hit and two runs scored in four games played.

RHP Chase Wallace – Orleans Firebirds
Season Stats: 3 App, 0 GS, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 5.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 0.94 WHIP

Wallace made just one appearance last week, recording a strikeout and allowing one hit in one shutout inning of work in a 1-0 victory over Wareham on Sunday. The sophomore right hander has allowed just three hits and no runs in 5.1 innings pitched so far this summer.

California Collegiate League (Full League Stats)
OF Justin Ammons – Conejo Oaks
Season Stats: 6 GP, .280 AVG, 5 R, 7 H, 3 2B, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 SB, .400 SLG, .357 OBP

Ammons got off to a red-hot start with five hits and four runs over his first two games, including a 3-for-4 outing with three runs scored against Orange County on June 19. While he has just two hits over his last four games, Ammons has driven in five runs in that span with at least one RBI in three of his last four games.

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 did not see action last week. He went 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI in his second game of the summer against Conejo on June 8. Lipcius 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: 8 GP, .269 AVG, 3 R, 7 H, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 8 K, .308 SLG, .387 OBP

Pavolony is currently riding a four-game hit streak after recording at least one base knock in each of his three games played last week. The freshman catcher went 2-for-4 against the San Luis Obispo Blues on June 18 before a pair of 1-for-3 performances against the Blues (June 20) and the Academy Barons (June 21). Pavolony has also picked off a runner and thrown out three of the five runners attempting to steal on him so far this summer.

RHP Elijah Pleasants – Academy Barons
Season Stats: 4 App, 0-0, 2 SV, 1.42 ERA, 6.1 IP, 5 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 10 K, 0.95 WHIP

Pleasants had his first tough outing of the summer on June 19 against the Arroyo Seco Saints, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk in one inning of work. He did strike out three batters and only one of the four runs was earned. The Clarksville, Tenn., native bounced back nicely on June 21 by tossing two shutout innings against the Santa Barbara Foresters. Pleasants struck out two batters and allowed just one hit in the outing.

OF Evan Russell – Arroyo Seco Saints
Season Stats: 1 GP, .000 AVG, 0 R, 0 H, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K, .000 SLG, .000 OBP

Russell went hitless in his summer debut with the Arroyo Seco Saints on Sunday against the Academy Barons.

OF Christian Scott – Arroyo Seco Saints
Season Stats: 9 GP, .257 AVG, 4 R, 9 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 8 K, .429 SLG, .297 OBP, 2 SB

Scott started last week with a huge performance against the Ventura County Pirates, going 4-for-5 with a double, a triple and two RBI. He followed that with another hit, a run scored, an RBI and two stolen bases against the Academy Barons on June 19 before going hitless in his past three games.

Coastal Plain League (Full League Stats)
RHP Caleb Pearson – Forest City Owls
Season Stats: 4 App, 3 GS, 0-2, 5.87 ERA, 15.1 IP, 13 H, 15 R, 10 ER, 15 BB, 8 K, 1.83 WHIP

Pearson started his third game of the summer on June 22 against the Asheboro Copperheads and allowed just one hit in five innings but struggled again with walks, allowing seven free passes which led to three runs. The freshman right hander struck out two batters and received a no-decision as the Owls went on to win 10-6.

RHP Joshua Plummer – Fayetteville SwampDogs
Season Stats: 3 App, 3 GS, 1-1, 4.38 ERA, 12.1 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 10 BB, 14 K, 1.38 WHIP

Plummer had his best start of the summer in a 9-6 win over Holly Springs on Sunday. The Virginia native struck out six batters and allowed just one earned run on two hits and three walks in five innings of work to improve his record to 1-1 for the summer.

INF Jake Rucker – Forest City Owls
Season Stats: 8 GP, .227 AVG, 4 R, 5 H, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K, .318 SLG, .370 OBP, 1 SB

After a slow start, Rucker has started to pick it up at the plate over the past few games. The freshman infielder scored went 3-for-5 with  a double, two runs scored and an RBI in a 13-8 victory over High Point-Thomasville on June 20. Rucker also doubled in a run and drew a pair of walks in a 10-6 win over Asheboro on June 22.

Northwoods League (Full League Stats)
INF Austin Knight – Kalamazoo Growlers
Season Stats: 2 GP, .125 AVG, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, .125 SLG, .222 OBP, 1 SB

Knight walked and scored a run in his summer league debut on June 18 as the Growlers lost to Kenosha, 12-7. The Florida native recorded his first hit of the summer with an RBI single on June 22 in a 7-3 loss at Traverse City.

RHP Tanner Kohlhepp – Eau Claire Express
Season Stats: 3 App, 3 GS, 1-0, 4.69 ERA, 15.1 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 5 BB, 12 K, 1.04 WHIP

Kohlhepp was dominant in the Express’ 3-2 victory at Waterloo on June 21, racking up seven strikeouts and allowing just one run on four hits in seven innings pitched. The Eau Claire, Wis., native earned his first win of the summer in the outing to improve to 1-0.

Ohio Valley League (Full League Stats)
Matthew Ellis – Dubois County Bombers 
Season Stats: 6 GP, .316 AVG, 3 R, 6 H, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, .368 SLG, .364 OBP

Ellis currently ranks fourth on the Bombers with a .316 batting average and has driven in four runs in six games played.

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 did not see action last week and has struggled in three appearances so far this summer with a 9.58 ERA in 10.1 innings of work.

Expedition League (Full League Stats)
RHP Hunter Dreves – Western Nebraska Pioneers
Season Stats: 5 App, 3 GS, 1-0, 5.83 ERA, 12.1 IP, 5 H, 11 R, 8 ER, 21 BB, 15 K, 2.11 WHIP

Dreves posted a no-decision in his most recent start of the summer as the Pioneers defeated Fremont 6-2 on June 22. The Kentucky native did not give up a hit in three innings but allowed two runs (one earned) after walking six batters.

Hamptons League (Full League Stats)
Landon Gray – Westhampton Aviators
Season Stats: 7 GP, .250 AVG, 1 R, 5 H, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, .300 SLG, .423 OBP, 2 SB

After starting the summer with hits in his first four games, Gray struggled a bit last week, going hitless in his past three contests. The junior catcher went 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 7-4 victory over the Shelter Island Bucks on June 19. Gray also walked and drove in a run on Saturday in a 4-2 win over the Sag Harbor Whalers.

-UT Athletics



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