Twenty-four baseball student-athletes competed in college summer leagues

GREAT RIO VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros baseball team had 24 student-athletes competing in various collegiate summer leagues throughout the offseason.

The Vaqueros back to participate in the summer leagues were senior redshirt Alex Verdugo, Senior Angel De La Cruz, second year red shirt Isaac Lopez, junior Jacob Sanchez, second year Steven Lancia, second year red shirt Eduardo Salinas, graduate student RJ Ochoa, graduate student Spencer Servenjunior Angelo Cabral and junior Zach Tjelmeland.

Also representing the UTRGV across the country in summer collegiate leagues, seniors Roberto Gonzalez, junior Kade York, freshman in red shirt Michael Ramos, junior Ulises Tovar, second year red shirt Jack Lopez, junior Sebastien Mejia, second year red shirt Mason Millet, graduate student Kris Massy, junior Damien Rodriguez, junior Milo Behrens, second year Tyler McCloskey, second year Eric Martinez, junior red shirt Andre Martinez and sophomore in red shirt Freddy Cavazos.

Alex Verdugo

Verdugo pitched for the Alaska Goldpanners, who went 34-14-1 through the summer. He made five appearances — all starts — and was 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA in 27 innings pitched, tied for second on the team with the most wins. He totaled 35 strikeouts on just four walks and allowed eight runs, four of which were earned, on 16 hits. Verdugo ended the summer on a high, claiming the victory in a six-inning outing on August 5 in which he allowed three runs, none earned, on four hits and had 10 strikeouts and no walks.

Roberto Gonzalez

Gonzalez played all inside positions for the Victoria HarbourCats in the West Coast League, spending most of his time at third base. He hit .370 and had an .812 OPS in 35 games. Gonzalez had 54 hits with nine doubles and five walks, scoring 18 runs and leading in 24 RBIs while stealing 12 bases and striking out just seven times. He played in 18 multi-hit games, including seven three-hit games and one four-hit game in June. Gonzalez was tied for second most hits on the team and worked a nine-game hitting streak from July 7 to July 16, with four three-game hits in that streak. Defensively, he recorded 75 outs and 33 assists with seven errors while playing 161.1 innings at third, 80 innings at first, 29 innings at shortstop and 9.2 innings at second base. Victoria went 26-28.

Angel De La Cruz

In 25 games with the North Platte Plainsmen (31-21) in the Independence League, De La Cruz had a .352 batting average and .906 OPS. He had 32 hits, four doubles, a triple and two home runs while driving 19 RBIs and scoring 15 runs. He made five walks and stole two bases. De La Cruz had 10 multi-hit games, including two four-hitter games in June and one three-hitter game. He only made two defensive errors in the infield.

Isaac Lopez

Lopez played 29 games with the Western Nebraska Pioneers in the Independence League. He notched a .330 batting average and .842 OPS, hitting 35 hits, two doubles, a triple and a homer to lead in 18 RBIs and score 21 runs. He stole nine bases and was walked 10 times. Lopez has recorded 12 multi-hit matches, including a four-hit match and a three-hit match. He finished the summer on a five-game hitting streak, helping a five-game winning streak for the Pioneers. He only made three defensive errors in the infield. Lopez helped the Pioneers go 36-21 and put them atop the Nebraskaland Division standings at the end of the summer.

Kade York

York played 28 games as a shortstop for the Kansas Cannons of Kansas Collegiate League Baseball. He notched a .315 batting average and an .858 OPS. York hit 35 hits, including eight doubles and a triple to lead in 21 RBI and score 36 runs. He walked 24 and stole 18 bases. He had 35 strikeouts and 66 assists and a .935 field percentage at shortstop. York had 14 games with multiple hits and two solid streaks at the plate throughout the summer. From June 7 to June 21, he had a nine-game hitting streak, then from July 5 to July 26, he had a 13-game hitting streak. The Cannons went 31-3 to win the league.

Jacob Sanchez

In 24 games as a catcher and first baseman with the Arroyo Seco Saints of the California Collegiate League (CCL), Sanchez had 21 hits, six doubles and a homer while leading in 14 RBIs and scoring 14 runs. . He had a .273 batting average and .777 OPS, worked nine walks, and stole six bases. Sanchez recorded three hits in three games and had five multi-hit games to help the Saints go 15-8. Sanchez went for .989 fielding percentage in 74 innings behind the plate, committing only one error. He had 36 outs and a .947 field percentage as a first baseman.

Steven Lancia

Lancia played 33 games with the Mat-Su Miners in the Alaska Baseball League, helping the team go 28-12. He hit .263, hitting 30 hits, seven doubles, one triple and two home runs to record 14 RBIs and 14 runs scored. Lancia worked 19 steps and a .770 OPS. Lancia suited behind the flat for 167.2 innings and had 160 outs, 13 assists and had just one error to boast a .994 fielding percentage.

