Summer Ball Update 6/26/2017: Dunn, Jancarski among Terps enjoying summer success

2017 summer ball is underway all throughout the country and many Terps are off to hot starts. Let’s check in and see how the Terrapins are doing.

Four Terps are in the Cape Cod League: two on the Brewster Whitecaps, one on the Falmouth Commodores and one on the reigning league champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. In Brewster, second baseman Nick Dunn is off to a hot start, hitting .296 with eight hits, the third most on the team. Dunn is looking to replicate his successful 2016 summer in which he was named to the Cape Cod League All-Star roster. His Whitecaps teammate, fellow Terp Marty Costes, is just 4-of-19 with six strikeouts, but his power stroke is still working. He picked up where he left off in Maryland, belting two early home runs on the Cape, including a walkoff homer Sunday against Bourne. Costes’ seven homers last summer led Maryland players in summer ball action.

Elsewhere in the Cape, sophomore left-handed pitcher Tyler Blohm has made a start and a relief appearance for Falmouth. In his summer debut, Blohm walked two and allowed a run in three innings of relief. In his lone start, the southpaw struck out seven in five innings, allowing two runs and earning the win. Hunter Parsons, the 2016 Cal Ripken League Pitcher of the Year, allowed four runs in his season debut for the Y-D Red Sox, a loss, but picked up the win in his second relief appearance after tossing a scoreless inning.

In the local Cal Ripken League, Zach Jancarski‘s bat remains hot with the Bethesda Big Train. The Terps leadoff hitter and center fielder is hitting .379 in eight games, including a leadoff home run in his first at-bat of the summer. Justin Morris‘ first hit of the summer was also a home run – the Terps catcher hit a grand slam on Father’s Day for Big Train, and is hitting .375 in eight contests.

Jancarski and Morris are joined in Bethesda by a pair of Terps arms: John Murphy and Zach Guth. Murphy, one of former head coach John Szefc’s favorite bullpen weapons, has a 3.00 ERA in three starts. With Brian Shaffer and Ryan Selmer departing for pro ball, Murphy is primed for an even larger role on the Maryland pitching staff next spring. Guth has allowed four earned runs in two innings of work.

Elsewhere in the Ripken League, the Baltimore Redbirds have benefited from incoming freshman Randy Bednar‘s bat and arm. The outfielder is hitting .290 with a team-high two home runs and pitched two scoreless innings in Baltimore’s 11-3 blowout over Rockville on June 18. However, it has not been an easy summer so far for AJ Lee, Maryland’s fourth-leading hitter in 2017. The Terps third baseman is hitting just .132 with 15 strikeouts in 12 games. On the mound, Mike Vasturia has allowed three earned runs in 3.1 innings while Jon Dignazio is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three relief appearances.

While Bednar has powered the Redbirds, another incoming freshman is leading the local Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. Infielder Tommy Gardiner is 8-for-23 (.348) in six games to open the season. Two other Terps have seen limited action thus far for the T-Bolts; Will Watson is 0-for-3 and Richie Schiekofer is 0-for-6, but they have each drawn a walk.

The only other Cal Ripken League teams with Maryland products are the Alexandria Aces and Gaithersburg Giants. Catcher Justin Vought has not appeared for the first place Aces while Nick Pantos has looked sharp out of the ‘pen for Gaithersburg. The right-hander has hurled nine innings over five appearances, allowing just one run with 11 strikeouts.

There are a few other Terps across the country over the summer. First baseman Kevin Biondic is hitting .200 with a homer and seven RBIs in 14 games with Canada’s Thunder Bay Border Cats of the Northwoods League. Danny Maynard, a member of Perfect Game League’s Amsterdam Mohawks, is hitting .172 in nine games. With the NECBL’s Newport Gulls, Cameron Enck has a 3.27 ERA in four appearances — all four earned runs he has allowed coming in his lone start.