HARRISONBURG, Va., Aug. 1, 2012 - Junior Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and sophomore Chris Huffman (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) each contributed to the Wareham Gatemen capturing the 2012 Cape Cod League championship to highlight James Madison baseball players competing in various summer collegiate circuits across the country.
McFarland and Huffman helped Wareham win its first CCBL title in 10 years as the Gatemen rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the ninth inning of the title game to record an 8-6 victory over Yarmouth-Dennis in 10 innings.
McFarland finished third on the team in the typically pitching-dominated league with a .309 batting average in 25 games to go along with 14 runs scored and nine RBIs. Most of his offensive production came before an early July injury, but he was able to return July 29 and aid the Gatemen in their title run. Still limited by the injury, McFarland hit .273 in three playoff games with a double.
Huffman was a late signing in the Cape and pitched in three regular season games without allowing an earned run and struck out seven batters in six innings. He made one appearance in the playoffs with a strikeout in one inning. Huffman began the season with the Staunton Braves in Virginia's Valley Baseball League and posted a 4.35 ERA and one save in 16 relief appearances. He limited the opposition to a .226 batting average in 20 2/3 innings with 19 strikeouts.
Rising sophomore Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) travelled the furthest distance for summer ball, joining the Alaska Goldpanners in Fairbanks. He appeared in a team-best 36 games and ranked 19th in the league with a .305 batting average. Carroll was fifth in the league with both 12 stolen bases and 27 runs scored and was second on his team with 40 hits. He also had seven doubles and 10 RBIs.
Rising senior Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) joined the Vienna River Dogs of the Cal Ripken Collegiate League in late June and proceeded to hit .385 with five doubles, two triples, two home runs, 23 runs scored, 16 RBIs and 15 walks. He would have ranked third in the league in average and on-base percentage (.484) if he had enough at bats to qualify in the rankings.
Four Dukes played significant roles for the Wilmington Sharks in the Coastal Plains League. Senior Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale) was named to the CPL All-Star Team after starting 50 games and finishing second on the team with a .263 batting average, including team highs of 32 runs scored, 36 walks (second in CPL) and a .397 on-base percentage to go along with 19 stolen bases. He also led the league with 167 assists. Senior Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) hit .221 with 26 walks and 10 stolen bases in 44 games in the outfield. Senior Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) played 47 games and hit .181 with 16 RBIs. On the mound, sophomore Aaron Hoover (Centreville, Va./Westfield) was second on the team with 17 appearances and pitched 31 1/3 innings with a 3-4 record and 5.74 ERA.
In the Southern California Collegiate League, senior catcher Billy Logan (Greenup, Ky./Greenup County) hit .358 (19-for-53) with six doubles, a home run, 11 runs scored and 11 RBIs.
Junior reliever Trent Cundiff (Roanoke, Va./Northside) and sophomore infielder Tyler Duke (Troutville, Va./James River) were each named All-Stars after staying near home to play for the Roanoke Rails in the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League. Cundiff posted a 5.81 ERA with a team-best 10 appearances on the mound. He pitched 31 innings with five starts and recorded one complete game. Duke hit .343 in 19 games with 12 runs scored, 13 walks and two steals.
Also in the Valley League, JMU newcomer Luke Drayer (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey) worked a team-high 42 2/3 innings for the Luray Wranglers. He pitched in nine games with seven starts and posted a 5.48 ERA with 29 strikeouts.
Fellow JMU newcomer J.T. Root (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) appeared in two games for the Baltimore Redbirds in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. He went 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA and seven strikeouts in 10 innings.
Junior catcher Nick Merullo (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) appeared briefly on the roster for the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide in the Futures Collegiate League in New England.