July 9, 2009
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — Kentucky junior infielder Neiko Johnson has been named to the New York Colligate Baseball League All-Star Game, slated for Tuesday, July 14 in Amsterdam, N.Y.
Johnson, a native of Redan, Ga., has been playing for the Watertown Wizards, setting a new franchise record with 25 walks in 26 games. The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder, ranks fourth in the NYCBL in hits (30), fourth in total bases (43) and third in stolen bases (13-for-14). Johnson has hit for a .337 average (30-for-89) with five doubles, one triple, two homers and 15 RBI, totaling a 25-15 walk-strikeout ratio.
Johnson is not the only former Wildcat playing well in the NYCBL, as freshman two-way standout Braden Kapteyn leads the league with 47 strikeouts in just 27 innings. Kapteyn, UK’s closer for much of 2009, has a 1.00 ERA and a 3-1 record in five games on the mound, allowing only nine hits in his 27 innings pitched, walking 17 and allowing opponents to hit for a .105 average. Kapteyn is currently riding a streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings pitched over his last three starts. Over that span, Kapteyn has allowed only four hits in 18 innings, walked nine and struck out 33. Striking out 14.33 hitters per nine innings pitched, Kapteyn has also totaled a .321 (26-for-81) average as a corner infielder for the Amsterdam Mohawks, adding three doubles, one homer and nine RBI. At UK in 2009, Kapteyn led UK with a 5-0 record and four saves, striking out 42 in 32.2 innings. At the plate for UK, Kapteyn started 37 games, batting .319 (45-for-141) with a team-high 11 doubles, four homers and 27 RBI.
Also on the Mohawks team with Kapteyn are freshman outfielder Cory Farris, freshman right-hander Sean Bouthilette and freshman right-hander Chase Greene. Farris, a native of Florence, Ky., has hit .270 (20-for-74) in 21 games, adding four doubles, one triple, one homer and five RBI. Farris finished his freshman season with a .310 average (27-for-87), with three doubles, two homers and 16 RBI in 23 starts.
Bouthilette, a native of Elizabethtown, Ky., has tossed two complete games, totaling a 2-2 record and a 1.36 ERA in six starts, striking out 27 in 33 innings, while allowing opponents to hit for a .184 average. Bouthilette started five games and appeared in nine for UK in 2009, totaling a 2-1 record and a 7.79 ERA in 17.1 innings.
Greene, making a transition from high school position player to a pitcher in the Southeastern Conference in 2009, has excelled in the NYCBL, appearing in 10 games in relief, totaling a 0.68 ERA and a 1-0 record in 13.1 innings, allowing only seven hits and one earned run, striking out 11. Greene’s 0.68 ERA ranks fourth-best in the NYCBL. In 2009 at UK, Greene, a native of Nicholasville, Ky., appeared in five games in relief, tossing 5.2 innings.
Freshman outfielder Navarro Hall is also having a good summer in the NYCBL, ranking fourth in the NYCBL with 18 runs scored in 23 games, batting .280 (23-for-82) with four doubles, one homer and nine RBI.
Chris Wade MAKES PROFESSIONAL DEBUT WITH GULF COAST LEAGUE MARLINS
JUPITER, Fla. — Former Kentucky shortstop Chris Wade – a 2008 Freshman All-American – made his professional debut for the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Marlins, batting 1-for-5 with a double and a walk, Wednesday night at Robert Dean Stadium.
Wade, a native of Lexington, Ky., and 2009 second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection at shortstop, grounded out in his first plate appearance and doubled to left field in his second. Wade also drew a walk and struck out once Wednesday, hitting second in the order.
As an All-SEC selection at shortstop in 2009, Wade became the first former UK player to earn All-SEC accolades as a shortstop since 1961. Wade hit .304 (123-for-405) in 113 career games at UK, belting 34 doubles, 11 homers and 93 RBI, stealing 20-of-25 bases.