As the hot summer months begin, a number of Trojan baseball players are keeping busy playing in summer leagues across the country. These leagues have served as a crucial part of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s player development.
“Summer ball is very important to us and is key to our player development,” said head coach Chris Curry. “We’re fortunate to have three guys in the most elite summer league in the country (Cape Cod), as well as guys playing in Florida and in the north, and our team is committed to getting better this summer.”
Three Trojans are playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League in Massachusetts with pitcher Chandler Fidel and catcher Kale Emshoff teaming up together, playing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. They’ll face a familiar face when they take on the Wareham Gateman as pitcher McKinley Moore will suit up for the Gatemen.
Three Trojans are also competing in the Northwoods League, located throughout the upper Midwest. Utility player Chase Coker made his debut for the Bismarck (North Dakota) Larks Tuesday evening, driving in a bases clearing three-run double in his first at-bat.
He’ll see a pair of his Trojan teammates during the season as pitcher Carter Brown is playing for the Fon Du Lac Dock (Wisconsin) Spiders, already notching a save with six strikeouts in four appearances. Outfielder Ryan Benavidez will be suiting up for the Kalamazoo (Michigan) Growlers once he is cleared to play as well.
Infielder Eldrige Figueroa is spending the summer in Florida, playing for the Sanford Monarchs of the Florida Futures League and registering a pair of hits in his first two appearances to date.
“We’ve got a bunch of guys who have made it a priority to accept their summer assignments and go out and get better,” Curry said. “Summer has been the difference between some guys playing and some guys not and we’re excited to see how these players respond.”