John Welsh's 24 RBIs lead the way for the Southern California Fire this season. (Photo by Brent Asay)
July 13, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - The summer league baseball season is nearing tournament time and several University of Utah baseball players are making impacts on their respective teams.
Senior outfielder John Welsh, sophomore outfielder Corey Shimada, junior transfer infielder Nick Lowery and sophomore pitcher Brad DeVore are all playing for the Southern California Fire. The Fire is a member of the Western Baseball Association (WBA), which is a wood-bat league comprised of current college players. The WBA is a member of the National Baseball Congress (NBC).
All four Ute players on the Fire contributed to the team's recent WBA Tournament Championship and berth in the NBC World Series, slated for later this month in Wichita, Kan.
Welsh is currently batting .292 for the Fire and his 24 RBIs is a team-high mark. He is tied for the team lead with three home runs and ranks third on the team with seven stolen bases. Lowery is batting .296 with a double, two triples and 11 RBIs. Shimada is hitting at a .273 clip. His 11 stolen bases is tops on the team, while he has drawn a team-high 10 walks. DeVore has come out of the bullpen for the Fire, compiling a 2.51 earned-run average with an 0-1 record and one save. Opponents are batting just .246 against DeVore, who has struck out 16 batters, while walking just seven.
Meanwhile, senior first baseman Jay Brossman is competing for the San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Blues of the California Collegiate League (CCL), also wood-bat league and an affiliate of the NBC. The Blues are currently 27-17 on the season and 11-10 in CCL play.
According to Blues personnel, Brossman has been a clutch performer for the Blues all season. He is currently batting .284. Brossman's four doubles and 16 RBIs both rank third on the team.