Fresh off of playing in an NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, several Bearkats will compete in collegiate wooden bat leagues this summer. The 20 Kats are scattered through five states with one playing in Ontario, Canada.
The largest group of Bearkats will be playing close to home, with eight in Texas. Sophomore outfielder Wyatt Powell and freshman Trevor Winne will play for Karl Young Clippers in Houston while sophomore Ryan Farney is with the Houston Wildcats.
Powell and Winne will be competing for playing time at Sam Houston next season while Farney seems to have solidified a starting spot. Farney batted .293 in 46 games. He started 40 times in 2013 including the final 20 games of the season.
Five Kats will compete in the Texas Collegiate League. Freshman infielder Miles Manning and junior reliever Jason Simms will play for Brazos Valley Bombers in Bryan. Freshmen Dirk Masters and Dalton Perry are with the Woodlands Strykers. Freshman Seth Holbert will spend the summer with the Texas Marshalls in McKinney.
Simms led the Bearkats in saves, with nine, while posting a 2.74 ERA and striking out 44 batters in 46 innings. He also led the team in appearances, pitching 26 times out of the bullpen.
Sophomore Ryan O’Hearn will return to Santa Barbara where he helped the Foresters win a second-straight national title last summer. O’Hearn is joined by fellow sophomores Colt Atwood and Andrew Godail.
Atwood and O’Hearn have started nearly every game in their first two years at Sam Houston. Atwood has a .309 average and 150 hits in his 120 starts while O’Hearn is hitting .285 with 117 hits in 118 starts.
Godail was part of the Bearkats weekend rotation in 2013 and put up a 3.10 ERA and a 5-4 record in 14 starts.
Four Kats will compete in the Northwoods League based mostly in Minnesota. Sophomores Carter Burgess and Tyler Eppler are joined by junior transfer Derek Hadley on the Rochester Honkers. Freshman Jordan Church will play for the Thunder Bay Border Cats in Ontario.
Burgess started every game last season and finished tied for the team lead in hits (75). The sophomore hit .321 with 41 runs scored and 29 RBI. Eppler had an outstanding season as the Kats midweek starter. He put up a 3.41 ERA in 13 starts and picked up wins over Houston, Rice and Texas.
Three others will get action in the Valley League in Virginia. The Charles Town Cannons will have freshmen Logan Boyd and Spence Rahm with junior David Rumsey.
Boyd pitched in 19 games as a freshman and put up a 4.25 ERA and struck out 50 in 42 1/3 innings. Rahm started hot and hit two home runs early in the season but didn’t play much after the midseason point.
Sophomore Hayden Simerly joins the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod league in Massachusetts. He’s joined in the northeast by Shea Pierce who will play for the New Bedford Bay Sox in the New England League.
Simerly tied for the team lead with nine homers. He drove in 36 runs while batting .261. Pierce played in 22 games and hit .245 in 2013.
LEAGUE TEAM PLAYER
California Santa Barbara Foresters Colt Atwood - OF
California Santa Barbara Foresters Andrew Godail - LHP
California Santa Barbara Foresters Ryan O’Hearn - 1B
Cape Cod Brewster Whitecaps Hayden Simerly- OF
Karl Young Clippers Wyatt Powell - OF
Karl Young Clippers Trevor Winne - C
New England New Bedford Bay Sox Shea Pierce - C
Northwoods Rochester Honkers Carter Burgess - SS
Northwoods Rochester Honkers Tyler Eppler - RHP
Northwoods Rochester Honkers Derek Hadley - RHP
Northwoods Thunder Bay Border Cats Jordan Church - RHP
Texas Brazos Valley Bombers Miles Manning - IF
Texas Brazos Valley Bombers Jason Simms - RHP
Texas Texas Marshalls Seth Holbert - RHP
Texas The Woodlands Strykers Dirk Masters - OF
Texas The Woodlands Strykers Dalton Perry - 3B
Valley (Va.) Charles Town Cannons Logan Boyd - LHP
Valley (Va.) Charles Town Cannons Spence Rahm - 1B
Valley (Va.) Charles Town Cannons David Rumsey - RHP
AABC Houston Wildcats Ryan Farney - 2B