Michael Ramos

Ramos made nine appearances and seven starts on the mound for the league’s Clarinda A’s Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas (MINK), helping the team go 30-14. He was 4-1 and 2.68 ERA in 53.2 innings pitched – he led the MINK League in ERA and innings pitched and was tied for second with four wins. Ramos allowed 46 hits and 19 runs, 16 earned, with 30 strikeouts and 25 walks throughout the summer.

Eduardo Salinas

Salinas pitched 30.1 innings for the Seguin River Monsters in the Texas Collegiate League (TCL), the most on the team. He held a 3.26 ERA and went 1-2 on the bump. Salinas allowed 11 earned runs on 31 hits and 10 walks while striking out 24. He pitched eight games and made four starts. Seguin went 10-33.

Ulises Tovar

Tovar made one start and appeared in 10 games for the Seguin River Monsters (10-33) in the TCL, pitching 23 innings. He notched a 3.91 ERA, allowing 10 earned runs on 16 hits and 26 walks while totaling 30 strikeouts, third among pitchers. He had two no-hitters, first against Baton Rouge in 1.2 working innings and then against Brazos Valley in 3.2 working innings.

Jack Lopez

Lopez appeared in nine games, pitching 18.1 innings for the Seguin River Monsters in the TCL. He worked a 4.41 ERA, striking out 14 and walking just three while allowing 17 hits. His longest game was a five-inning outing against Baton Rouge, when he allowed two earned runs on four hits while going six strikeouts and not stepping on anyone. Seguin went 10-33.

Sebastien Mejia

Mejia pitched for the Rochester Honkers in the Northwoods League and Lonestar-Austin in the Centex Collegiate Baseball League this summer. With Rochester (32-36), he pitched 13 innings in six appearances and went 2-1 with one stoppage and notched a 0.69 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. He struck out 14 and walked four while allowing five runs (one earned) on seven hits. Mejia made three appearances in one inning for Lonestar-Austin, giving up an unearned run and a hit.

Mason Millet

In seven games with the Covington Lumberjacks (19-23) of the Valley Baseball League, Millett pitched 16 innings and made two starts. He had a 4.50 ERA, allowing 15 runs (eight earned) on 11 hits and 15 walks while striking out 20. He also had a .833 field percentage on the bump.

Kristopher Massey

With the West Virginia Miners of the Prospect League, Massey made 10 appearances and four starts on the mound, going 1-2 as the team clinched a 20-37 record. Massey pitched 30 innings and had a 7.50 ERA, allowing 19 hits and 30 runs (25 earned) with 38 strikeouts and 38 walks.

Damien Rodriguez

Rodriguez played nine games at third base for the Frederick Keys in the MLB Draft League. He hit .280 with seven hits, two doubles, eight runs, two RBIs, three walks and one stolen base.

RJ Ochoa

Ochoa played nine games as receiver for the Kokomo Jackrabbits of the Northwoods League. He had a .200 batting average and .946 fielding percentage in 74 innings behind the flat, making 77 outs and 11 assists. He had six hits with three doubles and scored five runs with three RBIs. Kokomo went 19-52.

Spencer Serven

Serven played for CCL’s Orange County Riptide. In five games, he had one hit, one walk, one hit per pitch, one run, two RBIs and two stolen bases.

Milo Behrens

Behrens played for Dallas Select in the North Texas Five Tool Summer Collegiate League. The team went 10-7 and Behrens played in eight games, working a .200 batting average as he recorded four hits and three walks, scored five runs and had three RBIs.

Angelo Cabral

Cabral also competed in the North Texas Five Tool Summer Collegiate League with TSL Black, which went 11-6. Cabral pitched in eight games and made three starts, going 1-0. In 20.2 innings of work, he had a 1.02 ERA with 26 strikeouts, six walks, 16 hits and seven runs (three earned). He also worked seven walks and one hit in nine at-bats to score one run and three RBIs.

Tyler McCloskey pitched for the Houston Aces, helping them win the first Perfect Game Collegiate League Championship. He allowed just four hits and struck out 30 in 16 innings on the bump. zack Tjelmeland pitched once for Lonestar-Austin in the Centex Collegiate Baseball League, winning after four innings with two hits, one earned run, two walks and nine strikeouts. Eric Martinez played for the Souris Valley Saber Dogs in The Expedition League. Andre Martinez helped the Emerald Beach Hurricanes win the Texas Coastal Baseball League Championship. Freddy Cavazos played with the Action Baseball Club.

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