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Ten Bulls will play in Summer Leagues

Published: Monday, June 18, 2012

Updated: Monday, June 18, 2012 08:06

ORACLE FILE PHOTO/BOBBY BISHOP

ORACLE FILE PHOTO/BOBBY BISHOP

Alex Mendez (left), Buddy Putnam (middle) and James Ramsay (right) are three of the ten members of the USF baseball team playing in collegiate baseball summer leagues around the country.

The luxury and relaxation of the offseason will have to wait for 10 members of the USF baseball team. Ten Bulls are following up a landmark season, which saw the team play in the first Big East title game, by playing in one of four collegiate summer leagues.

By sacrificing their respective summers, the Bulls will look to build upon their bounce-back season in 2012, with the ultimate goal being a return to the NCAA Tournament, which the Bulls haven’t been a part of since 2002. The Oracle takes a look at the 10 Bulls who will be playing in summer leagues.

 

James Ramsay
After a successful sophomore campaign that saw a spot on the all-Big East second team, USF’s speedy outfielder will look to develop his skills in Duluth, Minnesota. He will be playing in the Northwoods League for the Duluth Huskies. Ramsay is coming off of a season in which he led the team with a .339 batting average and 14 stolen bases.

Alex Mendez
USF’s designated leadoff man is one of six Bulls playing in the local Florida Collegiate League. He will be playing in Sanford, Florida for the Sanford River Rats. Mendez led the team in 2012 with 32 RBIs, 26 walks, and two triples. He will be looking to grab a leadership role for the Bulls as a senior.

Jordan Stritmatter
After a season in which he saw limited actions, playing in seven games, the freshman outfielder will look to gain recognition when he plays alongside Mendez on the Sanford River Rats. Strittmatter saw just seven at-bats in his freshman campaign, all of which came in pinch-hit situations.

Nick Gonzalez
One of two USF pitchers to be playing in a Summer League, Gonzalez will look to continue improving after a solid sophomore season. Gonzalez will be the third Bull playing for the Sanford River Rats, alongside Mendez and Stritmatter. A mainstay in the USF bullpen, Gonzalez is coming off a season in which he picked up four wins in 21 appearances, pitching 35 innings — fifth most on the team.

Austin Leuck
Another outfielder who played sparingly thanks to plenty of veteran talent, USF’s Austin Leuck will also be headed to the Florida Collegiate League. He will be playing for the Orlando Monarchs. Leuck played in eight games in 2012, picking up one hit and scoring two runs while striking out twice.

Blake Sydeski
One of three catchers that the Bulls used in 2012, Sydeski will go into 2013 as the expected starter at catcher with the graduation of Andrew Longley. Sydeski is also playing in the Florida Collegiate League, representing the Deland Suns. He started 10 games in 2012, hitting .289 and knocking in six RBIs.

Kyle Teaf
One of many underclassmen that played a vital role in USF’s 2012 season, Teaf solidified the toughest position on the field with his play at shortstop as a freshman. Teaf will stay at home as the final Bull in the Florida Collegiate League, playing for the Leesburg Lightning, located in his hometown. Teaf hit .259 in 2012 with 16 RBIs, but his offense was overshadowed by his consistent play on defense.

Buddy Putnam
As a freshman, Putnam saw time all across the infield, and will head into the 2013 season as one of USF’s most potent bats. Putnam will be one of two Bulls playing in New York, in the Perfect Game Collegiate League (PGCL) for the Glen Falls Golden Eagles. He hit .216 last season, with 10 RBIs, and provided a .992 fielding percentage on defense — second on the team.

Mike Clarkson
The second pitcher for USF playing in a Summer League, Clarkson will look to continue his development in New York. He will be joining Putnam in Glen Falls for the Golden Eagles in the PGCL. Clarkson pitched eight innings in 2012, allowing six runs and 10 hits, while picking up one win.

Zac Gilcrease
A surprise impact player for USF in 2012, Gilcrease stepped in and played third base when starter Daniel Rockhold suffered a wrist injury. Gilcrease will also be playing in New York, but he will be in Webster with Athletes in Action in the New York Collegiate Baseball League. Gilcrease hit .250 last season with three doubles and nine RBIs. 

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